Why hibernation might be what you're looking for this winter.

Have you found yourself mindfully slowing down this month, or perhaps you’ve had a yearning to and not managed it yet? With the excitement of December over, and the big bang of a New Year now behind us, we can feel a slump in energy and enthusiasm. So, how can we overcome this and be ready to burst forth in the spring?

If you’ve been on social media much this winter you’ll have seen an increasing number of posts about ‘wintering’ and ‘hibernation’ and whilst we can’t realistically embrace all that hibernation really represents we can take a few elements from it and learn a little more about listening to our own internal, seasonal rhythm. 

We’re not naturally good at slowing down, for many of us there is the FOMO to deal with, or a diary that’s mainly dictated by others activities (especially if you’ve got kids). The first thing to decide is how much you feel you need this time away from the busyness, and how many things you’re able to say no to. For some it will be as simple as just taking one recurring appointment out of the diary and using that time to be at home in your own space, for others you may want to block out the diary for the whole period until spring begins. 

Where to start…

Cosy up with Nourish

Make your diary your friend, not your foe.

During January and February we’ve tried to keep the diary a little less full and to grab those moments when peace and calm can reign at home. It’s been liberating to be able to say to people, ‘we’re really looking forward to seeing you in March, but right now we’re taking a short break from socialising’. Sure we’ve done a few cosy coffee dates but as for the big stuff, like dinner parties, big nights out and weekends away, they can wait until the weather is better and our cups are filled. Even the kids have benefitted from taking a term break from one of their weekend activities, it’s not just grown ups that need to slow down.

Create the cosy

Time at home is at a premium for many of us so why not make it feel special? Yes, those fairy lights have stayed up since Christmas, and as soon as we’re home we’ve lit a candle or two to make it smell like home. We love Great House Farm Stores' winter scent, especially as they come in refillable, gorgeous pots! There are also blankets to layer with (try Vinted for these and recycle, reuse, relove!) and cushions to snuggle with. With the heating on a little less (thanks austerity!) slippers have become an essential and we love these ones by The Natural Bed Company made from recycled materials, and super cosy!

Great House Farm Stores candles

Happy Little Hermit

Fearne Cotton mentioned being a Happy Little Hermit in her Happy Place Podcast and we’re here for it! The idea of hibernation is not to withdraw from everything, more it’s to get ready to make the most of the rest of the year and to seek out that which comforts us. For many of us this starts with being at home in our own space. Think about what gives you joy at home, it could be a long bath with candles and a movie, or a good book, or perhaps it’s cooking a favourite meal and eating by soft light, sharing it with those you love, or just quietly eating and enjoying alone. It could be as simple as just marking out in your diary an hour or so to snuggle up on your bed, cosy and warm with a favourite magazine, a little habit to take into February too that could help you feel happier, more grounded and less overwhelmed. Persuade family, or housemates, to leave you alone for this hour or so by suggesting to them to also do something slow that they love during this time too.

Food of love

Eating habits change over the winter but the mainstay remains the same. You’ll have seen that we’ve been seeking out as much dietary diversity as we can over this period of bugs, and the great thing is that as well as nourishing us, great food makes us feel good. Ineke’s got a few recipes that are great for feeling warmed up from the inside out that will really help to plant power your diet, Herby Venison and Red Cabbage Stew, Loaded Pumpkin Soup and Vegan Keto Lasagne. Check out below for more ideas too! 


Part of being able to slow down over the winter is looking forward to exciting things for the rest of the year. Think about where you’d like to explore this year, home, or away. Perhaps there’s a show you’ve been wanting to see for ages, or a museum you’ve never visited. Or maybe your travels will take you further afield? We’ve loved checking out Byway Travel and all their sustainable journeys across Europe by train, boat and bus. Want to grow more this year? Why not plan a trip to one of the RHS gardens for some serious gardening inspo? Or you could take a look at The Guardians 10 most eco inspiring places to visit without a car. Why not create an itinerary of fun filled trips for the rest of the year?

Open up the outdoors

Don’t fancy a bracing walk up hill and down dale at this time of the year? Why not try a little local spotting walk? Make a little list of things you’d love to spot from early daffodils, to birds nests and head out with a friend or your small people to find them. Star gazing can be a lovely activity too while the skies are clear at night. Perhaps light an outdoor fire, wrap up warm, fill a flask with hot cacao and see how many stars you can spot. We love the app Night Sky.

Don't be bored, be more board

With families, sometimes just getting everyone to disconnect from a device in the first place can be a challenge, but once you've got them free of them what are you to do with them? Board (and card) games to the rescue! Wet, windy days are made for games, whether you've braved the outdoors and need a portable game to play in a pub or cafe, or you're at home with a big table to spread out on. Some of our faves include, Portable - Uno, Mini Jenga, Bohnanza and Mini Connect 4 Bigger Games  - Risk, Scrabble, Ticket to Ride and Catan.

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cosy evenings, good habits, healthy habits, hibernate, hibernation


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