January’s cold snap can be depressing, but can also present the luxury to stay in one’s pajamas, a treat by any standard. By mid-January the alarm jolts you up and out in the still-blue dawn, and the day-to-day grind of ice-chipping and snow-removal and the barrage of storm warnings run your every second. In this winter world, this relentless reality, one really needs to find a way to retreat and refuel. Here’s my fool-proof, two-step guide to do just that and make it through:
- First, retreat. Stop. Close your eyes. Even if only for 30 seconds at a red light, take a breath. I mean really, that deep down kind of breath that we cut short during our hustle and bustle. From Aung San Suu Kyi finding solace while under house arrest in Myanmar, to Rivers Cuomo of Weezer thanking his Vipassana practice, meditation fills our headlines. Yet most of us can’t dedicate a few minutes to retreat in this most beneficial way. Perhaps, on this special day you can add a precious moment of breath, just like you added dental floss to your regime or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, start and end your day with inward attention. Force your attention down into your belly and fill yourself with air. Optimally, on your pajama day, plan a short escape from your smart phone and your email and give yourself time to breathe deeply in meditaton.
- Second, refuel. I can tell you what works for me, but you would be better served to use a few of your deep breathing moments to understand yourself. What gets your energy up? What helps you see all the joy awaiting? Possibly you might spend time on your yoga mat, add an extra round of Sun Salutation or incorporate a restorative pose. Light that fragrant candle you save for special occasions. Soak in the tub filled with bubbles. Open a jar of your best raspberry jam and spread it on a few crackers to have with your afternoon chai. Read Rumi poems. Perhaps, during your pajama day, you can bask surrounded by this aromatic concoction: a few drops of pink grapefruit, lavender and rosemary essential oil added to a defuser. Let go of that mid-winter apathy and refuel doing any indoor gentle activity until you feel balanced and peaceful once more.
Certainly, a whole pajama day can be filled in any way you want. Perhaps, like lucky us, a flock of wild turkeys has taken to scratching under your bird feeders and hour upon hour can be spent bird watching; or a “Sex in the City” marathon can fill your time with decadent shoe ogling or pondering those smart sayings Carrie so famously crafts out of her superficial existence. You may just decide to dig out your classic Motown cds and dance around or drink something that calls for a cinnamon stick. At the very least, give yourself a retreat and refuel without spending a cent, by dedicating a well-deserved day to pajama wearing and nothingness; a whole lot of something can come from it.