February can be a bit blah, especially if you live in a chilly climate (as I do) covered in dingy, old snowbanks that we hope melt by the Boston Marathon in mid April, but who knows? ”Feb-blah-ary,” I’m calling it.
It’s not just the weather though. There’s a lull in sports seasons as well. Football is over. Baseball hasn’t started. Basketball is dribbling along, but things don’t really heat up until March, when the NBA playoff hunt begins and March Madness kicks off in the NCAA. We could spend our time brushing up on our Bracketology in hopes of winning this year’s office pool, but I can see by the glazed looks in some of your eyes, that you don’t give a Tarheel’s ass about college hoops. Fair enough…
There’s television, of course, with networks dangling sparkling distractions like the Grammys and Oscars to help lift this collective February funk. And the tactic works for the length of a few stunning gowns on the red carpet, but let’s face it, isn’t being cooped up watching TV all winter part of the problem? In my experience, the best way to kiss the blahs goodbye is with something sensational, as in an experience to awaken your unenthused senses. Here are some small, accessible February favs:
Sight: If you’re watching this season’s tragically bad, brain-rotting season of The Bachelor, it’s no wonder you’re depressed. I watched 5-minutes this week, which happened to take place in a funeral parlor (need I say more), and it made me want to find a dark room and sit there, staring at the wall, till the spring equinox. The other option would be to watch something that inspires your eyes, provokes your mind, and reveals breathtaking corners of the world, unreachable by reality TV. I recommend the documentary, 180 Degrees South, featuring the wise and exquisitely weathered founders of Patagonia and North Face, along with a younger contingent of surfers and seekers. It’s a crew well worth befriending for 87 minutes, and their adventure will become your ideal dose of armchair travel.
Sound: Does anything lift a mood quicker than beautiful music? The new Adele album dropped yesterday, and to borrow from fellow Boston-based blogger and interior design darling Erin Gates’s tweet hours later, it’s “BANANAS.” I’m also enthralled by a song called “Surely” by Black Dub, with its young lead singer affecting a grittier Adele-in-Training sound. Thank you to Emily Phillips for sharing that one in a recent yoga class.
Smell: Some gals kick a blue mood with a new pair of shoes. I sniff new scents. If you’re a naturalist in need of an essential oil to transport you somewhere warmer, happier, and sexier, get thee some Neroli oil. Guys, perhaps a candle? Its citrus notes are not overly feminine. On the other hand, for a fragrance that explodes flowers and smells nothing short of divine and delightful and Damn-You-February, try Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf. Sadly, I dropped my tiny bottle in a hotel bathroom in NYC last month, and it shattered. Quite literally, a flower-bomb.
Taste: This is where I take raw foodism to task: Winter soups should be hot. There, I said it. My fav is simple: Boil vegetable broth. Add one large sweet potato and 1/2 a squash (both peeled and chopped). When they soften, use a food processor or wand to puree. Add salt, cumin, and red pepper to taste. Voila: Love in a bowl! Apples and/or white beans are nice add-ons, too.
Touch: I’m not sure how I lived before reflexology. It was likely a drab existence, like February all the time. Don’t let this fate befall you. The place where I go offers a 1-hour treatment for $35 dollars, and– I don’t take these things lightly– it rivals many fancy, full-body, uber-priced spa massages. After having your feet kneaded, pressed, soaked, and soothed, you will most assuredly have a little spring in your step.