This time of year all I want to do is hibernate. I wish I could disappear underneath a cozy quilt and read book after book after book with breaks to snooze along to Christmas movies, old ones like White Christmas, and maybe drink steaming hot soup from a coffee mug. Even though I LOVE winter and wouldn’t dare want to miss it, I’m a little envious of the animals who burrow inside toasty dens and wake to spring.
True animal hibernation is about conservation of energy, not sleep. My version of hibernation is about self care—sleeping and resting and escaping. It’s a time-out away from the busy-ness of life, especially during the holidays when invitations and commitments seem to align one after another.
Last weekend I hibernated on Saturday. And I plan to do it again whenever I can, an afternoon here or a snow day there. I would love to have an entire WEEK of hibernation, preferably in a well-stocked cabin in the woods (with high thread count sheets and a fireplace). Hibernation is not about roughing it. Not in my world.
How to Hibernate?
Hibernation is about rest and rejuvenating your spirit. Common sense says do a little advance planning, especially if you hope to hibernate an entire weekend. The thing to remember: gather the things you need before your seal yourself off from the world. Hibernation without coffee or a good book to read is more akin to torment. Of course, I can only speak to my personal likes and hibernation habits. Yours may look completely different.
A few of my hibernation ideas…
- Read. That book you’ve been waiting to read? Now’s the time. Read through the stack of magazines and articles you’ve been saving. Library books are always a good idea. Simply having books around you makes for a better hibernation nest.
- Comfy up your couch with favorite pillows and blankets. This will likely be ground zero for hibernation.
- Wear your favorite pajamas or comfy fleece pants. Thick socks. Whatever feels good against your skin—wear that.
- Light a fire in your fireplace and keep it going. If you don’t have a fireplace, improvise with candles.
- Even if you have a fireplace, light candles. Scented, non-scented, LED, whatever strikes your fancy.
- Surround yourself with winter nature—your Christmas tree, a bowl of pinecones, fresh garland to fill your home with the smell of fir, paperwhites in bloom, strings of dried fruit or popcorn. Nature = calm.
- Set the table and enjoy a light, healthy breakfast.
- Work a puzzle—jigsaw or crossword. Or play a board game.
- Bake something wonderful using your rolling pin. Break out those cookie cutters hidden in the back of the utensil drawer.
- Write a letter or thank you note. Use the paper you’ve been saving for a special occasion.
- Watch a favorite movie, something you haven’t seen in ages or something you watch every time it comes on. Doesn’t matter. Or, watch a movie you meant to see at the theatre but missed.
- Listen to music—classical, country, Christmas, an opera, something you’ve never taken the time to hear.
- Make soup and skillet cornbread.
- Nap. And nap some more.
- Think about something indulgent you want to do next year. Write it down.
- Sit in silence.
- Stay up late or go to bed early.
A few hibernation don’ts…
- Don’t leave your home other than through the magic of books and movies.
- If you must leave the house, go for a walk, plant tulip bulbs, sit on your porch wrapped in blankets and watch the sunset/rise.
- Whatever you do, don’t watch CNN, Fox, MSNBC, or any of the news channels.
- Limit social media or better yet, go completely dark.
- Don’t watch hours and hours of any sort of television.
- Don’t eat junk food. The idea is to feel energized and refreshed at the end of your hibernation not lethargic.
- Bottom line: ix-nay anything that causes you stress.
Regardless of where and when you steal away a little time, I highly recommend you make an effort to escape into the peace and quiet of wintertime. I promise, even a few hours will do your soul good!
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.