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Susquehanna Life

Surviving the February Funk

Jan 25, 2016 12:03PM ● By Susan Ryder

February ugh! The months of decreased light and temperatures weigh on me like a wet blanket on a cold breezy day, emotionally chilling me for an entire month. I enjoy much about winter, but during February I feel like a slug.  Every task gives the impression of being harder than it is.  Sorting the mail, how extraordinarily difficult; doing the dishes, oh the agony; making dinner— might as well be a marathon. 

The couch sings its sirens song every evening when the sun sets.  It goes something like this, “Put on your pajamas, snuggle in, turn on the TV, or surf the web. Better yet just go to bed.”

It would be nice if I could do that, just go to bed for the month of February.  But, the rest of the world is still turning and if I did succumb to the malaise of February, I wouldn’t feel very good about myself come March.

I have however, developed a strategy to get me through to spring, by making some goals and posting them on my office bulletin board.  These goals contain monumental tasks such as cleaning under my kitchen sink, and having friends over for dinner.  The list continues with ski at least three times this month, a sport that is new to me, and sort my socks. Pulling on my warmest pair, I try to walk with my neighbor a few days a week. Exercise helps and for me experiencing the outdoors serves as a February salve, even at 25 degrees.

This list is not a magic bullet, however. Even after sorting, cleaning and walking, I still have the same struggles every evening.  So my goals don’t take away the problem, but they do mitigate February’s impact on my psyche, waistline, and home organization. Looking around and seeing my small accomplishments, is much better than looking around and seeing a complete mess. 

The emotional disaster that February represents is not unique to me. Folks often share their February Funk stories, as well.  Comfort exists in knowing that, many other folks are faking February, too. I move through it, try to make the most of it, and accept it for what it is— a temporary, although powerful, drag on my motivation and mood.

Just as consistent as February’s arrival, however, resides the antidote for this problem.  Soon enough the days lengthen, the sun rises higher in the sky, the air warms. Then incrementally my motivation arrives, my mood levitates, and before I know it, it’s spring.

Here are a few indoor ideas to get through the February Funk.

Try a craft class- Craft stores such as Michaels and AC Moore offer beading, floral, and paper crafting at a reasonable price.

Visit the local library- Libraries offer book clubs, children’s programs and speakers.

Check out indoor farmers’ markets- Many towns in Pennsylvania have indoor farmers markets, such as the Broad Street Market, Harrisburg; Central Market, York; Root's Country Market & Auction, Manheim; West Shore Farmer's Market, Lemoyne.

Visit History- Outdoor attractions often include indoor options for example Gettysburg Visitor Center, Hershey's Chocolate World , The Hershey Story Museum, and Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia.

Seek out the local parks and recreation association - Local parks and recreation programs offer opportunities for exercise, trips, and learning.

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