It’s finally February!!! Not that February is like a great month, it does have Valentine’s Day if that’s your thing but it means that January is over! Call it seasonal disorder, the winter blues or just the low point of the year but lots of us, including me, find this time of year tough. The days are super short, it’s so cold and people have recently stopped giving me presents every time I show up somewhere. But in the last few years I’ve found it a lot better and that’s because I realized the pattern of being low around the same time each year. Once I knew what the problem was it sort of just went away.
It probably helped that as I got older I got wiser and did a lot of things to take better care of my mental health. But I really do think that overall the biggest thing that helped me minimize my winter blues was realizing that it was just something that happened to me in January every year. There are things in life that are just going to be hard that we can’t do a whole lot about and thankfully lots of things we can do something about. I’m a big believer in thinking deeply enough about yourself and your life that you can really identify the root of the problem is often over half the battle. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make changes, work on ourselves or excuse poor behavior but knowing what’s REALLY going on can often lessen the load all by itself.
Knowing what the issue really is let’s you reframe your thinking almost automatically. For example, once I just acknowledge that January is the pit of the year it’s a lot easier to perk up and just move past it. Plus if you think about it at the end of January winter is really almost over. February is so much shorter, the days are over an hour longer at the end of February then at the beginning. Plus once you hit March you’re really almost there! You might even find that once you put your finger on the pulse of the problem the steps to move past it suddenly become more clear. You might even find it just affects you a whole lot less.
If you find yourself in a funk, lower or moodier than you should be take some time to really think about it. Book some time to yourself, spend some time moving in nature and try to figure out exactly what the issue you’re having is. The perfect time for that thinking could even be another snowstorm this weekend!