February is a month that means different things to different people. For those of us who are in love, it’s a great time to bask in that relationship. Valentine’s Day (or heck, Galentine’s, a day for celebrating all your BFFs a la Leslie Knope) is a fun chance to handcraft cards with lots of inventive glitter patterns. But there are just as many of us who aren’t in love, or who are recovering from broken hearts, or any number of scenarios in between, and it’s nice to think about the month through a different kind of lens. Winter doldrums can often set in during February, what with the holidays being long gone and no long stretches of days off to look forward to for a while. Point is, it’s a month that brings out a lot of emotions, good, bad, and in between.
There’s a way to cope with all that, though. Deciding to approach the month with some inspiration for yourself can be a good way to combat all the ups and downs of this time of year. Whether you’re glowing with joy at each snowfall or crying each time you have to scrape ice off your windshield; whether you’re carefully crafting Valentine’s cards or carefully constructing a memorial to past lovers to set on fire at a ritualistic bonfire (what, it could be therapeutic!), here are a few suggestions for promises to make to yourself to make this month count.
1. I will eat tasty food. Try out that new food cart across the street from the office!
2. I will go for a walk with a canine pal. Take your dog, borrow your neighbor’s pooch, or volunteer at your local animal shelter.
3. I’ll spend quality time with my blankets. Grey days were made for naps galore.
4. I will investigate the quality of my neighborhood coffee beans. Make a list of all the coffee shops in a ten mile radius and get to finding your perfect fit!
5. I will tell my mother I love her. Or your aunt, or your sister, or your best friend.
6. I will treat myself. Got an eye for something you’ve been saving up for? Now’s the time.
7. I’ll binge watch without guilt. My personal favorite lately has been Broadchurch, but there’s a whole slew of new stuff on Netflix this month, so you know what that means…
8. I’m going to mail a friend a letter. I don’t know about you, but a handwritten note just makes my day brighter. Trying to spread that joy helps me feel happy, too.
9. I’ll pick up an old skill. I know how to knit, but I haven’t practiced in ages. Hey, this could really help me on that whole binge-watching-sans-guilt thing—it’s not time wasted if I’m making something cozy!
10. I will learn one new thing. Right now I’m slowly working my way through an e-course on web design. But hey, if I learn how to say “what’s up” in Swahili, I’m considering that promise fulfilled.
11. I’ll bring donuts to the office. Any kind of treat shared with coworkers is an excellent way to break free of a case of the Mondays.
12. I will practice my selfie game. Ain’t no shame in flaunting your gorgeous face on social media for the world to see.
13. I will not be sorry. I’ve been inspired by one of my favorite blogs, The Frenemy, and her year of not being sorry campaign.
14. I will hug someone. I am not a big hugger, but every time I do I remember how wonderful it is.
15. I will make hot cocoa at night. Or tea, or decaf, or whatever floats your boat. It’s a nice comforting ritual I often don’t take the time for.
16. I will be mindful of my words. Sometimes (okay, a lot of times) my mouth runs away from me. I want to try and say nice things to (and about) people more often than not.
17. I will forgive myself. Pick one thing you’ve been guilting over for ages. Let that thing go, and let yourself move on.
18. I will dance. Solo dance parties are just as valid as nights out with friends, FYI.
19. I will let go of one body insecurity. Hey, that ish takes time, but think of something and mindfully get rid of it (my example: my right eye squints up when I smile. I’m going to embrace that quirk).
20. I’ll take care of my skin. Weekly mud masks, anyone?
21. I’ll try a new lipstick. If you need recommendations, can I just tell you that Mac in Russian Red rocks my whole world.
22. I’ll go to bed on time. Okay, on time-ish. Mostly on time.
23. I’ll do that one thing I’ve been putting off forever. I have a traffic ticket I need to get dismissed, but my fear of phones has me procrastinating. What’s yours?
24. I’ll talk about my feelings. There’s probably something or someone in your life you need to express your feelings about or to. I know mine, and it’ll probably be less scary once I do it.
25. I will appreciate others. Boosting someone else up can never tear you down.
26. I will take a risk. Big, small, scary, or in between — it’s up to you.
27. I will make time for myself. Carve out a night to do the things that make you feel most like you.
28. I will hope for good things. Make a list, stick it under your pillow, and let hope simmer. It might just do you good.
29. I will honor the amazing contributions others have made to make this world a better place. February is African-American History Month—a time to both reflect and read up on those trailblazers who changed the world through art, technology, activism, sheer bravery and brilliance.