How To Hibernate Like a Pro

Image of a woman hibernating
Barbara would remain in this position until April
"Nobody's going to just randomly 'pop by' – have you seen it out there? – so you're free to let your personal hygiene slide a little (or a lot)"
  • | by Joe Madden

Let's be honest, you'd have to be mad to want to go outside right now. Have you seen it out there? Yeesh.

It's raining sideways, the wind is knocking toddlers over, the sun is rising at 11.45am and setting at 1.25pm. It's bleak-as-you-like and it's not getting any better until March.

Image of more ghastly weather

But don't let all that soggy-socked grimness get you down – because a freezing British winter offers you the perfect excuse to wave goodbye to your friends and family for a couple of months.

So, get ready to draw the curtains, cosy yourself up on the sofa and hibernate like a bear. Except bears don't have access to Netflix or the local Chinese on speed-dial, so you're already one up on those bozos.

So, you up for it? Yay, that's the spirit.

Here, then, is our guide to pro-level hibernating...


Image of a woman watching telly

This is pretty much Hibernation 101, but you'd be surprised how many people fail to adequately stockpile sufficient amounts of viewing material.

As a rule of thumb, you should take the number of TV series you can imagine yourself watching over the next few weeks, and then quadruple it.

Now, that may seem like an unhealthy amount of telly-watching, but it's all about being honest with yourself.

You might like to think that it'll take you a fortnight to work your way through that hot new Scandi-crime drama that everyone's wetting themselves over on Facebook, but you know, in your heart of hearts, that you'll actually end up rollicking your way through the entire thing in one nine-hour, fuzzy-eyed sitting.

There's ab-so-lute-ly nothing wrong with that, by the way – without wishing to repeat ourselves – have you seen it out there?


Image of a heating dial getting tweaked

You know what it's like: when autumn first gets chilly enough to warrant you sticking the radiators on, you bodge the job.

During the sunny summer months you somehow completely forget all your central heating system's weird little foibles.

For instance, how your bedroom always ends up 15 degrees hotter than the rest of the house, or how the kitchen radiator sometimes makes that disconcerting 'burglar booting the back door in' noise at 4am, or how turning the boiler's control-knob to anything other than exactly 3.6 will result in you either perishing of exposure or passing out from heatstroke.

Hibernation, however, offers you the perfect chance to master your central heating like a samurai masters a blade.

By New Year's Eve you'll be nudging it on, flicking it off and tweaking it sideways with a level of skill that's breathtaking to behold. Visitors will be moved to tears by the exquisite perfection of your home's ambient temperature. 

And you might be able to be more generous with the dial than you might think - see what you could save on your heating today.


Image of a woman looking at spam

Do you know what's in your email account's spam folder? Of course you don't, nobody does.

But seeing as how you've got sweet nothing else to do, why not spend a bit of time every day catching up on your spam?

After all, these people/weirdos have taken the time to get in touch with you – the very least you can do is read what they have to say.

Honestly, you'll be amazed at the high-stakes dramas that've been unfolding in your spam folder without your knowledge.

A banished prince who desperately needs someone to take several million pounds from him! An incredibly attractive person saw your LinkedIn profile pic and felt an instant romantic connection with you! Here's a guaranteed money-making system that's 100% only available to deserving folk such as yourself! 

(Don't click on any links or attachments though, unless you want your laptop to screech “CYBER-ALERT CYBER-ALERT ARRRGH” while plumes of black smoke belch forth from the USB sockets.) 


Image of a man with poor personal hygeine with his partner holding her nose

Nobody's going to just randomly 'pop by' – have you seen it out there? – so you're free to let your personal hygiene slide a little (or a lot).

Besides, wilful soap-dodging not only saves on your energy bill, it also gives you more uninterrupted glazing-over-to-boxsets time. Hashtag winning!


Picture of a man eating a burger

This, right here, is the real key to a successful hibernation.

Summer is for salads and soups.

Winter, however, is for stodge – heavy, hefty stodge that leaves you slumped over onto your side, sighing and burping with decadent contentment, your eyelids drooping as you woozily drift off to dreamland.

There are three key food groups for getting yourself through hiberation: carbs, fat and melted cheese. Feel free, however, to have fun experimenting with different combinations.

Why not melt a couple of Toblerones and pour them over a steak, for example, or use jacket potatoes as a pizza topping? If you're struggling to finish eating without slumping face-first into your plate, you're onto a winning recipe. 

And don't worry, you can totally just jog it all off come spring - for inspiration, check out our resident Fitness Fiend's account of running a half-marathon.

Share your tips on winter survival on Twitter and Facebook.

If you're really stuck for something to do you could compare utilities with and potentially save money on your broadband, energy and more.