Hibernation: Not Just For Bears
If you’re like me, this week has turned into a downshift – like it does every year. Most of it has to do with the approaching holidays and a long-awaited week of vacation and celebration. Sort of like a seasonal senioritis. But I think there’s more to it.
In many cultures Winter is seen as a point in our yearly cycle where we go inward to weed out the old and prepare to plant new seeds for the Spring. This time of introversion is meant to give us a break from the activity and to bring some clarity.
I like this visual. Yes, because it makes be feel better about my lazy Sundays and overindulgences (update: sugar and I are back together for this month in our on-again off-again relationship). More though, because it helps to remind me how necessary this point in the cycle is to my own personal growth and success.
Now, if you’re extremely driven, goal-oriented or simply “type A “– this can be very hard. At least it is for me. The self-inflicted guilt that comes with slowing down, the lack of momentum – can feel stifling or even like failure. But when we look at it as a necessary part of the cycle – the part that enables the great successes to come – well then, it’s different.
Bears don’t hibernate because they’re lazy. They evolved this way to help them survive their surroundings. (Fun fact: while in hibernation a bear’s body temperature drops to match the outside temperature). But this is not a science lesson – it’s a lesson about accepting the necessary cycles that come throughout the year and going with them. Fighting it – like I have done in the past – can leave you feeling frustrated and maybe even unprepared for the momentum that is meant to come directly afterward. If you manage teams – this is a great and liberating thing to share with them. Remind them that the slow down is OK, that in fact, you encourage it. They will appreciate being allowed to let go a little and be better for it.
I leave you hardworking, amazingly talented readers with a PSA for the holidays. STOP. Rest, enjoy the break and don’t beat yourself up over it. You’ve earned it and it’s the best thing you can do to set yourself up for BIG and BOLD things in the new year.
Here’s to a phenomenal 2019!