Embracing hibernation this autumn and winter

Hey there! How are you getting on with autumn? Are you going into hibernation mode yet? If not, what’s stopping you?

At this time of year, we can feel a real pressure on us. There’s different festive events to plan and prepare for, and it can all feel a bit much when our body is crying out for nourishment and quiet. So here’s a few thoughts to ponder and see if we can move through autumn and winter this year in a different way.

Joining in nature’s rhythm

Autumn treeWhat would it be like if we followed nature’s example? If we saw autumn as being that wonderfully fruitful time of year when the leaves have done their job and begin to shed.  The energy they’ve collected producing beautiful fruits and seeds that will create new growth or nourish our bodies… What if we treated ourselves the same? What if we’d already been blossoming and blooming throughout spring and summer, and now were harvesting the fruits of our labour with satisfaction?

And winter. What if we embraced the colder, darker months as nature does, using the time to quietly and consciously plan for the coming spring? Nourishing ourselves. Restoring ourselves. Gathering strength and energy ready for us to grow afresh and blossom in spring?

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Is it possible for us, with our busy lives? Well, not completely, perhaps. I mean, most of us do have to get up and go to work or get on with looking after children, parents, or whatever other commitments we have. How we choose to spend the remainder of our time is our choice – whether it feels like it or not! 😉

Embracing cosiness

What is hygge?Our Danish cousins have got this one all figured out, haven’t they? They use the term ‘hygge‘ to describe a feeling that doesn’t really have an English equivalent, but broadly is about feeling cosy, content and appreciating a moment.

There’s been a lot of interest in this term over the last year or so, and it’s created a broader curiosity about other cultural practices. So other books about finding your Swedish Lagom (balance) and Japanese Ikigai (life purpose) have followed.

What they all have in common is awareness. Slowing down and noticing what’s in front of us and what we need to be well.

Why do we resist slowing down?

This isn’t an easy one to answer, but perhaps for many of us it is a fear of missing out, or of being perceived as being boring, or lazy?

So what’s the answer? Well – it’s about finding out what’s holding us back individually and challenging those beliefs gently. When we uncover them, we can treat ourselves with compassion – they were probably there to protect us in the past. But if they’re outdated and we no longer want them, we can replace them with beliefs about what we do want.

When we go through a period of illness that debilitates us it often teaches us a life lesson; that the world won’t come to a stop when we do. People will rally, stuff will drop off the to-do list as it really isn’t that important, and life goes on.

The challenge

We all face a challenge when it comes to managing our time. We receive more information in one day than our grandparents did in their lifetime, so it’s no wonder we’re overwhelmed!

Would we find it easier to consider transforming our time, rather than changing it? For example, if we’d normally go out with friends, to invite them for a cosy evening in instead? Rather than forcing ourselves to the gym when we really don’t want to go, does a brisk walk out in the crispy leaves feel better? When we must do the housework, can we do it in our PJs with big cosy socks on, and a steaming mug of tea/coffee after each bit?

Happy autumn! 😀

2 thoughts on “Embracing hibernation this autumn and winter”

  1. Great post I can totally relate to at this moment in my life. Specifically the point you make about what is holding us back as individuals and the beliefs we have. Slowing down and looking internally has been helping me a lot. Some of the things that have come up have been difficult to accept, I’m beginning to listen to the resistance and embrace it as a positive guide.

    1. Thanks Amar! I’m glad to hear you’re embracing the journey. It isn’t always easy and can be downright hurtful, I understand. You’re going to look back in six months, a year, five, ten years, and think ‘wow, how far I’ve come’… Have you watched Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement speech? If not, it’s well worth a look 😀

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