February To Dos

February is here! This year's February is a "perfect month" for those of us who use Sunday-Saturday calendars. That's kind of cool don't you think? It's also of course a month filled with lovey-dovey feelings and February 15th discount chocolates. This February, let's get familiar with love in all its forms, including love for yourself.

Watch some movies that really challenge and expand your definition of love. Love is an essential human experience, and it's no surprise that a bunch of stories have been written about it-- but to be frank, sometimes the love stories we watch idealize some pretty ugly aspects of "love" (I'm looking at you, The Notebook, and Love Actually). And other stories seem to make it seem like romantic love is the only kind of love out there. That's a really boring and depressing way to see the world-- we should all totally love our friends, family, and ourselves. I challenge you to watch a movie that is about love that isn't a romance! You'll be better off for it. Some of my favorites: Her, Juno, and Dear Zachary.

Strengthen a bond with someone. Maybe it's a significant other, maybe it's your mom or sibling, maybe it's a friend you've lost touch with, or a classmate or coworker you barely know. Go out of your way and write them a nice email or letter. Take them on an adventure you've never been on together-- whether it's coffee or camping or a mani/pedi or snowboarding. Be present with them. Be honest about what they mean to you. Let them further into your world than they were before. Be a better friend, significant other, sibling, or acquaintance.

Find ways to appreciate yourself. For some reason, most people think it's weird to take time to appreciate how great you are. But you are. And thinking you're super lame and boring or whatever is not really helpful or productive. It's actually kind of the opposite of that. So taking time out to appreciate yourself is actually a decent use of time. You can do some exercises in romanticizing yourself-- because you probably don't do it enough. You can write a list of things you like about yourself and keep a journal of good things you did or accomplished each day for the whole month. Just make time to remember who you are, and ind those strengths that you can use to make the world a better place.

Create something wonderful. Making stuff builds self-esteem and makes us happier. Take some time this month to make something, whether you try your hand at painting, play with some playdoh like in the good old days, write poetry, build a robot, plan an imaginary travel adventure, or perform some songs at an open mic. Put something out there that wasn't there before. It doesn't have to be "good" or "amazing"-- it's just gotta make you happy.

What are you excited to do this month?

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