For all intents and purposes, we are in the exact center of winter. If you’re in the Northern hemisphere, that means it’s a little chilly outside! There is a briskness in the air, you may have already seen the first snowfall of the season, the days are short, and you’re generally ready to be cozy at home, in bed, by 3pm. While all the traditional advice may point you toward the calendar and tell you that we’re well into January so you should have made some good headway on your New Year’s Resolutions, we’re not here to tell you that. In fact, we’re chiming in with just the opposite bit of advice: do less!
It’s a confounding idea that in the coldest, darkest days of the year, we would feel pressured to go out and make things happen. All of nature responds differently! Animals hibernate, plants lose their leaves, and even the sun holds back by going to bed in the early evening. If nature isn’t a go-getter in January, we don’t want to be either. So this winter, we came up with daily invitations you can offer yourself to find a deep, winter rest. That’s right — instead of making your mark on the world, get under the covers, sit back, take it easy for a while and prioritize rest. The to-dos and the goals will still be there on the other side of winter. But for right now, it’s a great time to slip into a kimono style jacket while working from home, or your plus size kimono robe gifted from your bestie over the holidays, or the Azumi Kimono Wrap you can’t live without, and simply rest.
It’s easy to forget, and difficult to remember. Especially in our hustle culture. So, we’re dropping into the journal today with a few daily invitations to help you remember that a deep, winter rest isn’t lazy — it’s just what the season ordered.
Hibernation mode should be completely activated during the month of January. After all the busyness of the holidays, you have earned some solid rest. That might mean saying “no thank you” to invitations to get together with friends out of town. Or perhaps that means you slip into your Azumi Kimono Wrap at the end of every work day to shut off your mind and any impulse you have to go outside. During hibernation mode, you can plan only one or two events on your calendar, and if you do, make sure they’re nourishing. Going to a movie or out to dinner with your very best friend one on one can be just the thing your soul needs. Whatever you do during hibernation, make sure it’s low key so you can get your reservoir of energy elevated again.
An easy way to invite yourself to slow down is to get reconnected to your senses. If you feel yourself getting carried away with the to-dos of the day, hustling into productivity, and finding yourself in your old rhythms of work-life imbalance, reconnecting to your senses can help you make a different choice. Whether that’s feeling the weight of your kimono style jacket over your shoulders, smelling the candle you have burning, tasting the cardamom tea in your cup, listening to soothing music, or looking out of your window toward the beautiful nature all around you — engage your senses. Reconnecting to your senses gives you the feeling of presence that can help you remember that you don’t need to speed along, it’s okay to slow down.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the rush of day to day life. You may rush as you’re taking your child to school. Rush to get to work on time. Rush to get home for dinner. Rush to answer your phone. Rush to send off an email response. Rushing ends up slowing you down — so to find some deep, winter rest, allow yourself to resist the rush. Instead of speeding along trying to get everything done, see how slowly you can go and how much better your work and daily responsibilities go when done this way. When our co-founders, sisters Renee and Tiffany Tam, designed these maxi kimono robes, they did so to help whoever is wearing them to feel like they can calm down and take a deep breath. Whether you wear your maxi kimono robe or not, remember that allowing yourself to breathe deeply, slow down, and let things be not so urgent will make you feel so much more productive in the long run.
Have you ever had those moments where you drift away from the present circumstances, finding yourself staring out the window toward a tree, or getting lost in a little daydream? While we might categorize that as unfocused, this is actually a beautiful thing for your creative mind! We need boredom. We need stillness. Maybe you’re sitting in your Azumi Kimono Wrap and all of a sudden you feel your body finally feel at rest — lean into that! Don’t try to fill up your time and your attention with more. Let the moment be empty and let stillness come over you. It’s a wonderful way to feel deep rest, without even needing to lie down in bed!
So much of our need for productivity comes from sources outside of ourselves. In our quests to be better mothers, sisters, partners, friends, workers, and humans, we look outside of ourselves for the answers. And while this is completely understandable, it may give you a sense of rest to just stop doing that for even only a little bit. Our suggestion? Drape your favorite plus size kimono robe or maxi kimono robe around your shoulders. Light a candle, allow yourself to get quiet. Meditate for just a few minutes. Let your mind get quiet, your thoughts slow down, and ask yourself a question. See what answer comes up and arises from within. Reconnecting with the inner voice is a way to establish self-trust and make every day a little bit easier by going with the flow instead of struggling to keep up.
We hope you take some time this winter to do the most productive thing you can do: prioritize rest.