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  • Writer's pictureDr Victor Thompson

Does your day feel like Groundhog Day?

Groundhog Day takes place on the 2nd February each year. The key component of Groundhog Day is a ceremony in Pennsylvania, USA, and the appearance of a groundhog - Punxsutawney Phil. During the ceremony, Punxsutawney Phil is encouraged out of his lair, while officials watch him closely to determine if he sees his shadow, before going back inside. If official overseers deem that he sees his shadow, then the prediction is that there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he does not, there will be an early spring.

Most of us, however, have a different view of Groundhog Day, thanks to Hollywood. We think of Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day, where he is sent by his TV network to report on Groundhog Day, but after a kind of magic spell, ends up repeating this day, day after day… with the same job, the same people, the same things happening, which drives him to despair.

So, when we think of Groundhog Day, we think of being stuck in the same challenging situation, day after day.

When working with my clients in therapy this week after Groundhog Day, I couldn’t help thinking that many of us are trapped in a kind of Groundhog Day. Where we – Monday to Friday – follow the same routine – when we get up, what we eat for breakfast, how we get to work, what we do at work, where we sit, what and when we have our first hot drink of the working day… For most of us, there’s a kind of weekend Groundhog going on too.

After months or years, the novelty of what we do wears off. Days are predictable, which means that they don’t require much of our mental attention. So, our mind seeks out something to think about. Often this is the drudgery. The stuckness. The problems. The consequence is that our mood drops. So, we seek some novelty or escape – and you know what we have that provides that? I think that you guessed it. Social media – Facebook, Instagram or any other click bait. We switch on the TV, Youtube, Netflix… to tune-out of our day.

And things seem to get worse, and worse.

All of this can happen easily. It creeps up on us. It almost happens by default.

It’s understandable.

But it can be changed. You can break-out of your Groundhog Day. You can break the apparent spell, that is keeping you trapped, down…

Does this sound like you? Could you do with breaking your Groundhog Day spell? If so, get in touch to arrange an appointment and start feeling better.

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