Okay, this might be a hot take, but, in my humble opinion, November is without a doubt the worst month of the year. For all of you November fans out there, I have 3 points of evidence to substantiate my claim.
- Seasonal depression! Let’s be honest all the pretty October leaves have fallen and all November has to offer is rain, grey skies, dampness and naked branches. There’s not even pretty December snow yet! This personally leaves me in a huge “I don’t want to get out of bed for my 8:30” rut where I’m unmotivated and uninspired.
- Flu season, exams, and daylight savings. All three in one month seems excessive but alas November is the best at being below average. It’s that time of year when you get that sore throat, runny nose and have to run out of lectures mid coughing fit. At the same time classes are winding up and exam season is coming around the corner so school is in high gear. Then you get hit with daylight savings and lose an hour which means shorter days. Winter is coming. When you factor all of these things together you can be sure that November is the perfect recipe for stress and breaking points. If you find yourself having a mild panic attack, it’s not you, it’s just November.
- Lack of personality. You might think that months don’t have personalities, but if you think that, you’re very wrong. December is by far the jolliest month with all the festivals of light, rosy cheeks and hot cocoa with tiny marshmallows. Then February is the romantic month, April is pastel pretty, October is the “it’s not a phase mom” goth month, and July is the surfer dude who has bleached highlights and flip flops. So, then what is November’s personality? I think this is the main problem with November, it lacks a celebration! I know that there’s Remembrance Day and that’s an extremely important day. However, it is a day of remembrance, not celebration. Especially in the colder months, people need a reason to party and something to look forward to and November just isn’t cutting it.
So, here’s my proposal. It’s time to give November an extreme makeover. What November needs most is an inspiring mantra and a fun-loving holiday.
As we’ve gone over, several interconnected factors culminate to make November a tough time for mental health. Therefore, an inspiring mantra is a must! Try putting encouraging post-it notes on your mirror or other places around your room to read when you wake up or go to bed. These notes can have something as simple as “You can do it!” or could contain a favourite quote that gets you revved up.
Another thing that I find helpful when I am feeling uninspired and unmotivated is to make a mood board. Your board can be online, adding pictures into an online college or can be an old-school magazine, scissors and glue type of thing. Either way, having a visual image of your goals and positivity can be a saviour on gloomy November days.
Finally, remember that those around you are going through the same thing and try to support them as much as possible. However, it’s important to remember that support can come in all different shapes and forms. Support could be making someone tea when they have a cold and giving friends a pep talk when they’re feeling down. But, sometimes, support means not talking about it and instead giving them space to breathe and being there in a way that they can handle. Regardless, remember that everyone is going through a lot. Try to cut people some slack and give them a break on their worst days.
The second part of this little two-step plan is creating a November holiday. I’ve always told my mom that when I have kids, I’m going to create a fake holiday in November for them. This holiday is my way of shielding my kids from the harsh truths of post-fall and pre-winter. But, as I began to prepare myself up for this upcoming November, I realized that in the act of self-love, I deserve a fake November holiday.
When I say a November holiday, I don’t necessarily mean that it needs to be a huge, elaborate ordeal – although that would be cool. Instead, I just mean that it is helpful when you have something to look forward to. Plan something! Plan anything! Sit down with your friends and carve out some time this month to do something fun, whether that is a wine and cheese night, a potluck, or creating an elaborate November holiday. The most important part of this is to not bail on it! November can be a busy time with essays due, final tests and lots of colds but try to commit to whatever fun thing you plan because life always gets in the way no matter what month it is.
So, this is my official declaration that November 2019 is going to be a hell of a time. Yes, November, you tend to suck traditionally, and I thoroughly resent you for it.
But, this year, I am promising myself to reverse this historical trend and alter the trajectory of this November and all Novembers to come. There are only twelve months in a year, and I, for one, am going to make the most out of all of them.
Featured image from http://www.fubiz.net/en/2014/09/26/minimalist-surreal-photography/