February is the longest month of the year. Shiny new year resolutions dull, pretty Christmas snow grays, mornings are still cold and dark, cabin fever sets in, and my failings seem to glaringly outnumber my wins. Not surprisingly, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is often the worst for many this month. And while I’ve never been officially diagnosed with this, I’m always surprised at how much brighter and better everything seems when the sun comes out and weather warms up every year around March. I’m certainly no medical professional, so I won’t pretend to give advice about how to treat depression. But here are three things that help me beat the end-of-winter funk:
1) Eat a rainbow. While most of us crave fresh fruits and vegetables in the warm glow of summer gardens, winter often has us craving creamy comfort foods. Instead of denying yourself an occasional mac and cheese or favorite casserole, think instead about how to supplement them with colorful fruits and vegetables. And it doesn’t have to be sexy…or even pretty. Steam some broccoli, dip some red pepper strips in ranch, rescue any veggies on the verge of spoilage by roasting them and storing them in the fridge for a quick breakfast egg and veggie stir fry or a complement to any lunch or dinner. Why eat the rainbow? Because rainbows (like unicorns) make everything better…and also maybe this.
2) Make plans. I’m sure a Caribbean vacation is an easy cure for any winter funk, but let’s be honest, that’s not a February reality for most of us. Can’t swing a weekend on the French Riviera? Plan an escape you can pull off. Think outside the box. Start plans for that big vacation you’ll take next year, schedule a “staycation,” prioritize a coffee date with a friend, or just block off an hour on your couch with a good book.
3) Lower the bar. It’s true; Perfect is the enemy of good. And for goodness sake, give yourself a break. Look around and pat yourself on the back for what you HAVE accomplished this year. Have you been to the gym past January 12th (the date of demise for most new year resolutions)? Did you eat something that wasn’t “grown” in a factory today? Heck, did you get out of bed today? Yeah! High five that shit!
While we are dedicated to becoming our best selves at Catalyst, we also recognize that our best selves don’t have to be perfect. Wondering just how good is good enough? Sit down, put your feet up, and check out this read. We challenge you to find your 30%, get round, and find joy in relative failure…and February.