|‘Tis the Season…to Break Up!
I swear I’m not making this up! The period of January 2nd through February 12th is infamously known as “break-up season,” and if you don’t believe me, just ask any divorce attorney. Interestingly, early-year splits are not limited to the romance department, but apply to a variety of areas—job changes, business partner dissolutions, or “turning over a new leaf” in your lifestyle/health goals (like eating differently to lose weight, for instance).In the case of romantic break-ups, people generally wait until after the holidays to make this type of change since, let’s face it, no one wants to be alone or dealing with major upheavals during this time of year. However, with Valentine’s Day looming, it makes sense to cut off the relationship before it arrives, thus avoiding having to buy an expensive gift for someone with whom you see no future. Regarding the job situation, seeds of dissatisfaction are often planted during the January to mid-February timeframe, even if it takes a while to find another job and actually leave.
What is so different about these particular six weeks?
I explained the relationship rationale already, but in other areas, there are a number of factors contributing to beginning-of-the-year restlessness. Firstly, the longer periods of darkness lead to mild depression for some people, causing more introspection and reflection. We may become more acutely aware of certain life issues and feelings, and think to ourselves, “I’m not happy. Why is that?”
Another aspect of the post-New Year’s period is that many of us—even with the bustle of the holidays—have had some time off from work and the chance to reconnect with family. If you’ve been over-extending yourself on the job, you might painfully sense what you’ve been missing by working so much. Again, this can cause you to question your life’s direction and whether you want to continue on your current course. Often the answer is “no,” and hence the desire for change.
Even though “’Tis the season,” major change is still not easy, even if you’re moving away from something that is harmful or limiting you. This is especially true in the case of leaving a bad relationship in hopes of finding a better match. After leaving what is old, familiar, and yet unsatisfying, you may be on your own for quite some time before a new relationship presents itself. Or you may be walking away from a job that you hated to begin a new one someplace else. What if this one is even worse? It feels risky, like jumping off an edge into the unknown.
At this point, it helps to remember that part of any great success story is what preceded the final victory…the self-centered boyfriend or girlfriend you had to walk away from, the demeaning treatment you got at your old job, the dozens of rejections before your business plan finally got backing. It takes courage, and lots of it, along with a degree of tolerance for the unfamiliar, to abandon what you’re accustomed to and break new ground. But unless you push aside the stuff in your life that isn’t working, it takes up the parking spot where your new life could be.
Having said all that don’t be afraid to call a lawyer for advice if your breakup involves anything legal. I cannot tell you how many ugly stories of being taken advantage of that I have heard in my office that started with the person saying “I was trying to be nice so I didn’t call a lawyer and it cost me a fortune.”
Now don’t read this and think that I’m telling you to dump your boyfriend, quit your job, or fire your business partner. These are your decisions, obviously, but don’t be terribly surprised if you find yourself doing some bigger-picture life evaluation right after the holidays. I encourage you to entertain those thoughts just a little, because who knows—they may be the seeds of inspiration leading to your next huge win!
Jill Thomas, Board Certified Hypnotherapist, weight-loss consultant, & author, has been a health and wellness professional for over 15 years, specializing in stress / anxiety reduction and attainment of holistic wellbeing.
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