Every year around this time, I ask myself, “What is happening? Why is everyone so down, unhappy and emotionally unsettled?” Before I get too far down the rabbit hole, I remind myself, It is February. Over the past 20 years as a psychotherapist, I have seen the same pattern in my patients and myself. We are in the post-holidays, cold weather, gray clouds, no end in sight, tired, yawning, don’t want to get out of bed funk. Work seems harder, relationships more conflictual. We slog through our days wondering what is wrong and most often, what is wrong with everyone around us. Why are they in such a funk? Why are they so difficult? A reminder, we are all in a funk. It is February.
But then, something changes. That something happens to be March. March brings sunshine, longer days and well, Spring Break. In March, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and the faint images of summer vacation begin to appear. We feel we can do it! We can make it. The final lap isn’t going to be as difficult as we thought. Every March, my patients begin to feel better. My phone stops ringing as much, kids start smiling again and better days have arrived.
But, we do have to get through February and here are some ideas to make it more tolerable for both parents and kids:
- Get up early – you will have a better day if you get a head start. Without being in a rush you will be able to fill your tank with positive things like a few minutes of quiet time, a sip of coffee, a passage of a book that helps you gain perspective.
- Make the most of the weather – get cozy reading a favorite book or doing art. Many kids are making bracelets, writing stories and painting. It’s a time to look inward, reflect and take advantage of alone time.
- Turn off your phone – when you are in a funk, the last thing you need to do is scroll through your phone. Turn off notifications and allow yourself some space to be with your own thoughts.
- Look to the future – begin making plans of what you want to do for spring and summer break. Make a summer goal to read a certain number of books, learn to do a new skill or see a place you’ve never been.
For all the counselors out there feeling the February Funk, I am offering 50% off my Self-Care for Counselors class this month (CODE: LOVE50). As we know, if we don’t care for ourselves, we can’t care for others.
I am also doing a virtual talk for a school district in Texas this week on The Emotional Affects of Social Media. For those of you who would like to bring me to your school or district virtually or in-person, you can contact me at email@example.com. You can also check out my topics and offerings here.
Love to you all,