“Why I Dread Feb”
…and what I plan to do about it this year
-Melina Gerosa Bellows
I’ve always hated February, and I always will. While the rest of the months each have their charms, February has no redeeming qualities, not to mention a Napoleonic complex. The light deprivation, the icky weather, Mother Nature at her crudest–she’s clearly pissed at February, too–the whole scene makes me S.A.D. Despite the lightbox on my desk, and a membership at a hot-yoga studio, this year I need a Survival Plan.
Here’s how I plan to cope so far this month.
1. Find Inspiration: Take poet Mary Oliver’s advice to ‘Let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.’ Combat this month’s blahs by turning within to sybaritic pleasures. If it feels good, do it.
2. Flower Therapy: Tulips, pink stargazer lilies, cheerful daffodils. Every week treat yourself to a colorful bunch of fresh flowers. Buy them right before the weekend for maximum enjoyment.
3. Blazing Fires. Seat yourself before a blazing hearth and watch the flames Riverdance.
4. Red wine. Let’s face it; a goblet of big Cab or bold Shiraz does nothave the same appeal in the sweltering heat of August. (Note: Perfect complement to suggestion 2.)
5. Cozy, flannel pajamas. In Feb., not for night time only.
6. Have a Spa Day at your gym. Try something new, like a t’ai chi class or a different cardio machine. Then use the sauna and steam rooms and take your time doing the perfect blow-dry.
7. Retail Therapy. Go to the Gap (or H &M) and buy brightly colored long sleeve cotton t-shirts. Layer them. See how many days you can go without wearing black or gray or anything blah.
8. Make yourself a truffled grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup for lunch. (Truffle cheese is available at Whole Foods, Costco or your fave gourmet market.)
9. Break out the fat jeans. (Perhaps the single positive about February is that the bikinis are safely tucked away.)
10. Have your own film festival. Spend a dreary day watching one DVD after another.
11. Go ice-skating with friends. When you land on your butt, be the first to laugh.
12. Cashmere. Splurge on a sweater or throw or socks in a yummy color (mango, periwinkle, cobalt).
13. Indulge in a box of Godiva truffles. Savor one every night after dinner.
14. Buy a box of silly Valentines. Send them to all of your girlfriends (and one person you secretly admire).
15. Spend an afternoon people watching at a café over a steaming bowl of café au lait.
Be sure to check Melina’s column next Monday for beat-the-blahs tips for Week Three…
Melina Gerosa Bellows is a best-selling author and a leading magazine editor. She is a columnist-blogger for BettyConfidential.com.