Tag Archives: Relaxation

Daytime Nap

The Art of Napping

Taking a nap…

There are some that do it with awe-inspiring expertise, and then there are those who just aren’t daytime sleepers.This post is dedicated to all you non-nappers out there. We’re going to convert you with some great advice and ease you into becoming a member of the napping population!

Did you know that afternoon naps in many other countries are actually a tradition and observed after the midday meal? This rest period revitalizes and prepares folks to tackle the rest of the day. Many recent studies have also confirmed what so many others already know.  A peaceful 20-minute nap does wonders for productivity, energy, and even attitude.

Why aren’t you recharging your batteries on a regular basis? The excuses are usually always the same. “I’m too busy to nap” or “I can’t sleep in the daytime,” or “my mind won’t stop thinking long enough for me to take a rest.”

Napping is an art –pure and simple. If you follow these tips, you too can see how the other half lives!

pjsal peacelovenaps

Get Comfortable (or as much as you can)

If you are a stay at home parent or work from home, this is not a problem. If however, you are one of the millions of people that have to go to your place of employment every day, this becomes a bit more of a challenge but is not impossible. Most people get an hour for lunch so after your meal, close your office door, find an empty conference room or employee lounge, or even go to your car (seats recline wayyyy back). You may need to try a few different ideas but eventually; you’ll find something that works.

Clear Your Mind

It sounds hard, but do your best to put everything that’s going on in your hectic life aside for a little while. Think of people or things that make you smile. Maybe imagine that you’re lounging on a tropical beach with the waves rippling around you. You’ll find that you are transported to a calm, soothing place that allows you to relax.

Cover Up

There’s something about being wrapped in a cozy blanket that just makes us feel good. Covering up will give you a sense of security and well being. Plus, science has shown that when you feel secure, your metabolism falls, your breathing rate slows, and this allows your body to slip into sleep mode much easier.

Lights Out

Again, not always an option for every scenario but if possible, nap in a dark place. Shutting out light tells your body it’s time to go into standby mode. If you can’t turn the lights out, get yourself a sleep mask which will block the light for you.

Keep it Short

If you sleep too long, you will wake with a feeling of grogginess and disorientation. Long naps can also negatively impact nighttime sleep.  We recommend 20 to 30 minutes at the most. Make sure to set an alarm on your phone so you don’t oversleep.

Make it a Routine

If you nap at the same time every day you will stabilize your circadian rhythms and maximize the benefits. Really, the ideal thing to do is just  make it a part of your daily schedule!

Now that you know all the secrets of becoming a napping professional, give it a try. We think you’ll become addicted in no time. And don’t forget… rainy weekends are perfect times to practice and perfect your napping skills – or, lounge around in your pajamas all day if you prefer!

 

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Self-Care Tips

Don’t Make Plans This Weekend: Hibernate Instead

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.

Donuts Flannel Pajama Set by Munki Munki

Donuts Flannel Pajama Set by Munki Munki

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.

Dog Tired Women's Nightshirt by Hatley

‘Dog Tired’ Women’s Nightshirt by Hatley

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.

matching family pajamas

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The Absolute Best Last-Minute Father’s Day Gift Idea

If Father’s Day snuck up on you (again), don’t panic! While you might not be able to snag a reservation at a steakhouse this late in the game, you can give dad a gift he’s guaranteed to love: the gift of relaxation. If dad works all day and picks up a second shift as Superdad all night — cooking dinner, helping with homework, wrangling kiddos at bathtime, or scaring away monsters under the bed — he’ll appreciate having the house to himself in his favorite pajama pants on Sunday.

Here’s The Pajama Company’s simple five step guide for planning the best “day off” for dad. No advanced reservations required!

Kasher Super Soft Collared Robe from Pajama Company

Kashwere Super Soft Bathrobe — featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things!

How to Plan the Most Relaxing Father’s Day for Dad

1. Give the gift of comfort!

Let dad know your plans for Father’s Day the night before. Then surprise him with something comfortable to spend the day in. He’ll want to put his feet up, so consider a luxurious bathrobe, pajama pants, fun pajama set, or silly T-shirt — a thoughtful little present he can lounge in all day long.

2. Make a plan for the kids.

Have a late breakfast together, so dad can sleep in. The kids will be eager to give dad their gifts and he’ll get plenty of Father’s Day hugs before you depart for the day. Plan to spend the afternoon out. Take the kids to a playdate, the park, a movie, an arcade, to visit their grandparents… anything to keep them busy for the day so dad can have the house to himself on Father’s Day.

3. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is served.

What’s Father’s Day without steak? Steak and eggs for breakfast sounds super fancy, but it’s a surprisingly quick and easy meal to make. Other easy breakfast ideas: Easy Steak & Egg Bake or this epic “breakfast hoagie” that can be made on a baguette to feed a family! Since you’ll be out for most of day, keep it simple and have all his favorite sandwich fixings ready to go in the fridge: cured meats, cheeses, quality bread, and all the toppings! For dinner, consider firing up the slow cooker or reheating a no-fuss pre-made dish like baked ziti, chili, or a frozen pizza.

Dad T-Shirt for Father's Day

A super T-shirt for Superdad! This fun shirt from LA Imprints makes a great Father’s Day gift. Only 8 left!

4. Everything within arm’s reach.

For an extra-thoughtful touch, set up his favorite spot on the couch so everything is within arm’s reach: his favorite drink, slippers, an assortment of snacks, books, magazines, newspaper, and the remote of course! Be sure to include a comfy pillow and a blanket as well. If you want to be cute, throw in an eye mask for that inevitable afternoon nap! He’ll appreciate that you remembered his faves and went the distance to ensure a day of complete relaxation.

5. Dinner and a movie.

When you return from your day out, simply reheat dinner and settle in with newly “zenned-out” dad. Continue the pampering and let him pick a movie for the family to watch or pick a game for a game night. If you opted not to give him a gift yet, this would be the perfect time to surprise him with matching family pajamas (the family that lounges together…). Whatever you choose to do on Sunday evening, spending a relaxing night with his favorite people beats a crowded steak house every time. For more gift ideas or inspiration for family activities, visit us at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

Father's Day Gift Ideas from The Pajama Company

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12 Simple and Delicious Late Night Snacks

The clock is creeping past ten. You’re unwinding in your pajamas, snuggled into the couch, wrapped up a cozy throw blanket… when your stomach grumbles. You know you “aren’t supposed to” eat after 8pm, but is that really a hard rule? And who made the rule? Why do you have to follow it?

As it turns out, the supposed link between weight gain and late-night eating is a myth. Our metabolism doesn’t slow down at night, converting everything we ate into fat. The same daytime rules apply at nighttime: everything in moderation. That said, we’ve compiled a collection of tasty late night snacks that you don’t have to feel guilty about.

Strawberry Smoothie

Late Night Snacks You Can Feel Good About

1. Strawberry Smoothie. Combine vanilla yogurt, milk or your preferred milk substitute, frozen strawberries and blend. Depending on how sweet the yogurt is, add honey to sweeten the shake. Using Greek yogurt will increase your protein intake — on average 15 to 20 grams per 6 ounces — and make for a more satisfying snack. Low fat yogurt is also an option for reduced calorie intake.

2. Avocado Toast. Simply make a piece of toast and slice up half of a small avocado. Smash the avocado on top of the toast with a fork. Add other toppings like nutritional yeast, green onions, sliced radishes, or baby arugula. Using multigrain or sprouted bread will increase both your fiber and protein intake.

3. Frozen Grapes. This may sound a little strange if you’ve never done it before, but trust us — frozen grapes are delicious. Pull grapes from their stems and place them in a freezer bag. Once they’re frozen you have snackable sorbet. This is a wonderful low-calorie option for those of us who like to reach for a frozen treat at night. Crackers, Turkey, Cheese

4. Whole Wheat Crackers with Cheese and Turkey. Fiber-rich woven wheat crackers are low in calories and very satisfying. Just six Triscuit crackers contain 120 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein. Top with thin slices of your favorite cheese and roast turkey. Very satisfying!

5. Quesadilla Half. Heat one 8-inch multigrain tortilla on a skillet and place grated cheese on one half. Layer with other toppings if desired (deli meats, baby spinach, green onions), top half with second layer of cheese and fold the quesadilla in half. Once one side is toasted, flip and toast the other side until the cheese is melted through. Serve with salsa and enjoy!

6. Greek Yogurt and Low-Fat Granola. As we mentioned earlier, Greek yogurt is packed with protein so a small serving will ward off hunger for a long time. Combine the yogurt with the fiber punch of granola, top with honey, and you have a sweet, creamy, and crunchy snack.

7. Ham and Provolone Roll-Ups. Cut out the carbs with these quick and easy ham and provolone roll-ups. Spread a thin layer of mustard on a slice of provolone, top with a slice of ham, and roll it up! Packed with protein and flavor, this filling snack will put an end to your hunger pangs.

Dark Chocolate is a Healthy Snack

8. Dark Chocolate. If you’re craving chocolate, the darker the better. Milk chocolate contains less of the original cocoa bean than dark chocolate and contains more milk, sugar, and cream. Savoring a little bit of quality dark chocolate will satisfy your craving and will be a relatively healthy treat.

9. Banana and Peanut Butter. Snacks don’t get much easier than this! Simply spread a little bit on peanut butter on a banana as you peel it. While peanut butter is high in protein, it’s also high-calorie and high in saturated fat, so spread accordingly.

10. DIY Popcorn. Air pop your own popcorn at home or pop with oil. Either way, it will be far better for you than the sodium and chemical-loaded stuff that comes out of the microwave. The benefit of popping it yourself is that you’re in control of the toppings — what they are and how much. Add a little parmesan cheese, garlic salt, or zesty lime seasoning. Have fun with it!

Black Bean Salad and Tortilla Chips

11. Black Bean Salad and Tortilla Chips. Keeping a batch of black bean salad in the fridge is a great way to spice up salads, rice, and other side dishes throughout the week. It’s also wonderful as a flavorful and hearty snack on a handful of tortilla chips.

12. Pita with Veggies and Hummus. Cut a small whole wheat pita in half, open up the pocket and spread the inside with hummus. Place mixed greens and sliced veggies inside for a fresh and tasty treat!

For more ideas for how to unwind in your pajamas this winter, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

 

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Fall Fun Ideas in Flannel Pajamas

Fall is More Fun in Flannel! Some Things Are Just Better in PJs

Summer has officially come to a close. It won’t be long before pajama season is in full swing. Crisp fall air, brisk mornings, chilly nights, crunchy leaves, and cozy blankets slowly steer us indoors before winter. Fall is a season that is based largely on the sense of smell and soft, warm textures. Just the thought of freshly baked goodies, ‘pumpkin spice’ scented everything, wool sweaters, cashmere scarves, and pillowy down comforters are enough to make you want to crawl back in bed for a long nap.

With our internal clock set to hibernate, it’s no wonder we don’t want to get out of our pajamas until April. Here is a list of our favorite fall activities that are far better when enjoyed in the comfort of our favorite flannel jammies.

Ideas for Fall Family Fun

PJ Salvage Women’s Coffee Time Flannel Pajama Set in Dove

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9 Reasons to Call in a Pajama Day

reasons pajama day

Ahhhh…pajama days. Every now and again we all need them, right? One day where we don’t have to bother getting dressed – we can lounge around and relax all day long in our coziest jammies.

Just in case to you need a little help finding a reason to take a day all to yourself – here are 9 of our very best excuses:

1.You just put fresh sheets on your bed and there’s no way you’re letting the coziness go to waste!

2. It’s raining, snowing, sleeting, too hot out, too windy…(insert weather condition here).

3. You’re on the home stretch of THE best book you’ve ever read. Hello?!?!

4. You just finished hustling for a HUGE work or school project and your mind and body need to chill.

5. An awesome new series just dropped on Netflix and you’re hooked…“just. one. more. episode.”

6. You’re pretty sure that mastering the art of napping is your life’s calling and you must do more field research.

7. You’ve been feeling a little down lately and a feel good movie marathon is just what the doctor ordered.

8. Home-made mac ‘n cheese leftovers in the fridge…need we say more?

9. The UPS man just delivered your new footie pajamas and you plan to put them to use (along with #5 and #8) immediately.

Now go ahead and call in lazy! You deserve it.

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6 Ways to Everyday Relaxation

Relaxation isn’t something that should happen only when you’re on vacation. Ideally you should find time to relax each day – to reduce stress, lower your heart rate, quiet your mind, and to just plain ole’ feel good…as we like to say!

A great way to make sure you relax each day is to plan it out ahead of time.  A week ahead works really well: each Sunday take a few minutes a decide what you’ll do each day for the next week to relax, and when you’ll do it.

On days when you have more time, do something more involved like taking a long hike or going to the beach.  And on really busy days, squeeze in some time for something easier but equally calming.

Here are some relaxation ideas to add to your week:

1. Take a quiet walk.  

Get out and listen to the birds and the sounds of nature.  Even if you don’t have trees or green space around you, being present and tuning into whatever surroundings you find yourself in – even the sounds of the city – can be incredibly relaxing.

2. Breathe.

Yes, so very simple.  Sit for a few minutes and take several slow, deep breaths.  We tend to breath in slower, shorter breaths when we are stressed out.  So taking deeper breaths, you’ll find youself feeling much more grounded and centered even after just a few minutes.

3. Take a cat nap.

It’s no secret that we think naps rule! Getting in a quick little cat nap is a fantastic way to unwind and de-stress.  We wrote all about naps here.

4. Sit and do nothing.  

Find a quiet, soothing place.  A comfortable chair, or maybe a swing or hammock.  Sit for at least 5 minutes in silence, with no phone or other distractions.

5. Get a massage.

Not only do massages feel great, but they also help your body to rest and rejuvinate.  Regular massage therapy lowers stress levels, relaxes your muscles, decreases blood pressure, increases flexibility – and the list of benefits goes on!  We think it’s the perfect execuse to treat yourself…

6. Take a bath.

Soaking in a hot bath is a really easy way to ease tension and relax.  It’s a great way to calm yourself before bed.  Add some soothing music, a candle, and some aromatherapy, and create a little mini-spa experience right in your own home!

Photo Credit: caiteesmith photography. via Compfight cc

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How to Have More Down Time

Happy first day of spring! It’s time for warmer weather, more sunshine, and time outdoors!

Spring is the perfect time to check in with yourself. Think about your everyday life for a minute.  Is being busy a badge of honor for you? We place such a high value on being productive, that we forget how important it is to chill out. The truth is that taking the time to relax your brain and body will actually make you more productive and a happier person. Time off let’s you come back to work refreshed and energized.

We ALL need more down time – time to veg out, be lazy, relax, and rejuvinate! Here’s how to have more of it:

1. Schedule it.

Yes, you may have to actually put regular down time in your calendar or save an entire day during the week. It’s really easy to let other priorities take over, and before you know it your supposed relaxation time can be taken over by other things. This is why we suggest scheduling your time off. Take Sunday as your unplugged day. Or maybe spend every Thursday night in a cozy spot with a book and cup of tea and no other distractions!

And here’s another tip: you’ll also want to think about weekends away. We tend to schedule our longer vacations because we have to give advance notice at work or have other plans in place to make them happen.  But weekends can slip by. So take some time now and plan a few fun weekend getaways – the mountains, the beach, whatever calls to you. Add those to your calendar as well.

2. Be vigilant.

You know yourself better than anyone else. What distracts you?  If you know you can’t be trusted to layoff of email or social media, have a no laptop and/or cell phone rule on your relaxation days.

What creates stress for you? If you’re unable to enjoy time off because of things hanging over your head – work projects, house chores – schedule specific time for those things too. You’ll probably be able to rest and enjoy with much more ease once you’ve cleared your head and are conscious about how you intend to spend your time.

You’ll also want to be vigilant about protecting your time from other’s agendas. Once your down time is scheduled, make it non negotiable, no matter what!

3. Plan Ahead.

Consider what you’d like to do on your day off. Are you a stay in bed all day, lounger type? If so you might want to find a good book to read or stock up on some magazines for pure entertainment! Be sure your bed is extra comfy with clean sheets and plenty of pillows and blankets. Get your cozy on!

Do you spend most of your days in a cubicle and need more time outside? Hang the hammock. Pack the picnic basket. Search out some new hiking trails. Whatever you want to do, be sure you’re ready and you have what you need so you can make the most of your day!

Photo Credit: zanzibar via Compfight cc

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Get Creative in Your PJs!

by Becky Boyd, The Pajama Company Editor

Despite what many people think, it’s not just artists who possess the ability to be creative – the truth is that we are all naturally creative. Creativity expresses itself in many ways in our world – whether it’s the teacher designing an enriching learning experience for her students, an entrepreneur building a new business, or a writer penning his latest novel.

Creativity is a way to approach things.  And when it gets down to it, it’s all about each person expressing their own thoughts and originality.  Getting creative engages the right side of your brain rather than the analytical left side, which can be a real switch for a lot of people who are so used to valuing their thinking mind above all else.

So how can you consciously engage and capture your own creativity?

1. Allow Yourself the Freedom to be Comfortable

Doing things the same old way can stunt your creativity.  Sometimes what you really need is to break out of the norm.  We’ve talked about talked about doing your best work in your pajamas before.  Allowing yourself to relax is a great way to let ideas flow, and what better attire than in your comfy, cozy pajamas, right?  Whether you’re working on a legal brief, writing your dissertation, painting your first masterpiece, or cooking a gourmet meal,  lounging in your pajamas can help you to get into a totally different creative zone and may even insight you to look at your project in a whole new way.  All hail pajama time!

2. Keep a Notebook on Your Nightstand

Sometimes the best ideas come while you’re relaxed and asleep – whether its during a dream or in the time between sleep and wake. This is because we have access to our subconscious minds during sleep.  Famous creators Billy Joel, Stephen King, and Salvador Dali all reported that their dreams influenced their creative work in various ways.  The best way to capture this creativity is to write down your ideas as soon as you wake up.  So make a habit of keeping a notebook near your bed!

3. Journaling

We’ve mentioned the benefits of writing in a journal in a previous post, particularly in helping you to capture your goals and dreams. But, this activity can really help boost your creativity as well because it allows you to get new ideas out without your inner critic getting in the way.  Writing is a forum for free flow of thought, that might not otherwise take place without pen and paper!

Photo Credit: what_marty_sees via Compfight cc

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