Groundhog Day - A Time-Loop


“Groundhog Day” is a 1993 fantasy-romedy that tells the tale of narcissistic Phil Connors, a reputed weatherman with the television. Groundhog Day is a widely celebrated American/Canadian event that marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Phil, along with his crew members Rita and Larry, go to Pennsylvania to report the event. The following day, Phil wakes up on his bed and as he proceeds with his day, he realises that he has gotten stuck in some sort of a time-loop. He realises that every day, at 6 in the morning, his day begins as if in “reset mode”. No matter what he did the previous night, he would wake up on his bed and the day and its events would start all over again.

Ronald Riggio, a professor of Psychology and an author on several psycho-educational books and articles, has written in “Psychology Today” magazine about the Groundhog Day Syndrome. He explains that for some people, life seems to pass very quickly and in an uneventful manner, as if you are in a rut, the affected person would begin to repeat their routine activities on a consistent basis. However, when we truly appreciate the time that we have, and the amount of things that can be accomplished, life could take a positive turn. In the movie, Phil, who is initially subdued with the idea of having to wake up every morning to the same day and repeat the same things, later changes his take on life. Though he had tried to kill himself over and over again, he would still wake up healthy and alive, every morning. However, with time, he decides to make the most of what he has and begins to learn new skills – he learns to sculpt ice, to play the piano, he feeds a homeless man who dies at the end of every day (but that doesn’t stop Phil from bringing out the Samaritan in him every day), and he also learns to respect his lover and win her heart with the truest of intentions.

Nearly 25 years after the release of this movie, the message is loud and clear to all of us – to make the most of life and to remind ourselves to not fall into the rut, a sort of time-loop, and forget to live! It would be extremely healthy to pause and take time out, to look at ourselves and what we do, and see if we are just one of the many rats in the race! If we are, it’s important for us to stop that which we are doing, and choose to give a new dimension to life, get out of the rut, and be free to soar where we wish. However, freeing yourself from the clutches of repetition is not an easy one. There are high possibilities of our body and mind being extremely comfortable within our own cocoons. To have a new perspective also means cutting down on the old, and that might be easier said than done. A psychologist is trained to help you identify these “rut factors” and pattern in your life and help you get out of it. If you need help to break your familiar but unhealthy routines, you can always reach out to a counsellor and life can get better, again.

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