Take A Time Out With a Pajama Day

Take A Time Out With a Pajama Day


Most of the time, life goes according to plan. But there are times when negativity hits like a ton of bricks. If you are like most people, when adversity strikes, you feel frozen and powerless. You may also experience the guilt of not being able to accomplish anything.

When you are not feeling well physically you care for yourself by resting, taking medicine, and taking time off from your regular activities. Why not take care of your mental health by taking time off and nurturing yourself until you can process and regroup?

Mental health is a big part of wellness. Let’s face it; life has its moments. I believe in limiting your negative emotions, but it is also essential to express them when an unfortunate event arises. Just do not ruminate on them. Some of the reasons for negative emotions are experiencing a loss, feeling overwhelmed, or not having your expectations met. Although you cannot control the adverse event, you can control how you respond to it. A great way to do that is to create a “Pajama Day.” What is Pajama Day? I coined the phrase “Pajama Day” because if you are like me, when something adverse happens, all you want to do is climb in bed with your pj’s on until it passes. Here is the good news you do not have to put on your pj’s; you can create your Pajama Day your way. This is how.

A Pajama Day is a two-part plan for nurturing and action, and the best part of Pajama Day is that although you cannot control the adversity, you have control over how you want to spend your Pajama Day.

Part One: The adverse event occurs, and you feel frozen and stressed. Start your pajama day and do anything that makes you feel more comfortable. Allow yourself to have the time to recover without judgment. It is like calling a time out on your life to nurture yourself. You are human and humans need care. Practice self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-care. Self-awareness is to acknowledge the event and how it has impacted you. Recall your history of dealing with adversity and what worked to help you recover. Check-in on the best way to nurture yourself. Self-compassion is to show yourself kindness just like you would to a best friend who is going through a difficult time. Self-care is the nurturing part. Show yourself the love you need by allowing yourself time off from life to recover. The way you give yourself self-care will be unique for you. Some of my clients have shared that they nurture themselves by going to sleep, talking to a wise friend or family member, getting spa treatments, going shopping, eating favorite foods, dismissing their daily routine, watching movies all day, or doing nothing at all.

The most important part of Part One is the plan to end the pajama day with a positive plan to navigate through the adversity. The purpose of having rules with a pajama day is to avoid rumination and to give yourself the time off without the guilt.

For example, adversity hits, and the pajama day starts with permission to give yourself self-care with a positive plan. The plan could be twenty-four to forty-eight hours or a week in some cases, depending on the nature and degree of adversity.

Part Two – Plan to end the Pajama Day with a Positive Plan going forward

The second part of the pajama day is to end the pajama day with positive plan to regroup, go forward and overcome. The result will be a new you in adversity, being your best-self by putting your positive plan into action. This could include getting back on track with healthy food choices, exercise, and meditation. Some people report that they like to clean and organize areas of their home because it makes them feel like they are doing something and have control of improving something in their life. There are things in life that we can plan and most of the time if you plan well, things will work out the way you want. But if the unexpected happens and it is negative, there is always a way to catch your breath with a Pajama Day.

Gemma Nastasi – PCC, NBHWC, CAPP, CHNC

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