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I used to like February. Big snowfalls would force schools to cancel classes. We kids got to build igloos, ride our sleds down hills and pelt each other with snowballs. It meant extra freedom to frolic.

But then I grew up, and February and I had a falling-out. Every February I would come down with an acute case of cabin fever. Skidding across ice suddenly felt more treacherous than fun. 

Now I hate February, and evidently have plenty of company. A Gallup survey once found only 2% of Americans ranked February a favorite month, tying it with January. The term “I hate February” recently drew 214 million Google results.

No wonder February is hard to like. For starters, it’s cold out there (though January is historically colder). February is also hazardous to our health. Flu peaks. We weigh more in February than in almost any other month. Some of us are more prone to anxiety, depression and the condition aptly named SAD (seasonal affective disorder).

We’re evidently more likely to drink alcohol, too. A study by BACtrack Breathlyzer showed that February has more days than any other month — three — in the Top 10 days of the year with the highest blood alcohol content among Americans. February is second only to January as the least popular month for getting married. By February, most of us have probably broken most of our New Year’s resolutions, and now need to wait 10 months to make new ones.

OK, so February offers a few positives. Crime typically goes down, due largely to the cold. It’s also among best times of year to look for a new job.

Still, I’m tempted to call for February to be repealed. Just legislated right out of existence, enabling us to skip straight from January to March. Such a masterstroke could improve mental health and well-being on a global scale.

Granted, this proposal has drawbacks. Calendar publishers would be grossly inconvenienced. Skiers and ice skaters might have to take up crocheting for a spell.  

Equally serious, Valentine’s Day would have to be rescheduled, requiring florists, Hallmark and Cupid to adapt accordingly. Ditto Groundhog Day, with Long Island's favorite rodents, Holtsville Hal and Malvern Mel, furloughed from playing meteorologist. American Heart Month could be slotted into January, fitting given that’s when heart attacks are actually more common.

But no. Kissing February farewell forever would be hard to enact, much less enforce. The logistics could get tricky.

My prescription for the malaise we call February is to do what I do and up your game. If you exercise, do so more frequently as well as longer and harder. If you eat smart, eat even smarter. If you typically get together with your friends for lunch once a week, go twice a week. If you like TV, skip the news and watch comedies. Stick your face in the sun, indoors or out, for a few minutes a day. Oh, and if you already drink wine with dinner, drink a drop or two more.

Trust me: this combination of discipline and pampering is a guaranteed cure-all. Soon March will be here, and then spring, and finally the glories of summer. You’ll feel reborn. Almost before you know it, February will be long forgotten.

Bob Brody, a consultant and essayist in Forest Hills, is author of the memoir "Playing Catch With Strangers: A Family Guy (Reluctantly) Comes Of Age."


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