Do you feel like you are stuck in a rut? I know I am and I also know I am the one keeping me in that rut. Yesterday for dinner I had a grilled cheese and a martini, followed by 3 sea salted chocolate covered caravels (Damn you Lisa for introducing me to those!!). Just wait, it gets worse. For a mid afternoon pick-me-up snack I had a sesame seed bagel, toasted with heaps of real butter, washed down with a latte to try to counteract the carb coma I was bringing on. One side of my brain is shouting “Oh My God will you stop shoving crap in your mouth!” while the other side is too busy chewing to listen. It’s been cold and gray so all I want to do is eat and sleep, and really only infants can get away with that kind of behavior and have it be cute. If all I want to do is eat and sleep then words like slovenly and lazy start to be whispered.
I’m going to go right on ahead and blame it on February. You know the expression on Eli Manning’s face when Peyton won the Super Bowl? That’s the same face I make when February shows up on the calendar. In my opinion February is a jerk. Every group has one, and as far as months go February is the jerk of the bunch. I don’t think it means to be such an a-hole, but when you look at what it has to offer it’s pretty crappy. The cleansing and renewal of January is over, so February comes around and throws all of our new year resolution failure in our face. It’s also cold, really cold. When we have a mild winter it makes us angry because it shocks us with its frigid temps. When we’ve had a brutal winter it makes us angry that it continues to chill our bones. . With March we have hope, we know that Spring is supposed to show up like a gentle lamb at the end of the month. Sometimes the lamb has ADD and gets really distracted and doesn’t arrive until mid April, but regardless I don’t go and blame March. February also brings us Valentines Day. Yuck. I’m sorry to be such a hater but a holiday forced around love just feels like something that someone who worked at Hallmark made up because they were bored.
There are two things that are important to know when you are in the depths of the doldrums of February. First, You are not alone. I promise you. Almost every single woman I know right now feels that way, and even some men. They are tired, eating too much and all contemplating either quitting their jobs or running away to a tropical island. The second thing to know is this: February will end. I’m convinced that why February has less days in it than the other months. Even the creators of the calendar knew that this was a horrible month that needed to be shorter. In the meantime there are 18 days left. Here are a few of my non-scientific suggestions for helping you get through this unpleasant month.
- Take a yoga class.
Yoga soothes the soul. I just recently attended a class at the beautiful oasis known as The Yoga Barn in Unionville. Everything from the setting to the instructor was amazing. Even when I fell flat on my forehead and it banged really loud on the hardwood floor the instructor very calmly stated that hopefully I had only a bruised ego and not a bruised face. I recommend working through the sun salutations to get to the shavasana pose where you get to lie on your back under blanket in complete quiet. Restorative indeed.
2. Have a Fat Pants Friday.
Get a bunch of your friends together for a low-key sweat pants wearing, junk food eating event. Insist that no one wears makeup and only talks about celebrity gossip and drinks margaritas. Serve cheese doodles and Oreos and use whatever random leftover party plates and napkins you have. Merry Christmas napkins with happy birthday cake plates are perfect. I did this a couple of years ago and it was a super fun girls night because there was absolutely no pressure. No perfectly prepared appetizers, no perfectly straightened hair, and absolutely no squeezing into pants that are too tight from winter eating, just fun laid back hanging out.
3. Schedule a date night (or day).
I often think how I’d like to have an affair with my own husband. We could send each other secret text messages with plans to meet up and a hotel or a bar. I would actually take the time to wear a dress, have my hair blown out and look knock-him-off-his-feet fabulous. We would have cocktails and adult conversation and flirt. No talk about money, kids, dogs or the house. It could even be in the middle of the day so there is no stress over a babysitter or bedtime. Yes, when the school bus arrives home it would be the equivalent of the carriage turning in the pumpkin. But for a few sweet hours we could secretly escape from real life and go explore a nearby town and I’d treat him like he is my boyfriend and he would treat me like I’m his girlfriend. Oh and maybe we could even clean the car first and get rid of the empty wrappers and sports equipment left behind from the kids.
4. Have a spa day.
Ideally you have and extra $500 lying around. Oh you don’t? Neither do I. In that case create your own at home spa fix. Here’s what you need:
Organic Raw Honey
Raw Organic Coconut Oil
Favorite book or magazine
Big huge glass of water.
Light your candle. Mix up a winter skin mask. I like this one because it is simple and easy. Pour the Epson salts into one of those beautiful glass vases you keep planning on putting flowers in. Put about 2 cups worth of salts into the hottest bath water you are comfortable with. Go tell your husband and kids that you feel sick and will be in the bathroom until further notice. Instruct them not to come in because it may be the stomach flu and you don’t want to spread it. Slather on the mask, grab your book and soak as long as you can get away with. Unless you’ve got a plane ticket to the tropics this may be the closest you can get to warming up your bones. Make sure to chug the water because the job of the Epson salts is to draw out any impurities so the water will help to hydrate and move out the junk. Afterwards drench yourself in the coconut oil from forehead to toes. Wrap up in a warm robe or jammies and tell your family you need to lay down. It’s not lying. It’s true. You are tired and deserve this or else you will be sick (in the head) and unable to perform your wife and mom duties.
5. Volunteer to help.
Sometimes when we are stuck we lose sight of gratitude. I often need to give myself a wake-up call to remember just how fortunate I am. See if you can find some time this month to give something of yourself or your time to someone or something else. It could be visiting pets at a shelter, making meals for a family that is struggling due to health or other issues, or cleaning out the things in your home you are not using and donating them to a local charity in need. I realize it sounds selfish but when we take the time to help others it really does plant a little seed of positive sunshine in our souls.
I hope this helps you hang on till March. The good news is that we know we will climb out of our ruts and move on. The sun will shine. We will work out again, shun bread (regardless of whatever Oprah says), and fit back into pants that have zippers and buttons. And maybe, just maybe, we can actually look back on February and think it’s not such a jerk after all. A mom I know just reminded me that winter is for hibernation. So maybe February is the way it is so that we are forced to hibernate. Cold dark days are meant for sleep and food. We stay inside in front of the fire. We indulge a little more. We go to bed early and sleep in later, if we can. Maybe we just need to indulge and give ourselves a break. I’d love to write more but I have to go start eating this 1 lb package of 2 giant Reese’s peanut butter cups that my parent’s just gave me. I’m debating on just taping it to my backside since that’s where it may end up but then I’d miss out on all the fun.
Thanks for reading!
*Insider Tip – Mix it up.
Often life ruts are accompanied by fashion ruts. Sometimes to motivate change on the inside we have to start from the outside and work our way in. I’m sure you are as sick of your winter wardrobe as I am with mine, and the last thing I want to do is go and buy another sweater. So our only other option is to mix it. This week try to see if you can have two unlikely pieces in your wardrobe go on a date with each other. Maybe dress up a sweatshirt with a necklace and skinny jeans and heels. Or try a delicate silk top back to ripped up casual denim. Try picking opposites. Tomorrow I’m going to make use out of my business banker style striped shirt back to my animal print sweater. These two don’t usually hang out together but I’m thinking they just might like each other enough for a second date! Got a favorite combinations of opposites that attract? Let me know in the comments!