February: A Month to Cleanse, Share Love & Self Care
Welcome to the month with the most fascinating facts: February, the official last of the winter months in the northern hemisphere, is one of the most misspelled words in the English language (don't forget that extra r). It is also the month with the shortest number of days, was created out of the superstition of a Roman King named Numa Pompilius (check it out, you won't believe it) and symbolizes new beginnings, originating from the Latin word “Februa,” which means “to cleanse.”
February is also the most romantic month of the year, with an entire day dedicated to reminding us to celebrate those we hold dear. We emphasize our love and/or infatuation. We show them that someone appreciates and honors them. We tell them that they are loved.
But how about this: how might that day be different if we showed that same amount of appreciation and compassion to ourselves? And since where our attention goes, our love flows, then wouldn't this also be a reminder that someone special cares for you? Values you? Thinks you're special? Important? Loved?
Wouldn't this then be the perfect time to practice on ourselves what we are giving to others?
Although the term “self care” has been reduced to a trendy buzz-word, let's not forget that self
care means taking care of yourself so that you can safeguard your mental and physical wellness, proactively. It is “giving the world the best of you instead of what's left of you.”
If you're waiting for your schedule to open up so you can have the time to indulge in yourself, you might be waiting for a while. When you're the last one on the priority list and you're not practicing self care, you're leaving yourself the unhealthy remnants of you.
Self care is all about you being loving to you – reminding yourself that someone special is very proud of you and you are loved. So sleep a bit longer. Go outside. Yes really, bundle up, go outside and take a few deep breaths. Meditate. Do a gentle yin class in the morning or better yet, in the middle of the day. Hydrate your body. Eat whole foods that nourish you. Treat yourself to something special – you deserve it. Slow down. Enjoy this thing we call life. (Thank you, Prince.)
And whenever you make that conscious decision to begin the practice of self-care, write about your progress in a journal. Instead of just one day, make it a week and then an entire month and eventually a whole year. You, taking good care of you - how awesome that could be.
Fun Fact for you:
Did you know that the Gregorian calendar’s oldest ancestor, the first Roman calendar, had a glaring difference in structure from its later variants: it consisted of 10 months rather than 12. In order to fully sync the calendar with the lunar year, the Roman king Numa Pompilius added January and February to the original 10 months. The previous calendar had had 6 months of 30 days and 4 months of 31, for a total of 304 days. However, Numa wanted to avoid having even numbers in his calendar, as Roman superstition at the time held that even numbers were unlucky. He subtracted a day from each of the 30-day months to make them 29. The lunar year consists of 355 days (354.367 to be exact, but calling it 354 would have made the whole year unlucky!), which meant that he now had 56 days left to work with. In the end, at least 1 month out of the 12 needed to contain an even number of days. This is because of simple mathematical fact: the sum of any even amount (12 months) of odd numbers will always equal an even number—and he wanted the total to be odd. So Numa chose February, a month that would be host to Roman rituals honoring the dead, as the unlucky month to consist of 28 days