6 Ways to Fight the February Funk

air force plane snow 1200
(John Winn/DVIDS)

The weather is dreary. Everyone is sneezing and coughing. Another solo Valentine’s Day is looming. Naps are daily contemplations. And I don’t care what Punxsutawney Phil predicted, spring is nowhere in sight.

I’ve got a case of the February Funk.

I guess it’s normal. The month of February ushers in the post-holiday letdown (as well as the influx of holiday bills you’re still trying to pay off). It’s when the first hints of PCS season start to appear on the horizon, and for some of us, the start of thinking about selling houses and researching new duty stations. It’s when the kids celebrate their 100th day of school, which is only a reminder of how far away we still are from summer vacation.

The other day, as my fingers froze because I left my gloves in the pockets of my other jacket, I tried to come up with one positive thing about February. And the best thing I could come up with is that it’s the shortest month of the year.

But just as we can’t hide under the covers and ignore Monday mornings, we can’t let the February Funk get us down. So what can we do about it? Here are 6 ways to fight the Funk:

1. Turn someone else’s frown upside down. When I told my mom I needed to find ways to get out of my funk, she shared one of her favorite pick-me-ups. “Sometimes, when I’m in a bad mood, I like to make other people smile. So if I’m at the grocery store and I see someone who is obviously in a bad mood, I’ll approach them and say, ‘Good morning! How are YOU today?!’ Usually that brings a smile to their face, which makes me smile.” (Definitely, a good tip for that payday commissary run when there’s never a shortage of people in need of a smile.)

2. Be your own Valentine. Will your sweetheart be gone for Valentine’s Day? (Or does your sweetheart miss the mark when it comes to the perfect gift?) Then treat yourself to what you’d want him to give you. There’s nothing wrong with sending yourself flowers. Or wrapping a box of your favorite chocolates. Or seeing a chick flick by yourself. Or booking that massage you wish your hubby was giving you. You deserve something special. So treat yourself.

3. Replace your snow boots with running shoes. For me, a good workout can cure just about any case of the blah’s. But on cold winter days, the problem is less about finding the time and more about finding the motivation to lace up those running shoes and brave the outdoors. What works for me? Routine, routine, routine. So find a workout routine that fits into your schedule, and stick with it. Not only will winter workouts help knock out the Funk, but they’ll also ensure you’re swimsuit ready come summertime.

4. Plan pet therapy. Who needs retail therapy when you can get unconditional love (and none of the credit card debt) from a pet? Most mornings, when I’m lost in my own little world of military news and rough drafts, my dog nudges his nose under my arm with a wag of his tail and a plea for attention. A few minutes of puppy cuddle time, and I’m a new person. Don’t have a pet? Offer to walk a neighbor’s dog. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Visit a local pet store. Or just look at these pictures for a pet fix.

5. Do unto others…Are you down because your husband just left for deployment? Find another milspouse who is going through the same thing and surprise her with a secret gift or a home-cooked meal. Are you struggling to lose weight? Encourage a friend with the same goals to get out and go on a daily walk with you. Do you know what it’s like to need some alone time? Offer to babysit your friend’s kids so she can recharge (and maybe offer to reciprocate babysitting services). These are all mutually beneficial because both parties end up feeling better in the end.

6. And if all else fails, take a nap. Just like that pesky craving for potato chips, you have to give in to that need for a nap every now and again. And one day soon, you’ll wake up and find that the calendar page has turned and the February Funk has lifted. Bring on March!

Do you suffer from the February Funk? How do you fight the Funk?

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