living

Ask Jennifer Adams: How to refresh for the new year

Jennifer Adams, FOR THE INQUIRER

Updated: Thursday, December 28, 2017, 3:01 AM

Treating yourself to quality sheets will give you the respite you need.

I’m always looking for creative and innovative ways to improve the sweetness and quality of my life: mind, body, and soul. Through the years, I’ve come to realize the easiest journey to feeling refreshed and energized is most sustainably achieved through mindful dedication and simple daily habits. Below are a few of my favorite tips from my blog to rejuvenate and refresh.

Give yourself a luxurious escape. Few would deny that at the end of a long, hard day, sliding into a comfortable bed outfitted with soft, smooth sheets that pamper your skin is one of life’s greatest pleasures. After all, you spend nearly a third of your life between those sheets, so taking the time and effort to cultivate a comfortable bed that’s a respite from the world is a gift. This year, start with the basics by treating yourself to superior-quality sheets, keeping in mind that it’s not solely about the thread count — it’s about the materials, weight, and weave, too. Look for high-quality cotton sateen and microfiber. These materials are known for their softness, durability, lack of pilling, and wrinkle-free finish. They won’t shrink, either, so no need to size up or worry whether they will still fit your mattress after washing, and they are also resistant to dust mites, a plus if you suffer from seasonal allergies or asthma.

Start saying yes. Literally, say “yes” to all the invitations life sends your way. You’ll be surprised by the many new ways it transforms your connection with yourself, family and friends, your community, and your world. Starting now, say “yes” to new hobbies, try new foods, new styles, quirky plays, blind dates, volunteering — basically, anything you may ordinarily dismiss.

Start saying no. Balance is imperative when it comes to your work, social, and personal times. You may say yes to new things, but it’s perfectly OK to say “no” to prioritize self care. Embrace an awareness of when you feel stretched a bit thin. Plus, making sure you’re refreshed and well-rested will make your “yes” times all the more vibrant.

Prioritize sleep. By prioritizing sleep, we give ourselves the foundation of a healthy lifestyle, which helps us remain energetic, focused, creative, and clear-minded. Take a critical look at your sleep environment. Are you waking up in the morning refreshed or exhausted? How does your body feel after getting out of bed? If you’re feeling less than chipper when the alarm goes off, it’s time to reevaluate how you’re sleeping. Perhaps you’re due for a new mattress or firmer pillows. If you’re chilly at night or a little too warm, new sheets or a comforter could be the answer.

Learn something. In our social-media-obsessed time, it’s easy to zone out and let technology take the lead. If we aren’t making a conscious effort to mentally stimulate ourselves, it’s easy to sleepwalk through life. This year, challenge yourself with a resolution that gives your mental muscle a workout, remembering that our brains are incredible sponges at every age, ready and willing to absorb new information. Take a class. Refresh your math skills. Learn a language. Figure out how to play chess. Get trained in a trade. Your brain will certainly thank you.

Have a design dilemma? Jennifer Adams is an award-winning designer, author of the upcoming book “Love Coming Home and TV personality. Send your questions to AskJennifer@JenniferAdams.com or for more design ideas, visit Jennifer’s blog on her website at www.jenniferadams.com.

Jennifer Adams, FOR THE INQUIRER

Read full story: Ask Jennifer Adams: How to refresh for the new year