A touch of hibernation in the air

Hello, Internet, today is Saturday, November 23rd, and there’s a touch of hibernation in the air.

Every year at around this time, I experience this overwhelming urge to do basically nothing all day but nap and eat carbohydrates. I blogged about it way back in 2010, in fact. So the question becomes: what do I do about it? I mean, stuff still needs doing. The unfortunate truth is that I can’t just build myself a blanket fort and eat toast all day… at some point, I’m going to have to do laundry. Go for groceries. Do (gasp!) one of my jobs. Plus, at some point, I will find the joy of the blanket fort wearing a bit thin and will want to see my friends. So… how do I snap out of it, so to speak? I have tried a number of strategies so far:

1) Accept that I’m sleeping more: Seriously, it’s a bit alarming. If I were sleeping this much in the summer, I would have to justify it as “getting over a cold” or “catching up on some sleep.” But there is no sleep debt here, and no illness (so far, thank goodness). I just need about 3 extra hours of sleep a night at this time of year. Is that convenient? No. But is it OK? Sure it is. So long as my jobs get done and I don’t resort to take-out 4 nights/week, I see no reason why it’s not OK to sleep for almost half of every 24-hr period. Like, logically, why the heck not?

2) Exercise more: This really goes against the grain. I exercise a fair amount, usually, but this time of year, it seems harder. The treadmill is boring. Weights are boring. Stretching… is SO BORING. And the whole affair makes me sleepy, when, in the summer, the same activities energize me. BUT, after exercise, I feel good. Healthy, and happy. So, if it takes bribing myself with a few minutes in the sauna to get myself to the gym, what’s the harm, right?

(Side note: I really do find the treadmill boring – which is why I read during my treadmill runs. Weights require focus, though, and stretching is usually my meditation time, so I guess I just haven’t sufficiently cluttered up my head space so that I value it properly.)

3) Cook food: I live a 5-minute walk from 3 fish n’ chips joints, 2 Chinese restaurants, a pizza place, and 2 corner stores. In my exceeding laziness of the season, sometimes the urge to sustain myself on take-out and nachos is almost irresistible (it must be said that I eat nachos way more often than anyone should, regardless of the month of the year). But sometimes, a girl’s just gotta buckle down and spend half of the waking hours of any given day (ie: 6 of them) cooking. Root vegetables are my food of choice, since they are all starchy and warm and yummmmmmmm…. spinach only gets eaten when wilted into curry, these days. Salads are basically a no-go for me between October and May. Is this good? No! It definitely isn’t! I should be eating raw veg and fresh fruit and all that goodness. But it’s just not happening. So why force it? Make shepherd’s pie and eat for a week. Do curry and squash soup and pasta. Fill it full of vegetables and hope that my renewed interest in exercise will balance it all out somehow.

4) Do my ****ing job: If I’m going to be awake for 12 hours/day, and I’m going to be cooking and/or eating and/or exercising for 6 of those hours, I should use the other 6 wisely. Sometimes I’ll have to go to a craft fair to do some holiday shopping… or visit my friends and watch several episodes of Gilmore Girls… or drink wine with my roommate until the wee hours. (None of these are specific, personal examples. No way.) But SOMETIMES I have to stay home like a stick in the mud and do my job. Or go to my place of work and do my job, whichever is required of me that day. (PROTIP: Sometimes, if you have jobs like mine, you can bring work from one job to keep you occupied during the “down time” at your other job… and then it feels like your rate of pay has DOUBLED!) But seriously, ticking stuff off of the ever-present “to do” list does a lot to stave off that hibernation-time sadness. And it basically never takes as long as I think it will. Plus, my employers don’t get mad at me for doing nothing all the time.

So, those strategies. They’re working, I guess. I’m mostly on the ball with the jobs that pay, but really quite seriously behind on the ones that don’t. I did a half-hour run today and then walked… *googlemaps moment*…. 8km to/from a craft fair and now all of my muscles hurt. And I am AT work right now (obviously very taxed), and crossing things off of my “to do” list at quite a pace (although I haven’t done any of the hard things today).

So, like, 57% success rate. Except for strategy 1, where I accept that I just need more sleep. That one’s at 100%. I am a champion sleeper. A Napper Extraordinaire. The Dalai Pajama. And I will be staying this way until the solstice, I expect.