Hibernation: What is it, and why am I doing it?

Hibernation is a survival strategy designed to conserve energy when conditions are harsh.

How Stuff Works*

How are you after Christmas? Have you taken the decorations down yet? Have all the goodies that you bought for Christmas been eaten up yet? Are you back at work? (today, for me) or still off with children for whom the excitement of Christmas and the presents you bought them has evaporated?

Winter is a time to pause

I used to find these next six weeks were horrible. Dark, dank, depressive. They were often the worst weeks of weather as well, with only the occasional hope of a real Snow Day off school to brighten them up. The extra weight from Christmas is still there, the mornings are too dark to get the blood running and very often a cough, cold or other virus would sit on top of all that making me feel even worse. It might have been a marketing ploy by a holiday company, but naming the third Monday in January Blue Monday was not a bad idea. Whether it’s true or not, the impression that many people have is that January is (to use a great Scottish weather term) dreich (said dreek).

I’m not prepared to write off one eighth of a year as depressing. Life’s too short, so a couple of years ago I looked around and sought a solution. The beautiful website, Beauty That Moves, provided a solution for a couple of years in an online retreat called Hibernate. She’s taking a year off new content this year… but a ‘best of’ self-paced course is available. If you need structure, or simply don’t have the time to think through your own course this year, I can highly recommend the course as a source of inspiration.

Winter is a season of recovery and preparation

This year, however, I looked at the idea of Hibernate, and the courses of the past, and felt it was time for me to own my own Hibernation. To build my own survival strategy. I took Heather’s headings, Renew, Gather, Nourish, Create and Rest and adapted them for my busy working mother’s lifestyle. These are my personal areas to explore and enjoy:

Craft: Over the next 6 weeks I aim to do some crafting, in areas that are familiar to me and also to learn and practise a new craft.

In seed time learn in winter enjoy

Company: I want to host a couple of hyggely gatherings at home, and to gather with friends outside the home to build stronger relationships and learn about those I love.

Care: Self-care is vital to our mental well-being. I intend to incorporate activities that will boost my physical and mental health, so that at the end of my hibernation they are part of my everyday life.

Curate: I am a reader, and I learn so much from any and everything I read. I have a short list of six books to read, one a week I hope, that will encourage me to learn about myself and to curate my life.

Cook: I have got myself into a rut, kitchen-wise, so I want to introduce six new recipes and to make them regulars on my meal-time planner. I’m looking to introduce more vegetables, more spice and a wider variety of nutrients to my diet than before Christmas.

Every day this week I’m looking at one of these areas and just setting out the bare bones of what I want to achieve. And of course I’ll post my progress regularly. If you’d like to join in, why not draw up a few ideas for your own hibernation and share them on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #hibernate2018. You can find me on Facebook as How to Hygge The British Way, although truthfully you’ll get a better reaction and enjoy being a member of The Hygge Nook more… it really is my happy place on Social Media, and I love how members post and share. It’s like a coffee break with a world of friends. On Instagram, I’m britishhyggejem. I tend to post my quotes there, and a few pictures of everyday life.

And, if you’re thinking of hibernating along with me, here’s the advice graphic I posted before Christmas. Happy hibernation!

Hibernation Infographic

My books have more ideas that are good for hibernating with, and are all available from Amazon.

50 Ways to Hygge the British Way  is available in Paperback and Kindle version and so is How to Hygge Your Summer, again in Paperback and Kindle form, from Amazon.

Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version.

If you purchase through the links on this page, I get a couple of pence extra per copy, and if you’ve already read them and enjoyed them, please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads.

****How to Hygge the British Way Blog isn’t monetised. I have taken the decision that I want to remain neutral and not to promote things just because. I will only ever review items that I have bought myself, or that I think will help to promote hygge in a busy life. To do this, I need support. Even just the price of a coffee adds up to a book over time, and it means I can stay independent. Would you help? Please consider clicking through to paypal.me/HyggeJem and leaving even a small amount. I’d be very grateful. Thank you.***

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