How’s your February going? The fact that you opened this article suggests to me that it’s not going as well as you’d like.
Sorry about that.
There are a few reasons this could be the case, but what’s important first and foremost is that you are not alone. As someone who has a birthday in February, I’ve always quite liked it, but it has historically been hard to rally a crew together for any kind of party because everyone is generally a bit exhausted and bummed out. (I like to think that’s balanced out by them all being able to buy my birthday presents in the Boxing Day sales though, so it’s not all bad.)
But enough about me, let’s talk about you. Why does your February suck so hard?
There are a few potential culprits:
New Years resolutions
This will come as a surprise to exactly no one, but February is the most common month we realise we’ve set our sights too high when making New Years resolutions, and we give up on them entirely. Actually only half of that is true. Yes, we give up on our resolutions in February, but rather than realising we probably made a totally unrealistic proclamation – possibly fuelled by champagne and bravado at 12:01am on 1 January – we instead decide that the fact we aren’t sticking to our claims makes us massive losers.
Humans are dumb like that.
Credit card bills and extra curricular/school fees
February is when we get All The Bills. The Christmas present spending, the summer holiday, the back to school fees and uniforms and lunchboxes and hats and shoes and stationery and freaking text books, not to mention the extra-curricular activities. This time of year is expensive and that can be super stressful if you don’t have a healthy buffer to draw on (and even if you do). Not only can this be financially stressful, but some of us – women are big on this – link our finances with our feelings of self worth, so we feel like massive failures if we have to defer payments or ask for help.
Yep, humans are dumb like that too.
Ah yes, there’s a reason January as is known as Divorce Month. All that spending time together, and holding on until after the holidays to deal with your shit can eat at you from the inside, and this is the time of year when relationships are known to be dissolved. And sure, this is February, but we’re still dealing with the wash up of the month before. Either you’re working on repairing from the stress of the previous month, or you’re dealing with a whole new scary world of separation and divorce.
Nothing dumb about this one, but it is incredibly human. (If you’re in the separation/divorce side of that equation, check out our Champagne Divorce Club for all the tips and support you’ll need.)
The good news
Okay, none of those problems will go away on their own, but it’s encouraging to know that you’ve survived every other February that life has thrown at you, and you’ll most likely survive this one too. Yes, your maxed-out credit card still needs to be taken care of, but it’s slow and steady steps that will get you there. Unfortunately, Visa doesn’t recognise self-flagellation as currency (I’ve checked, they said that only worked with Catholic Mutual bankcards).
The key is to reframe it, and to treat yourself with the compassion you would extend to any other friend you really cared about.
If you’d like a step-by-step guide to that, check out Tara Brach’s RAIN concept. It’s all about radical self-compassion – a concept we love. In a nutshell, in any stressful situation, Tara recommends we:
- Recognise what is going on
- Allow the experience to be there, just as it is
- Investigate with interest and care
- Nurture with self-compassion.
We guarantee the RAIN approach will help you love yourself more, if you put your heart and soul into it. And if all else fails, remember that is February is the shortest month of the year, so you just need to hold on a bit longer…