It’s Spring, but I still want to hibernate

It is the beginning of Spring. All around me are the burgeoning buds of green as leaves erupt from dead-looking twigs and branches. Small animals look for food on the forest floor now they no longer need to hibernate. It is the time of emergence and new growth, the eternal life coach’s metaphor!

It’s true for many, that as the weather gets warmer and life restarts in nature, many of us feel motivated to begin new things. We begin new businesses, new relationships, new ways of seeing and being. Many of us feel we want to take action and seize the day.

If that’s you, then hunker down with your coach and get started.

What if I want to hibernate?

What if that isn’t you? What if you are the kind of person who just wants to hibernate a little longer? What if you are aware that you will need to wake up soon and start living again, but the world outside still seems grey and frosty.

After all, there is a lot going on in the world right now. It’s an uncertain time.

First and foremost, you don’t have to wake up at all, if you don’t want to. It’s up to you. There is a difference between hibernation and stagnation. If it is benefiting you to take things slow, to watch and wait and enjoy life on automatic, then do so. Just be sure that is what you are actively choosing to do.

In Spring, the bulbs tend to come up first – Snowdrops, Narcissus, Bluebells. They have stored all their energy under the ground and they have the resources to take advantage of the woodland light before the canopy regrows and blots it out. Those of us with the greatest reserves can take advantage of the early opportunity to shine. These are the people who have recharged in the Winter and spent some time taking stock. But remember, the early flowers fade first.

It’s okay to take time

Plants that love shade can grow later, after the forest leaves have fully opened – Red Campion, Vetch and foxgloves for example. They need a little more time, but in time their vibrant colours will stand out. Every plant has its place in the scheme of things and so do you. Biding your time, doing the routine things mundane and taking a little more time to get going can be the best strategy, especially when there is uncertainty in the world.

For those who want to wait a little longer, try just poking your nose out from time to time and testing the climate. At some point you may still want some coaching. Not all coaches are full-on goal-setting gurus who want you to tick boxes and hustle. A good coach will support your style while keeping you on track.

He or she will help you find space to play with ideas without taking things too seriously too soon. You might need to thrash your thoughts out with somebody, or brainstorm.  Or you may just want to feel your way to a better future gradually.

There is no right way to do things. Just choose your way.

Robert Sanders is a therapist and life coach, supporting people in their present and helping them create their future.