We’re officially in the “let’s stay in” season, and I can’t think of a better excuse to cancel your plans and refresh your wellness routine. But there’s no need to dust off your yoga mat or even leave your warm, cozy bed. Yes, you read that right—it turns out your bed is not just for sleeping (and nookie). Because getting out of bed in the morning is that much harder nowadays thanks to less sunlight and colder temps, we’ve rounded up wellness rituals you can do from the comfort of your own bed. The goal? Getting your mind and body right so you’re waking up (or going to sleep) on the right side of the bed. Consider this permission to hit snooze and not crawl out from under your covers. And PJs encouraged.
1. Get it on
You don’t need a reason to give yourself pleasure (it’s always your right!), but a stay-in-bed-all-day kind of day especially calls for getting sexy, whether it’s a two-to-tango or solo session. Take the time to explore your sensual side, discover the positions that will deliver the most satisfaction for you, put your vibrator to good use, or better yet, do all of the above. After all, you have all day, and there’s no denying that the end result is more than just the big “O.” Sex releases those feel-good hormones (AKA endorphins and oxytocin) that can help us relax and unwind, not to mention reduce stress and anxiety, boost immunity, and get better Zzzs. Talk about getting the most bang for your buck.
2. Catch up on shut-eye
Sleep may be the obvious activity to do in bed, but if your body is telling you to rest, don’t deny yourself beauty sleep. The best part? You’re already in your coziest sleepwear and your bedroom is likely at the optimal temperature for Zzzs (65°F-72°F, FYI), making it the ideal scenario to catch up on sleep. While taking a cat nap doesn’t make up for lost sleep, it can help you feel more rested during the day. And if you’re falling short on your sleep hygiene, squeezing in an extra few hours here and there can reverse the short-term damage on your well-being (think: poor decision-making, lack of energy, mood changes). Avoid dozing off close to bedtime since it can disrupt your sleep at night and, instead, shoot for an afternoon snooze no longer than 90 minutes.
3. Practice breathwork
Have you ever noticed yourself holding your breath while waiting for your inbox to refresh or going through the comments of your last post? With our constant state of being on high alert thanks to to-do lists, work emails, and social media, we’re inadvertently holding our breath more than we realize, further increasing stress. Enter: breathwork, or conscious breathing exercises to evoke calmness in your mind and body. Not only reserved for yoga or meditation, breathwork is linked to many health benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety levels, increasing confidence, self-image, and self-esteem, boosting immunity, and developing joy and happiness.
So how do you get a piece of the action? There are several breathwork techniques you can try, so experiment with which vibes with you the most. My go-to is the 4-7-8 method anytime I feel anxious: Empty your lungs of air, breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale out of your mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat another three times for a total of four cycles.
4. Schedule worry time
Let’s be real: No one is immune to worry, and although there’s no escaping it entirely, we can learn to do it effectively. It may seem counterintuitive to pencil in time to brood over what went wrong in that past relationship or how you’re going to be able to afford to buy your first home, but the idea is to limit the amount of time you spend ruminating, rather than letting it take over your entire day.
Start with setting a timer for 15 minutes each day to pinpoint and work through the worries bogging you down, whether that means just sitting with them or journaling, and keep it consistent day after day. When you catch yourself fretting outside of your designated time, put your worries on hold until the appointed hour comes around again. Not convinced? Several studies have found that scheduling time to worry is an effective way to reduce anxiety and get better sleep. Bonus: You’re more likely to find solutions to your worrisome thoughts and have more time in the day to do things that bring you joy.
5. Stretch it out
Getting in movement while staying in bed may sound too good to be true, but all you need is a few stretches to fill your wellness cup before you’ve even had your coffee. Stretching prior to getting up can do wonders for your health. For starters, it can help wake up the body, improve circulation, and turn on the parasympathetic system (AKA the “rest and digest” system), which puts us in a more easy-breezy state-of-mind and sets the tone for a calm morning and day ahead. Try a series of movements like the single-knee pull, side-lying quadriceps stretch, and hamstring stretch, or channel your inner yogi with some basic poses, such as cobra and child’s pose.
6. Pamper yourself
Multi-tasking in the form of putting on a face and hair mask, wrapping yourself in a weighted blanket, diffusing essential oils, all the while meditating is absolutely welcomed. In other words, pile on the self-care that speaks to, nourishes, and fulfills what your body is telling you it needs. Not only does taking care of yourself equip you to better cope with daily stressors, but research also suggests it promotes resilience, reduced stress, improved immunity, increased productivity, and higher self-esteem. Your new glow-up is just an added perk.
7. Visualize your highest self
What better place is there to daydream about your goals than your bed? A study showed that “imagination is a neurological reality that can impact our brains and bodies in ways that matter for our well-being.” Simply put, what your brain imagines is a lot like reality, so go ahead and visualize your deepest desires into fruition. The power of visualization extends beyond imagining your future and realizing your hopes and dreams—it also helps decrease stress. Where do you see yourself in five years? Picture what you’re doing, where you are, who you’re with down to the micro-details and using all of your senses. To take it a step further, you can create your future self through guided meditation, saying or writing daily affirmations, or creating a vision board.
8. Just be
There’s always something to get done, whether it be work, shopping for groceries, cleaning, laundry. How often do you just sit or lie in stillness? I don’t know about you, but there are countless mornings when I wish I could stay in bed all day and do absolutely nothing. Take this as your sign to do it (I am!). Maybe that looks like turning down the lights and spending time in silence or cueing up a soothing playlist and closing your eyes. If that’s a bit too quiet for you to relax and quiet your mind (same), try playing a mindless TV show on the background (looking at you, Love is Blind) while you read a magazine and sip on a homemade PSL. Bottom line: Being still soothes your nervous system, offers you the space to go inward, and cultivates mindfulness.