Hibernation urge – five simple ways to feel better.
September: Even those of us past our uni days invest in planners and highlighters.
January: Reading trackers, fitness monitors and every other type of goal setting under the sun.
What falls between is November. If you are currently huddled under a fleece-blanket and wishing you could lock yourself away from the rest of the world, know you are not alone. Welcome to the November-slump.
It hit me as Halloween approached.
Regular readers know I am editing a middle-grade manuscript. Since I returned from my trip South, I have been thinking about my writing beyond this project. The average number of manuscripts written ahead of publication is four. There won’t be any need for me to set resolutions in 2019 – the year will be about working through as many novel-sized stories as possible.
In the week of Halloween, I sat down to develop some ideas. Ten minutes later I was hit by the strangest feeling – I wanted a plot then and there or I was crawling under the covers with a family-sized box of Quality Streets and staying there until mid-April.
This attitude does not a story write.
It was only when I returned to my social media that I figured it out. There was a prevalent mood across my Twitter feed. The wording of each tweet was slightly different – some said demotivated, others tired or in a slump but they were saying very nearly the same thing. The sky is darker, the nights colder and it is too early to put up the fairy-lights.
When I realised I was not alone, I changed my approach. November-slump would be better known as the hibernation-urge. It comes as surely as the desire to buy a box-file comes in September. Instead of working against hibernation-urge, I chose to embrace it.
That’s not to say I put on a onesie and locked the door. The Quality-Street-and-a-blanket plan could only be healthy as a short-term solution. What this mood tells us is it is time to pull out the fleece-lined boots, cook porridge for breakfast and take care of ourselves. It sounds indulgent but putting these changes in place now might mean a more productive and happier winter.
Here are five ways to embrace hibernation urge and take care of yourself this winter.
Eat a warm breakfast:
Start the day as you mean to go on. My hot breakfast of choice is porridge – cook a batch at the weekend and you can microwave it each morning. Porridge can be dressed up with cinnamon, honey and raisins. Those flavours combined give me an instant boost and I am warmed to the tip.
Dress for the weather:
Fleece-lined boots, thermal leggings and winter-tights are my go-to clothes for keeping wrapped up outside the house. Evenings are about winter pyjamas and warm socks. Sort your wardrobe so you are wearing the right gear.
As we crave sugary chocolate-drinks it can be easy to forget the most important thing – water. To keep motivated we need to drink enough water. Carry a bottle and aim to refill it several times a day.
Light the room:
String-lights. Candles. Sparkly lamps. Our spirits lift at Christmas and it is not all to do with the joy and goodwill. We add light to our homes and hang decorations like tinsel which sparkle as they reflect the light.
It may be too early for the tree but now is a good time to put out extra light. My friend bought me some kitty-shaped string lights for my birthday. I’m going to put them in a jar for some instant sparkle.
Use scented products:
Scent is the sense we neglect most often despite the fact that smells we associate with particular things have the power to affect our mood. Smelling basil reminds me of holidays in the sun, while ginger and cinnamon remind me of making gingerbread ahead of Christmas.
Using ginger bath products or lighting a scented candle is an easy way to lift my mood.
Make a list of scents which remind you of a time when you felt comfortable then make a shopping list. Whether it is bath bombs, essential oils or scented candles, this could be a simple way to make yourself feel cosy and warm.
Have you experienced hibernation urge? What little things help you to keep on track in the winter? Let me know in the comments below.