This winter, I feel like Ms. Hibernation. I am a mama bear storing up my reserves so come spring I will embrace my new and enlivened energy, bask in creative bursts of inspiration, and experience the productivity sprouting from me like new spring tulips. That is what I envision when I curl up with my fleece blanket and take another nap. The second nap of the day. After having slept in until 9:30am. Boy do I have it rough.
During my dreamy nappy times, I also see myself walking and running through hiking trails lined with green and blooming things and playing frisbee at Volunteer Park. In all, I see myself in motion. I will give myself some credit, though. I've been walking around Greenlake on soggy, gray days. I've been taking long walks to do my errands, avoiding getting in my car as much as possible. And I've been doing quite well with doing morning stretches and strengthening exercises (when I don't sleep in, that is).
But what can be done on our rainy days? Not those spittle-drizzle days, but those blustery, full-force rainy days? As much as I try to coax myself into putting on rain gear for a nice, spritely walk, I often end up declining the voice that sounds like a P.E. instructor. When I hear this voice say, "Putnam, you can do it! Get on out there!" I usually listen...except on heavy, soggy, gray days.
A few weeks ago I actually really wanted to move--I wanted to get my heart rate up and exert some pent up energy. But it was raining. Hard. Even when I tried to let my cats out, they simultaneously recoiled at the door and backed up into the house. Exactly, I said to them. That's how I feel, too.
So, what did I do with this impulse to move? What could I do? The answer came to me like a flash of a sequin tube top at a disco: Dance!
I realized that I hadn't danced in a while. I used to dance regularly in my own living room, shaking out any residual stress of my day. Why did this practice disappear? I'm not sure, but I was hopeful to bring it back. So for twenty minutes straight I danced to the deliciously funky grooves of K.C. and the Sunshine Band. I let myself feel a bit embarrassed during the first few minutes, and I then I really let loose. It truly felt like I engaged every part of my body as I bounced up and down to "Sound that Funky Horn" and shimmied to "Shake Your Groove Thing." I tell you, the next day I was sore. In a good "I've been active" kind of way. And I felt a bit more light and energetic afterwards, and a bit less lethargic. For only twenty minutes on a cold, gray day I created my own little slice of sunshine for myself. I may have taken a nap later that day. Or two. But by dancing I seemed to awaken a playful, groovy side to myself that had been a bit dormant.
Might you have some groovy tunes that inspire some dancing? If you are feeling a bit sluggish on one of our wintery gray days here in Seattle, I highly recommend that you try shaking your groove thing. Try this on your own (or in from of a mirror if you're feeling uninhibited) or enlist a friend to join you. I tell you, dancing is good, good medicine.