This morning, when I stepped outside to get on my daily morning round, my cold hands told me that soon, I’ll have to settle into the idea that getting outside to take a break and get some exercise or at least a little walk in the midst of my workday.
It felt like my body was telling me this morning that I should start thinking about hibernation… I don’t know about you, and for me the pattern is pretty similar each year: The weather is cold or rainy and I have an excuse to stay inside, continue working rather than pausing. After a few days of having a weather excuse, it is even more difficult to convince myself to get outside again. Then, my breaks have a tendency to be rather about food than about moving. I definitely get into comforting mode, I slow down and stay inside. My work becomes more brainy and I become less sharp and dynamic. Everything slowing down, mirroring nature outside.
As this year is about questioning and breaking my patterns, I reflected on what I really like about my hibernation mode and where it does not serve me so much.
On the positive side, it gives a break to my body and I find a particular kind of rest that I cannot find when the sun shines brightly outside and is telling me to leave the house (like my mum told me when I was a kid). This is the moment when I can indulge in other sensory experiences than biking outside, different smells, different clothes, different games with my children – and the same wish as every year that the end of the year will be smooth and not hectic. Hibernation leaves time for those things I had put off for later, like taxes or filing.
On the less pleasant side, I feel how my slow body results in a foggier mind, how sitting too much and not breathing as deeply as when I go outside makes me lazy and tense. Plus, I take more time getting my work done so that I don’t actually do as much indulging as I’d like to do.
So, for this year, I thought that I’ll plan for bite-size physical activity, which will be part of my day, every day indoors (and if I’m lucky even outdoors) to get me moving and breathing. One of my favorites is dancing in my office, or stretching when getting up. I want to stay creative for those coming months in the ways I move my body along with my mind.
As a practice, reflect on what kind of movement you truly truly enjoy and how it can be done indoors. What would be an energizing break within your day that you can take any time without any material needed? Try it, breathe deeply and note what works. Keep doing it until the sun calls us outside again.
One of my favorites: Get moving with this …