What is it about February that makes me want to eat only chocolate and bread, pasta and crackers? I crave carbs like crazy, along with sweets. I have started to log my food every day, and as soon as February hit I ate 6 snacks a day instead of 3. Why?? I didn’t even realize I was doing it until I had to sit down every night and write it all in. I think it is that storing up for the cold, dreary month ahead vibe that hibernating animals get. Thank goodness gluten free bread is expensive and not as comforting as “real” bread, or I would be eating a loaf a day!
I have started consciously making a mental note of what I am shoving in my face, before I do it! Andddd… I try to put some of it back. If I pour a huge bowl of crackers or chips, I put half back and think, “If I am still hungry, I can come back for that half”. Normally, laziness wins over eating the other half and I get caught up watching TV or doing a craft and don’t bother. Laziness for the win? (Haha)
Yesterday was hard though. I was overtired, it was cloudy, and I felt lightheaded. So I ate. I ate a lot. I ate 3 of everything and didn’t put anything back. And I am okay with that. I don’t eat like that all the time. I just had a day of it.
There is something about Canadian February that bums me out. Even on the warm days it seems cloudy. Everything is in shades of brown, gray and dull greens. The roads are either mushy, slippery or wet. The sky is cloudy or a weird kind of muted sunny… It’s all very draining. This year I have, surprisingly, not dropped my fitness routine during February. I am also planning a garden with my very good friend (shout out to my star sister, “Starshine”! ). The prospect of little seedlings happily growing in our houses, and a prosperous garden afterward, is really comforting and uplifting.
If you’re in the same boat that I am, I have brainstormed some ways to bring joy to this dreary month:
- Download an app. Yes, technology. I will start with this one. I have a Samsung so I downloaded “Happy Wallpapers”. With pretty jewel colours and quotes like, “Do what makes you oh so happy”, I’m sure it will brighten my day.
- Watch ‘Ok, Go’ music videos on Youtube. They colour-code their outfits, have bright colours everywhere, use innovative designs and are catchy. Plus, Damian is impossibly cute, funny and well-spoken. What more could you ask for??
- Listen to your heartbeat. Yeah, you read that right. Without sounding too new age, I do this when I feel down and stressed out. I lay on the floor, put my hands over my heart and just sit there feeling it and listening in to it. It’s calming. Of course, you probably don’t want to do this in the middle of your office, so wait until you get home to do this one.
- Go to a Pet Store. Go to a pet store or volunteer at a pet shelter. Look at all the cute animals and cuddle a few if you are allowed to. Pet shelters always need volunteers, and, even if you have pets at home, it’s rewarding to help out with little furry beings in need. Pet stores are equally uplifting if you can keep yourself from buying up all the cute fuzzballs you cuddle there and is a good choice if you are short on time. Allergic to pets? Find somewhere to volunteer that fills up your heart meter, so to speak. Anything that could bring you joy and get you out of your own head is good. I have yet to do much of this- mostly I just help out at my kid’s school when I am able to.
- Buy a Plant or Start your Garden. I used to be a black thumb, so this is new to me. But I now own easy to grow succulents, since our house doesn’t get a lot of natural light (thanks awkward angles and balconies! 🙁 ). I also started a garden with a friend. We have no yard so we are sharing her yard! Helping to plant the seedlings and watching them grow under a growth light is really rewarding. When everything feels gray to you, it’s nice to see a fresh bit of green poke up and say hello. We are mostly growing veggies, with a few flowers, so it is joyful to think of the future yumminess coming our way.
- Colour. Yes, it is trendy now, but I have always loved it. It’s like a weird little happy meditation. If you colour with nothing else going on, I find it is as calming as meditation. All I concentrate on is the silence and what colour to choose next, and I feel very zen-like afterward. Colouring not your thing? Find a bright craft you like to do. Cut up pretty paper in to hearts ( you could make a garland after!), shape pom-poms, paint, or look up colourful folders on Pinterest. All will help brighten your mood through your eyes.
I hope this helps brighten your day and weekend. Have a good one, and see you next week.