The most difficult part of the year for me falls between January 2nd and whenever spring arrives. The triple-threat festivities of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all packed away and there’s nothing to do but wait it out. A two to three month period of lingering cold, dark, and grey is just not my thing.
Snow is pretty, but when it hasn’t freshly fallen everything just looks very dead (I know the trees are just asleep, but they still look dead). Additionally with my long commute a fresh snowfall usually means driving danger, hassle, and long waits in traffic ahead.
It’s hard for me to stay warm during this time. I’m okay when I’m actively wrapped up in a lot of blankets and planted firmly in front of a space heater, but outside of those circumstances it’s not a question of if I’m cold, but rather how cold am I at the moment. I really, really don’t like being cold. It bums me out.
I like to walk outside, but the abovementioned aversion to cold stops me. I also don’t like to walk after the sun is down so since the sun is down all the time in winter there’s precious few outside walks to be had.
When I get home from work, it’s cold and dark. I am having really serious difficulty getting changed into lightweight workout clothes and leaving my house in the cold darkness at 7PM to go to the gym. I really want to, I know it will make me feel better, but in the moment I’m struggling against a profound desire for space heater induced hibernation.
I’m really struggling not to gain more weight, both because of my decreased physical activity and because being cold and huddled under blankets makes me want to eat nonstop. I’ve no need for additional blubber like a bear but my appetite doesn’t seem to want to be convinced.
A friend recently sent me an article about the wonderful Danish concept of hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) which means a good deal more than just getting warm and staying warm during a long winter. The Danes know how to not just survive the winter but embrace it with, “a relaxed, cozy time with friends and family, often with coffee, cake or beer.” Hygge, apparently, cannot really be described, it must be felt.
I need to learn to feel it. But I also need to feel my way off of my butt and back to the gym before I become permanently hygged by my couch.