Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Powerful Urge to Hibernate

As I sit reflecting on what the fall season means to me, I become quiet. I notice the bright splashes of color outside my windows and the urge to hibernate is strong. Did you know that we do, in fact, have the urge biologically to hibernate? This is a throw back to ancient times but it still can, and does, affect us. People naturally want to eat more in the fall as preparation for the long winter sleep ahead – only we don’t do the sleeping part anymore!

Our emotions can feel particularly intense when we find ourselves struggling to avoid these urges to overeat. I suggest you notice the urges and give yourself extra food if you want to -- but make your choices as healthy as possible. Get out in the fresh air, walk, breathe and give yourself some extra time to really nurture yourself. Emotional eating won’t be the primary activity of your day if you feel balanced and content.

What do you need to do to get through those times when your urge to fatten up before hibernation takes hold? Think of ways to “get happy” without the sedative effects of those sugars and carbohydrates. You can dance, talk with friends, sing, draw, paint, write poetry, read a good book, list things you are grateful for, etc. Use your imagination to create your own list. Post it and read it often. Then relax. You deserve to feel content, balanced and joyful – even when you have the urge to overfill your belly and fall asleep until springtime!.

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