If you're thinking to yourself, "Who needs an article on how to stay in bed all day? I can do that in my sleep," then clearly this article is not for you. And if you already stay in bed all day on a regular basis, then I would suggest that you seek the advice of a mental health professional. But if you've never once in your life stayed in bed all day unless you were either under anesthesia or immobilized by the flu, then by all means, keep reading......you are long overdue.
Staying in bed all day is a wonderful fix for anyone who is overworked, overextended, overwrought or simply overdue for an official day off. If the stay in bed all day concept messes with your Puritan work ethic, then think "mental health day" instead. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your all day bed stay:
- Calling In Horizontal. If you choose a workday to stay in bed all day, you'll need to figure out how to characterize it to your workplace. You can't exactly call into work pleading horizontal. I prefer to call it a personal day since that's what it will be--me, myself and I, up close and personal. Others might call it a mental health day or best of all, perhaps you work somewhere where you don't have to explain yourself as long as you get the job done: I hope so.
- Establish Parameters. If you have kids, housemates or a spouse, are they allowed in? Will you answer the doorbell if it rings? Decide ahead of time on your parameters. I know I've had days where nothing short of a sensory deprivation tank would work and other days where a bed party sounded like fun.
- Build Anticipation. Mark "Stay In Bed All Day" on your calendar. Circle it in red pen and plan around it. (No, sorry, can't go on that big date.....I have plans.) You've never done this before. Building some anticipation is part of the fun. You'll begin to feel excited several days ahead of time as you contemplate twelve long hours of supineness.
- Stock Up. Buy whatever supplies you'll need, be it your favorite kind of tea or that book you've been meaning to get to for......(um) years. Remember, there will be no midday run to the grocery store (and opportunity to run just a few quick errands while you're at it). This day is about taking care of yourself and feeling pampered so buy whatever you'll need to accomplish the task at hand.
- Fill Up Your Dance Card. While you're not allowed to do any work in bed on this day, you are allowed to do things that give you pleasure. That's always a little bit of a fine line for me because as a writer, I love to write. I toe the line by allowing myself to write letters and thank-you cards and anything else that doesn't bring home the bacon. Then there are the books, the dictionary, the laptop, and whatever else I am inclined to peruse that day. Line up whatever you'd like to do so you'll have no excuses for leaving your lair.
There is really only one important thing to remember on the big day itself. It is:
- No Cheating. When you really commit--yes you are going to be in bed ALL DAY LONG--suddenly you'll find yourself buying that book you've been meaning to get to, and catching up in your personal journal, both things that in the long run are probably better for you than doing yet another load of laundry. If you give in even a little bit--say, just one load--you are reneging on your commitment to yourself, which is what this day in bed is really about.
Yes, I'll admit that the leaves do need to be raked, and the laundry, dishes and shopping done--not to mention the spice cupboard organized, and oh my god, I really have no idea how I will manage the kitchen remodel--but I know that if I commit to a day in bed now and then, I am doing myself a kind of good that surpasses that of having pristine cupboards and a leaf-free front walk. My wish for you is that eventually you'll develop the discipline to carve time out for yourself, no matter what. Meanwhile, take a preemptive day in bed for yourself and come out the other side with a new appreciation for "down" time!