Why Less Could Be Substantially More in 2020 and Beyond

It’s a new year, but for many, the same pressure remains: the urgency to do anything and everything to finally become that elusive “better” version of yourself. It’s a broad dictum that’s tough to qualify, and can involve everything from hitting the gym harder to amping up IRL facetime with friends and family. A common thread? The perceived obligation to do more, see more, repeat.

Which, of course, can have an immense upside. Challenging yourself and stepping outside of your comfort zone can open the doors to self-discovery. But it can also buckle under the weight of dizzyingly high expectations. Why not consider the reinvigorating power of doing less? After a frenetic stretch of holiday parties, hairline-pummeling work deadlines, and countless social commitments (read: boozing), nothing kicks off the new year better than a thorough reset. Whether it’s committing to Dry January or swearing off social media (all right, weening off of it), try these post-holiday detox tips for cleaning your slate and starting off 2020 right.

Clear your calendar

With social media-induced #FOMO lurking at every corner, the pressure to be out-and-about can seem unrelenting. And while it’s great to have a flourishing social life, there’s a fine line between rewarding hangs and diminishing returns. Think back to the countless nights out and next-morning rebound brunches logged last year. Were they enriching, or were you simply going through the motions? When a social commitment feels too much like that—a forced, check-off-the-box obligation—something might be awry. 

Now, that doesn’t mean becoming a shut-in. Remember: it’s perfectly fine to not accept every invitation floated your way. Less than thrilled about the return of company softball? Let Kevin in accounting take a swing at second base. Dreading that completely optional, but-maybe-you-should-show-face happy hour with your colleagues? Your Netflix queue beckons. Follow your gut. If the juice doesn’t seem worth squeeze, shelve it for a later date. By being a social butterfly at your discretion, you’ll hopefully better the chances of actual value-added experiences (and, rest assured, the ins-and-outs of being a quality invitee or avoiding dull convos extend well past the holidays). What’s more, time reclaimed can be used to revisit an abandoned book, hit the yoga mat, or pursue something else restorative that’s singularly focused on you (like, ahem, shut-eye).

Drink in moderation

Once a seemingly seasonal fad, Dry January appears to gather more and more momentum each year. It’s no surprise, when you think about the health benefits and mercy on your bank account If you find the dry life suits you better than anticipated, use that momentum and carry it into the next month, or for however long you feel that you’re reaping the benefits. And if you’re pressured to hit the bar, a non-alcoholic cocktail—or, a time-honored alternative like club soda and lime—can get the job done, minus the debilitating hangover.

Slow your scroll

As social media pushes our screen time into overdrive, a “digital detox” seems more attractive every day. The reality? Unless you have a one-way plane ticket to somewhere totally off-the-grid, unplugging and logging off is much easier said than tweeted done. From your work commute to supposed shut-eye and every hour in between, the inclination to refresh your feeds ad nauseam never rests.

If your battery feels more drained than recharged from digital engagement, consider a more calculated approach to your content consumption. Adjust settings on your accounts to eliminate unwanted, unnecessary notifications, and prune your followers down to the essentials if your feed goes into spam territory. Small hacks, like sleeping with your phone outside of arm’s reach and not using it as an alarm clock, can steer you off autopilot. Really need to kick the habit? Surrender your device to a friend, ask them to change your passwords and go cold turkey for a while. We promise you—you’re not missing much (except a reminder that it’s Aunt Janet’s birthday. But that’s on you).  

Cleanse your closet 

Spring cleaning might be months off, but nevermind the calendar. If you’re streamlining certain areas of your life, extend it to your wardrobe, too. That cheeky holiday onesie? Trash it. The hyper-trendy pullover you’re clinging too just in case it comes back in style? Donate it. Your Fair Isle sweater? That can stay.

Here’s why your inventory demands renewed consideration: paring down to the essentials not only results in an enduring, timeless wardrobe that maximizes utility year-round, it also eliminates those frustrating mornings spent lording over your fit, meaning more time to focus on the stuff that truly matters. Bidding adieu to dust-collecting garments might sting in the short-term, but it clears the path to chart new paths moving forward (just not in square-toe dress shoes).