February Blues

February is the worst month ever.  Seriously.  Especially if you live in Ireland.  (Or anywhere in the Northeastern United States!)

When I first moved here, a fellow expat mentioned that February was the worst month to live in Ireland.  I didn’t pay much heed to her comment at the time.  It was my first February in Ireland, I was 8 months pregnant with Patrick, and basically focused on getting to the end of what had felt like a very LOOOONG pregnancy.  But by the next year, I completely understood what my friend Andrea was talking about.  February is the worst.month.ever.  It is cold, and windy, and still full-on winter here.  The month still feels quite dark and dreary.  It’s not that the weather or lack of sunlight is so much worse in February than in other months, but it is the 4th month of wind, rain, and cold.

November is cold, but the holiday season is just around the corner.

December is full of fun, holiday cheer, and plenty of activities to get you out of the house.

January is “new year, new you” and usually starts out with enthusiasm, which quickly wanes.

…..And by the fourth month, we have all had enough.

It always seems like something goes wrong in February.  Last year, all 5 of us got the flu for TWO WEEKS. (The first year I had not gotten a flu shot – that worked out well!) This year, it’s been a pile of frustrations that have slowly been accumulating. So tired of it.  Also, February is the beginning of spring in Texas, and pictures of sunny days fill my social media, which makes me even crabbier.  Before I moved to Ireland, I thought Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) was a myth.  I was wrong!  SAD (worst acronym ever) is very prevalent here.

So what am I doing about it this year?

  • I think that at least knowing that February is rough helps me prepare for it.  When the bad thoughts start to pile up, I think to myself – only a few more weeks until March.
  • Get outside, weather permitting. It was sunny last Monday, and the schools were off for mid-term break, so the kids and I went on a walk in Phoenix Park.  It was cold.  And windy.  But at least the sun was shining, and we all got a bit of fresh air.  It also helps me to see that my kids are just as happy hunting for sticks, while tromping through the mud, as they are running around at the beach.
  • My parents are here!  (Ok, so this really isn’t something that I’m doing, but it helps that my parents are joining us for a few weeks.)
  • I’m taking Vitamin D.  Because the angle of the sun is so low here, we do not get as much Vitamin D as someone who lives in say, Texas. It may have a placebo effect, but I don’t care.  I do feel a bit better taking it.
  • We booked a trip to Portugal over Easter. Having something out on the horizon to look forward to, helps tremendously.  Every time it starts to sleet (again), I just think, “Only 48 more days until we go to Portugal!”
  • And speaking of getting away, Brad and I are going to Berlin for a long weekend. Well, Brad has a conference. I’m taking advantage of my mother watching the kids, and tagging along. It will still be cold and dark, but at least I’ll be seeing new sights.

Is February bad where you live?  What do you do to banish the negativity?

Only 6 days until March.

One thought on “February Blues”

  1. I just tripped over your site while crying my eyes out. I know I shouldn’t live here but I feel so stuck. Everything hurts all the time starting around January 20 till April 20. Worse part is I’m a nanny and have to put on the fake cheer 9 1/2 hours a day. I’m faking. Even the toddlers know I’m faking. March vacation plans don’t seem to be helping this year. I lived in California for ten years and sorry I ever left. Now student loans keeping me trapped. Thanks for letting me vent a bit. I left a fake email. Sorry, but I don’t want to get caught feeling this way.

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