I’ve heard it referred to as “dead week” or “Feral Week“—those final days of the year, for many, are considered a throwaway. Kids are home from school, and even those working take things at a slower pace. (Said differently: Don’t expect your Slack to get a response until 2024.) The vibes are relaxed and the pace is slow. But often, when things start up again come January 2, we wonder where the time went—and we regret not spending it more intentionally. So, if you’re wondering what to do with the Christmas-New Year’s week, stay with us. We have the inspiration you need.
It’s so easy to take the next few days as an excuse to zone out in front of your screen. And by all means, do what you need to without any guilt or shame. But rather than simply “filling” the time offered to us, take this as our invitation to reflect on what would feel most nourishing and energizing—and do exactly that.
How to Spend the Final Week of 2023 With Intention
While of course, I look forward to Christmas and New Year’s days themselves, it’s the days in between that I find myself counting down to. There’s something so sweet about the collective lull and our ability to step away from the busyness of it all. Suddenly, social media feels less important, and I find myself naturally gravitating toward relaxing activities. But… I also recognize this funny, Christmas-New Year’s final week of the year as an opportunity to reset. It’s a moment when I can reconnect with what’s important, and take those intentions with me into the year to come.
So whatever you’re looking for this week—whether it’s a jump-start on your 2024 fitness goals or a moment to realign—consider this your ultimate guide to spending the final week of the year with intention. Ahead, discover all you need to step into 2024 feeling your best.
If You’re Craving a Factory Reset
That’s right, it’s not just for your phone. Get inspired with these ideas for starting the new year fresh.
- Do a closet clean-out. It might just be the most satisfying way to spend a day (or several… ). Do a complete Kondo-style overhaul and sort through what you’ll keep, donate, and give to friends or family. Follow these five steps to curate a wardrobe you love.
- Make a vision board. It’s our favorite way to make our goals and intentions for the new year a reality. We share all the inspiration and guidance you need to make a vision board and pick up our Casa Zuma Vision Board Kit for an *aesthetic* helping hand.
- Update your skincare routine. Your medicine cabinet needs it. Consult with your aesthetician to discover the in-office treatments that fit your winter skin needs best. (Or, if you don’t already work with a professional, connect with one, stat.) From there, follow all the steps of a skincare reset. Trust us: it’s such a satisfying process.
- Sort through your bookshelf. Do you have books from the neighborhood lending library you’re never going to read? Or are there self-help titles just gathering dust? Determine what you’re looking forward to reading this year and get rid of the rest. Bonus: It’ll free up more space for all the new books you can’t wait to plow through. Get inspired with our editors’ favorite reads of 2023.
- Clean out your pantry. As soon as I get back from my holiday travels, this is the first to-do on my list. (Yes, even before I unpack my bag.) Donate what won’t get used, sort your spices, and purchase new organizing tools if necessary. Get inspired with Camille’s complete pantry clean-out.
- Overhaul your workspace. If you want to start the work year feeling inspired and energized, do this immediately. Get rid of files you don’t need, papers that can be recycled, and all the junk that tends to gather on our desks. The same goes for your digital workspace as well. I recently cleaned out my desktop folders and wow—my work routine has been transformed.
- Streamline your phone. This is surprisingly satisfying. Delete old apps you don’t use (or those you don’t want to use), create folders of similar apps, delete contacts and old text messages—all of it! Take this time to also opt out of any subscriptions you no longer use.
- Deep-clean your home. While many of these tasks are a part of cleaning your home, setting aside a few days to really overhaul your space is one of the best ways to spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Identify the areas you want to prioritize and make a plan for getting it done. New year, new sparkling-clean home.
- Commit to a sleep routine. In 2024, you will be the person who gets 7-8 hours of sleep. It makes such a difference in all areas of your life. Here’s how to start sleeping better tonight.
- Find a supportive morning ritual. If you find yourself waking up minutes before your first Zoom meeting, this is the best way to spend the days leading up to New Year’s. Get inspired with these morning routine ideas and dive deep into Camille’s step-by-step AM rituals.
If You Need True Restorative Rest
Sometimes, the best way to truly experience a refresh is by giving yourself the time you need to rest. I tell everyone, but the most relaxing time of my life was post-freshman finals week, and I spent three days in my bed binge-watching Mad Men. By the time I was on season four, I decided I’d had enough—and I was able to step back into my life feeling completely reinvigorated.
11. Practice breathwork. Barre3 is my favorite fitness program and every workout ends with a few minutes of breathwork. It’s a wonderful way to calm your nervous system. And the beauty of it is that you can spend as much or as little time on it as you’d like—and you’ll still reap the benefits. We tapped a breathwork coach to learn everything about the practice, plus the best way to start.
12. Discover a restorative form of movement. PSA: Low-impact workouts are in for 2024 (and beyond!). Instead of going hard every day—and putting lots of stress on your body—at the gym or in the cycle studio, explore yoga, Pilates, strength conditioning, and more. The start of the year is the perfect time to connect with a workout that supports your individual needs and goals best.
13. Try sauna and cold plunge. Everyone’s doing it, and the benefits speak for themselves. Plenty of gyms offer saunas and cold plunges (for Chicago locals, the Kohler Waters Spa is my favorite). And while a cold plunge is inevitably colder, a cold shower can work in a pinch.
14. Binge-watch your favorite shows. Like my Mad Men story above, it’s unlikely that you’ll have a better time in 2024 to get caught up on your favorite shows. Anything to take your mind off the to-do lists you’ll return to in the new year is perfect.
15. Make crafts. Is there anything more gratifying than making something with your hands? These are our favorite DIY decor projects that range from beginner to seasoned maker. Or, if you’ve wanted to pick up knitting or crocheting, dive deep into YouTube tutorials to get started. It’s my favorite activity to pair with a reality show marathon (see above).
16. Connect with something you loved doing as a kid. Did you write plays in your free time? Scrapbook your heart out? Get creative in the kitchen? Whatever you loved doing as a child, set aside this time for doing that. Prioritizing more time for play can amplify our creativity and get us into a flow state. And if you’ve experienced it before, you know there’s no better feeling.
17. Try ‘parallel play’ with a friend or partner. While the term is traditionally used to describe how infants and toddlers play separately, but together, I like using it for my relationships as well. In practice, it looks like getting together with someone and spending time doing an activity on your own. You can be in the living room together, at a coffee shop—wherever! I love reading together, crafting together, and in truth, just scrolling through funny Reels.
18. Experiment with lymphatic massage. I am a huge proponent of the lymphatic drainage trend. Whether it’s doing facial gua sha, using your favorite tool at home, or doing an in-office treatment, lymphatic massage is a wonderful way to relax while also experiencing plenty of health and aesthetic benefits (i.e., boosted circulation, reduced inflammation, etc.).
19. Practice positive affirmations. The power of positive affirmations is real. And while it may seem awkward to say kind things to yourself out loud, the more you do it, the more you begin not only believing but embodying the truths you’re sharing with yourself. I love doing it in the morning as a part of my daily routine. It’s the ultimate energizing wake-up.
20. Commit to a journaling practice. As a previous journaling skeptic myself, I get it. Sitting down for at least 5-10 minutes with nothing but your thoughts can be boring at best and uncomfortable at worst. But by giving yourself the time to explore what’s going on in your life by putting pen to paper, you begin to see patterns in your thinking and can work out solutions on the page. For inspiration, check out Camille’s journaling practice, and try a guided journal for additional support.