How to Thrive in Winter: A Case for Hibernation
So who's over the winter yet? I’m not, I like it.
But husband HATES the winter and in January I’m reminded why, every day, at least three times.
Yes it’s so frigid in the morning that your eyes tear up and when you breathe in you can feel your nose hairs freeze. Yes, it’s so dark out at 5:00 pm that you just want to go to sleep. Yes, there is nothing to do outside, you can’t go to the beach or hike without wearing a polar survival suit.
It’s during these months that I am reminded, several times, that there exists a magical land called C A L I F O R N I A, where it’s always sunny, 76 degrees, and where people wear small amounts of clothing while sitting poolside in February, eating citrus fruits that grow on trees in backyards. These happy, half-naked smiling people don’t know what they are missing though.
Because hibernation is good for us.
When we go inside in the wintertime, without the lure of all of the swimsuit clad frivolity, we have a chance to reconnect with deeper parts of ourselves. We literally go inward. For me it's a peaceful spiritually connected time. We have the opportunity to give ourselves the time to feel our feelings, the time to process meaning and perhaps even the space to heal. When we go inside during the winter, we can use the slower quiet time to discover and nurture who we really are. Of course, we also have the opportunity to binge watch our favorite Netflix and overeat comfort foods.
But for those of us who luxuriate in taking time to reflect, to dream and to process, the winter time offers us the quiet space to do that.
Hibernation can get ugly though. When we are left to ourselves for too long, it can begin to feel like solitary confinement. It is possible to forget that there are other people out there in the world, become addicted to Candy Crush, stop using full sentences and let personal grooming completely slide. By March, the people who work from home in northeast may start to resemble disoriented cavemen… a completely different type of March madness.
Here are a few ideas to enjoy hibernation
that don’t involve your TV, screens, or potato chips:
Dive into your art Take a technology break Work on the indoor house project that you’ve been wanting get to Do some yoga Meditate Write a letter to someone you’ve got to say something difficult to
Clean out your closet Write a love letter Read your scripture, whatever it is Write in your journal Create a vision board Plan an exotic adventure Plan a game night with friends Pray Try a healthy new recipe Take a bath with essential oils and mineral salts Go for a winter walk
Makeout with your partner Sit quietly in stillness and enjoy it Play your favorite instrument Sleep normal healthy hours Ugly cry- just let it all out Plan your spring garden
By the time the snow thaws, you will undoubtedly feel more connected to yourself, feel healthier, more organized, creative and ultimately enthusiastic about what’s next for you. When you use this time mindfully, the spring will feel sweeter, and you will emerge feeling clear, intentional, and ready to bloom.
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