Kiss Feb-blah-ary Goodbye with Your 5 Senses

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.

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  • Megan

    Great article! Feb is definitely a little dull. School isn’t quite stressful yet…but I’ve probably just jinxed it by saying that. *Knock on wood! I’m counting down the days until Spring Break and baseball season. I’m going to embarrass myself and admit to keeping up with the new season of The Bachelor but I watched the intro to a documentary on the Appalachian Trail and I’m now tentatively planning a 3 days hiking/camping trip. Yes, it is definitely more worth while watching something inspiring. Smell….we have a new soap in the bathroom. It’s quite simple: Fresh Market Apple, but the change in smell is extremely refreshing. Now I need to try your soup recipe!

  • Drudge

    Thanks for the insights.

    Leave it to the OG for the brighter side of things

    Some Febs,, I go to Tan booths for 2-3 mins. Am realy pale so I just go for the sunblast.

    I also buy fruite and cool whip and have tropical meals
    Your soup sounds scrumptious

    Never get organized enuf to go on any yogi Feb retreats to “someplace tropical” So I Try and grow flowers in my fish tank .

    On the snowy blah snow emergency dayz I go to Dillons Russian Steam Bath after a class( If any studios are open) Role in snow and sit in some of the best heat ever..Mundayz is ladies night FYI

    I also find myself meditaiting more this month and this year I tried a new exercise This year it has been Tai Chi .It was realy surprising the overlap in systems with yoga , Kung Fu and Tai Chi. I look into it and they are off shoots of yoga.

  • Julie

    I need sun (does swapping out “sun” for ‘vitamin d” make me sound healthier?)! The first thing I’m going to do when it’s warm is lie on the Common to feel the sun on my face (even if I’m covered head-to-toe except for my face). At this point I don’t even need the snow to be melted. I will take a trashbag, lay it on top of the snow, and voila – the perfect waterproof towel to soak up rays.

    And walking through the mall just looking at bright, light springwear makes me feel a little better… can’t wait to see the Spring styles of you and your other stylish Boston friends at the Fashion Rules Party at Neiman Marcus next Thursday!

  • Julia

    I just discovered your site and I’m in love. I plan to read from the very beginning this weekend. Keep up the good work and hopefully one day I can attend one of your retreats.