New year, new you? Before you dive into a 30-day cleanse, start training for a marathon, or sign up for cooking classes — take a weekend to piece the old you back together. The holidays are a wonderful, magical time of year: family, twinkling lights, cozy cups of hot chocolate, more family, friends, parties you’re hosting, parties you’re attending, parties you’re baking for, gifts to wrap, winter break for the kids, even more family… The list of obligations in the month of December escalates quickly. When it’s time to go back to work on January 2nd, you’re already feeling burnt out.
This is why we suggest taking the weekend after the New Year to “hibernate.” Pretend you’re a bear (or family of bears) living in a cave. Get cozy, get comfortable, and put your feet up.
Self-Care Guide: How to Hibernate for the Weekend
1. Dress appropriately.
There’s only one hard rule for a hibernation weekend: no pants with zippers. You can wear pajama pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, or any other ultra-comfortable clothes you adore. Pajamas are a great choice, especially for the afternoon naps you might indulge in. Wearing a plush bathrobe, fuzzy socks, and warm slippers will make you feel like you’re at a spa for the weekend.
2. Don’t schedule anything.
You’re not maximizing your time by scheduling out every minute of your hibernation weekend. If you live in a busy household, it might sound like a great idea to set your alarm and wake up early. That way, you could get the bathroom to yourself for a while and soak in the tub — but you also might need the extra sleep. Scheduling your relaxation takes otherwise enjoyable activities and turns them into chores and obligations. Tune in to your body and see how you’re feeling in the moment.
3. Limit your screen time.
In the spirit of hibernation, disconnect email and social media from your phone. We’re all guilty of browsing Facebook, Instagram, and checking work email over the weekend, instead of getting to that book we’ve been meaning to read. Limiting your screen time will also reduce the chatter in your mind that leads to stress and anxiety, allowing you to truly relax.
4. Get comfortable.
Pile the blankets and pillows high on the couch or your bed. Light candles and dim the lights. Create a comfortable and relaxing ambiance. Keep everything you need within an arm’s reach: a cup of tea, a snack, magazines, headphones, playlists, books, or the remote so you can stream movies or binge entire seasons of new TV shows. The goal of your weekend hibernation is to exert as little energy as you can so you can feel rested on Monday. Get comfortable.
5. Secure time for yourself.
If you’re sharing your home with your family or roommates, try your best to find some alone time. Let your housemates know that you need a little space for an hour while you read, soak, or take a nap in your bedroom. Even the biggest extroverts need alone time to fully recharge. A little space does a lot of good.
6. Choose the path of least resistance.
When faced with questions like “What should I make for dinner?” or “What activity would the kids like to do this afternoon?” — rephrase the questions like this: “What is the easiest way to make dinner?” or “What is a simple activity that will keep the kids busy this afternoon?” Give yourself permission to choose the easiest route. Sometimes that means takeout or cereal for dinner and other times that means at you put on a movie for the kids and enjoy a couple hours of peace.
7. Drink plenty of water and go to bed early.
The simplest acts of self care are often the most obvious and the most overlooked. Try your very best to drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water each day. Staying hydrated helps with muscle and brain function, keeps your skin clear, eases muscle pain, and helps you sleep better at night. While you’re at it, go to bed as early as you can. Getting at eight hours of sleep reduces your risk for diabetes and heart disease. Sleep also boosts your immune system, manages weight loss, and retains memory. Put on your favorite pajamas and get down to it!
We hope you consider making self-care a habit in 2019! For more ideas for hibernating, self-care, and tips for relaxing, check out The Pajama Company blog at thepajamacompany.com/blog.