“Tis the season…” but for what? In the United States, many people have just finished celebrating Thanksgiving, are preparing to celebrate a season of miracles (Hanukkah or Christmas), are busily preparing for celebration of family, community and culture (Kwaanza), and are looking toward the New Year. Whew – that is a lot to happen within 6 weeks; especially when nature is saying “slow down”, yet our work and personal obligations often say “speed up”.
Humans are part of nature, so perhaps it would be helpful to turn to nature for tips on getting through this time of year when nature says be dormant, but calendars say be busy.
Some animals hibernate for part or all of the winter. That sounds awfully appealing when one has had a hectic day or week with no rest in sight. Even if you can’t go into a very deep sleep for the winter, try to find some time that allows you to “hibernate” from the normal day-to-day business. Schedule a long massage, hide in the bathroom for a bubble bath, or go to the garage or workshop and take a brief break.
Other animals migrate, and travel to places where the weather is warmer or they can find food. Living in Arizona, we see many people who migrate from colder to warmer climates for the winter. I used to think this was only for retired “snow-birds”, but I now see that many working adults have managed to get away for a few weeks and work remotely. Given today’s technology, this may be an option. While migrating for an extended time may not be an option for you, find ways you can mentally “migrate” to a warmer area – perhaps through renting a movie about the beach or looking back at your summer vacation pictures. (Tip: Just don’t start trying on bathing suits.)
And others animals adapt, making changes in their behavior or bodies to accommodate the winter season. Some animals, such as the fox, eat different kind of foods as the seasons change. By simply being aware that nature is saying “NOT business as usual”, realize that you have permission to sleep more, eat differently, and be a bit more languid.
When you’re feeling tired and like you just want to run away or hibernate, know that it is nature talking. Embrace being a part of nature and schedule for a little more downtown than usual; it just might make the season much jollier for all!
Please share your suggestions for how you hibernate, migrate or adapt. And happy winter.