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Treat yourself to: A duvet day

It’s that time of year when the mornings are starting to feel just that little bit nippier. There’s a crispness in the air when you get up. Which means the temptation to snuggle down for ‘Just five more minutes’ is that bit harder to resist.

That’s when you need to surrender to a duvet day. Don’t worry, we’re not advocating that, come Monday morning, everyone should just roll over and ignore the alarm. But the concept of a duvet day is a rather wonderful one. And it can be adapted to suit our busy lives.

Just like animals, as winter sets in, our bodies start to crave more rest and yearn to hunker down. To sink into our deliciously warm, comfortable beds. Unlike woodland creatures, we can't hit the snooze button until spring. But we can indulge in a mini hibernation that will leave you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated – and ready for the rest of the week.

Pick the day

When you’re flagging, a duvet day can do you the power of good. And you might as well enjoy the anticipation of it too. Mark it on the calendar. And, when you wake up to your duvet day, savour that moment. Think of it as a spa day. But without the effort of getting out of bed.

Or pick an hour

A duvet day doesn’t have to be a whole day of languishing. In fact, a few hours is probably the natural limit. Otherwise, your day and week can get knocked out of kilter. So maybe block out one morning of the weekend. Or even an hour of an afternoon, when everyone else is busy and out of the house.

Set the scene

For a truly luxurious spell under the covers, make sure your bed linen is freshly laundered. Crisp, white and smelling sweet. Free of crumbs, stray bits of Lego, your other half's triathlete magazine, or whatever else tends to accumulate around the bed. Just for now, this is your sanctuary.

Plump your pillows

You want to lie back and think blissful thoughts. Not get a crick in your neck. So ensure your pillows are as soft and comfortable as they can be. If your pillows have been around for a while, you could be due a refresh. The test of a supportive pillow is to fold it in half. If it bounces back, it’s still good. If it stays folded up, it’s lost its cushioning qualities. Down and synthetic pillows need to be washed every six months, or replaced once they’ve lost their plumpness.

And switch off

The aim of your duvet day is to relax. To snuggle down and put the world on hold. If possible, resist the urge to have your phone or other devices to hand. If a Netflix film or a catch-up on iPlayer is your idea of luxury, by all means treat yourself. But avoid answering emails and texts, skimming social media or doing the weekly online shop. That can wait until you resume your everyday life.

Be actively relaxed

If you need to snooze, enjoy. But it can be truly relaxing to read a good old-fashioned paper-bound book. This is the perfect time to get engrossed. Or listen to a play on the radio. Writing a few cards to old friends is another perfect activity for a duvet day. You’ll feel so virtuous – and they'll love receiving a proper card in the post.

Linger… but not for too long

Don’t overstay your bed’s welcome. The aim is to relax a little longer, so you can then head off for a bath or shower feeling calm and cosseted. As if you’ve just given yourself a treat. What you don’t want, is to feel as if you’re malingering or sapping your motivation for the day.

Make your bed

Before you head off and get going, make your bed again. That way, it’ll be waiting for you, looking beautifully plumped and welcoming. All ready and waiting for to sink into once more, at the end of the day.