Your Only New Year’s Resolution Should STILL Be to Hibernate

Nora Zelevansky
2 min readJan 3, 2023
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

In December of 2019, before we understood the way the world was about to change, I was assigned a story by Kate Green Tripp that flew in the face of standard New Year’s norms:

“What if,” she suggested, “we followed the cues of the season and let ourselves rest instead of setting intense goals and pushing extra hard?”

What she was saying made sense, of course. Especially after I did the research for the article. Everything we know about the benefits of synching with nature suggests that winter is a time to hunker down, mentally and physically. It’s a period to reflect, go within, get warm and cozy. It’s a time to slow down.

So, why then, in January of all times, do we historically make these intense resolutions? Why do we force ourselves to work super hard to make dramatic changes?

Ironically, the pandemic hit shortly after I published that story, forcing us to ease up and pause whether we liked it or not. For a moment, even as we feared and struggled, we did see the value in taking a breath.

These days, the world has pretty much sped back up to standard speed, just with the added bonus of collective trauma. Yay! Now, it’s like we know better, but we’re still powerless to stop ourselves from getting sucked into the sinkhole of shoulds and obligations. We’re running a mile a minute, always feeling like we should accomplish more.

So, here’s me posting that story again about the benefit of hibernating. I’m bumping that permission to rest up to the top of your inbox so to speak, to remind us all that the bears have it right. Go lie down. Let thoughts flow. Start that workout in the spring. After all, winter is for hibernating. Pass it on.



Nora Zelevansky

New novel: COMPETITIVE GRIEVING (Blackstone). New nonfiction: ROLL RED ROLL (Hachette ). Bylines: NY Times, T&C, WSJ etc.