It’s that time of year again; full-blown January blues fade into listless February flatness. We may be safely out the other side of the abstemious post-Christmas gloom, but spring still feels a long way away. It’s too late for winter wonderland; twinkly frostiness has melted into grey muddiness and we could all do with a bit of a boost to get us through this most dreary of months.
Whether it’s embracing a healthy change, finding a reason to celebrate or making little changes to the day to day, there’re plenty of ways to make your February a little more positive. The following ideas are to give you a little inspiration to beat that February flatness.
Finish the gloomy days with a page turner
Rather than spend your last conscious moments of every day scrolling, which is what many of us tend to do these days, devote a quarter of an hour before sleeping to getting lost in a good book. You’ll probably sleep better giving your eyes a rest from blue light, you get a bit of ‘you time’, and you can end whatever kind of day you’ve had by escaping. Ask literary friends for a good recommendation, or take the time to go to your local library. While it’s grey and miserable outside, what could be better than curling up with a cup of tea and a novel?
Facebook-free February Birthdays
Anyone can dash off a quick online message after being reminded by an algorithm that a friend of a friend/ colleague/ frenemy/ ex-class mate is another year older. Of course they’re nice to read, it springs from the right impulse, and when it’s someone who isn’t a huge part of your life it’s friendly to leave a quick note. However, when it’s the birthday of a close friend or someone who really means something to you why not forgo the superficialities of Facebook and pick up the phone, post a card or pop over to say Many happy returns in person? For February birthdays this year focus on making that little extra effort. They’ll be delighted, you’ll feel great, and your relationship will be that little bit stronger.
Create your our own personal ‘Sugar-free February’
I’ll admit, this one sounds a bit like a major-diet-change-loose-weight-new-body-new-you-not-fun-at-all type of resolution. The band wagon of dry January has rolled to a stop, so we’re scrabbling around for another temporary, hashtag-friendly, life style change. You may have seen this one already begin to gain momentum, and to be honest it really is a great idea as we do generally have too much sugar in our diets. But if you’re not ready to cut out the white stuff completely, why not simply cut back? ‘Sugar-free-tea February’ or ‘natural-sugar February’ has rather a less austere ring. Setting smaller, more realistic goals is the first step to success. Identify what part of your diet is most sugary and narrow your focus.
Whatever your situation, embrace Valentine’s Day
The Marmite of holidays! Whether you’re loved-up, happily single, or channelling Bridget Jones circa 2001, you’ll have your own feelings about the 14th. If you’re not the biggest fan of a traditional Valentine’s Day for whatever reason, why not put a positive spin on things and plan something with friends who feel similar? And this does not mean a burning-photos-of-exs-eating-ice-cream-out-the-tub type of evening which achieves nothing but slight nausea in various forms. Love isn’t limited to couples, it comes in many different shapes and sizes; families, friendships and communities would not function without it. So why not celebrate Valentine’s Day by volunteering, visiting a family member who you haven’t seen for a while, or cooking dinner for a group of friends? Celebrate your love of art or theatre by going to an exhibition or play? Whatever you do, do something positive.
Plan projects for the year ahead.
Would you love to do some home improvements but you’ve not got the time or budget right now? Have you got some big events coming up in the spring or summer which you need to find outfits for? Are you considering a trip or some travelling at some point in 2017? Let’s use February to plan these future fun things. When the time comes later in the year, it’ll feel great to already have ideas of what it is you want to buy, where you want to go, or how you’d like something to look. Unleash your inner creativity this month and create mood boards of clothes you’d like to invest in, or colours you’re considering when you get round to painting the hall. Start researching your itinerary for when you get round to that city break. I’m all for spontaneity but failing to plan is planning to fail as the old saying goes, and while it’s dreary outside its fun and practical to do some creative planning for the months to come.
Go all out for Pancake Day
Shrove Tuesday was traditionally all about eating what you have left over before the austerity of lent. These days, it’s fair to say it can be slightly more fun. Take advantage of this most non-commercialised of holidays and devote an hour after dinner of pancakey decadence with your nearest and dearest. You could go all out with a pancake party, research a brand new recipe, try savoury, sweet, crepes – whatever takes your fancy. Why not combine it with a film night? Or use it as an excuse to teach the kids some cooking skills. Treat yourself this Pancake day (28th!) and take advantage of all the possibilities this most humble of desserts offers.