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Beating the February Blues

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  • lit candles and rolled towels

Meghan, Queen's Square | February 1, 2019

A confession: February is my least favourite month of the year.

Why? The holidays are gone but the credit card bills for all those presents, food and parties are still within view. The glistening white blanket of snow that lent its magic to December nights looks noticeably greyer. The roads are lined in slush and parking lots are heaped with sludgy ice piles.

This is a time of year when I find taking care of oneself and indulging in everyday luxuries is especially important. If you’re as fed up with February as I am, here are ten ideas to improve even the most dismal winter day:

8 Minute Meditation1. Calm anxiety and manage moods using mental exercises such as mindfulness or meditation. I like the Headspace app for its simple and friendly approach to clearing time for contemplation.
 
Home Health Spa2. Chapped lips, hangnails and dry skin are the banes of a Canadian winter. Make your own moisturizers and soaps, do a manicure or indulge in some other spa time.
 
Hot Drinks for Cold Nights3. There is nothing more soothing than a hot drink on a cold day. Take your winter warm-ups to the next level with recipes to make special recipes for hot chocolate, tea and coffee.
 
Happiness A-Z4. Seek out mood boosters. Here at Idea Exchange, we have light therapy lamps that are helpful for treating symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, optimistic books for inspiration and humour books to keep you laughing.
 
Teach Yourself Visually Weights5. Exercise inside with yoga, pilates or weights or bundle up and venture outside with winter activities like skiing, skating, snowboarding and Nordic walking.
 
Escape to French Polynesia6. When I’m not able to go abroad, armchair traveling with travel books and DVDs on exotic locations (maybe Costa Rica, New Zealand or Bali?) is the next best thing.
 
Hygge7. Scandinavian cultures have experience dealing with winter woes. Learn about the Danish concept of Hygge, a cozy style of living and décor that works well for short, blustery days and long, dark nights.
  
Watch Dogs 28. Enjoy small pleasures suited for hibernation mode such as streaming favourite movies via our film service Kanopy, downloading favourite eBooks from the library using the Libby app or borrowing immersive video games from our varied collections.
 
Monet9. Add more colour to your life with art! Visit an exhibition at the Cambridge Art Galleries or check out art books to inspire yourself with beauty. Matisse, Monet, Van Gogh and Chagall are examples of famous painters who feature vivid colours in their work.
 
DIY Succulents10. Make your own personal indoor paradise with houseplants. Cuddly pets are optional, but great for curling up with when you’re feeling cold.
 

Lastly, don’t forget that February is also the shortest month of the year. Spring is on its way and with it, sunshine, birdsong, green grass and T-shirt weather!