File Under Best News Ever: Staying in Is the New Going Out

Photo: Getty Images/rez-art
Remember when staying in on the weekend was considered the ultimate drag?

Think back 10 years ago, when the 20-something social scene was largely informed by Sex and the City reruns and tabloid pics of Lauren Conrad's party crew. If it was Friday night and you were a young, single woman, you were most likely out with a group of friends, sipping a $15 cocktail in designer heels. (And if not, it was probably because you were still hungover from Thursday.)

Fast forward to today—the age of "I'm so busy"—and Carrie Bradshaw's life seems totally exhausting (not to mention wildly unhealthy.) Now, cool-girl role models are the ones who are snuggling up in Pinterest-perfect bedrooms, taking face mask selfies, and throwing double tap-worthy dinner parties at home. There's no doubt about it: Staying in is the new going out.

It's such a big phenomenon that Well+Good named it one of 2017's biggest wellness trends. But why is everyone suddenly chasing that introverted life? For many of those swept up in the healthy living revolution, alcohol-centric exploits are quickly losing their luster. "We are so much more aware of how our lifestyle choices affect our overall sense of wellbeing," explains Ruby Warrington, founder of The Numinous and Club Soda, an event series for the "sober-curious." "Nine times out of ten, drinking does not align with the feel-good factor that comes from cleaning up your diet, taking up yoga and meditation, or going on a run."

And then there's the fact that technology is allowing us to do pretty much anything we want without leaving the house. Why splurge on an expensive meal out—and risk shoddy service—when you can click your way to delicious delivery? Who wants to pay for a $6 bottle of water and $15 movie ticket when you can stream an entire must-see series from the comfort of your couch? Even the dating world has shifted—instead of meeting cute at the bar (or gym), it's all about swiping right on your phone. Pass the extra-fluffy comforter.

What FOMO? Keep reading for more on why everyone's embracing the joy of missing out, and where the trend is set to go from here.

1. Self-care gets buzzy

Staying in may have once been synonymous with laziness, but that's no longer the case.

Instead, women are using their solo time to actively invest in themselves. Self-care searches on Pinterest have spiked 121 percent since this time last year, with queries for winter baths (+150 percent), DIY charcoal masks (+333 percent), and nail art (+135 percent) proving particularly popular.

"When I started staying in I found my calling in life—along with the confidence and discipline to follow through on that dream."

Blame it on the burnout that many millennials are facing today. "Because I work in the community and am very social during the day, it’s necessary for me to rest and self-soothe in the evening," explains Krissy Jones, co-founder of Sky Ting Yoga. "I do a nightly ritual of a warm bath, home yoga practice, and meditation. That’s how I stay sane and healthy and have enough energy to go back out into the world the next day."

That time spent contemplating, resting, and recharging is now more crucial than ever, as side hustles and extracurricular passion projects become more popular. Biet Simkin, guided meditation leader and Club Soda co-founder, can attest to this. "Staying in is an excellent way of doing things that actually matter to your true life's vision," she explains. "When I started staying in I found my calling in life—along with the confidence and discipline to follow through on that dream."

2. Hygge is hot

Socializing, too, is moving out of the lounge bar and into the living room—just look at the unprecedented interest in all things hygge this winter. (You know, that Danish concept that translates to "cozy togetherness.")

Pinterest confirms it: Dinner party ideas are the most-searched topic among millennials, while queries for "girl's night in" are up 35 percent from last year.

Sky Ting co-founder Chloe Kernaghan is one New Yorker who's all about at-home entertaining in 2017. "When I want to see my wonderful friends, I'd much rather invite them over, make a nice meal at home, and have a real, in-person conversation about life and what's going on around us," she says. And with so many important things we need to talk about today—from political turmoil to relentless work stress—why would anyone want to scream over loud techno to be truly heard?

3. Suiting up for staying in

Back in the late '00s, a 9-to-5er's extra cash often went towards handbags, bar tabs, and dinners out. But now spending priorities are shifting, and wellness companies are taking note.

On the fashion front, athleisure brands (and high-end fashion labels, too) are serving up cozy tracksuits, oversized sweatshirts, and fleece-lined footwear. (Need some shopping inspo? All of the top trending sweatpants on the internet are organized on the Comfy AF Pinterest board, which has over 31,000 followers.)

And let's not forget about the most important homebody accessory of all: the bed. In the past four years alone, mattress startups targeting millennials have been popping up with all types of innovative perks, from temperature controls to no-assembly-required shipping.

"Any old mattress and sheet set simply isn’t good enough anymore," explains Dan Adler, CEO of WinkBeds."With people prioritizing bedroom purchases over other investments, the trend is definitely heading towards paying a little more money for good quality products, instead going for a less expensive, once-size-fits-all solution."

After all, a solid eight hours of shut-eye are so necessary when your calendar involves making a whole food-filled dinner with girlfriends, winding down with a hot bath and tea, and curling up into bed with a good book. Let the countdown to the weekend begin.

Originally published on February 13, 2017; updated on August 12, 2019.

If you're all about the JOMO, now is the perfect time to embrace Niksen, the Dutch art of doing nothing. And if you need some help in dodging stressful plans for couch time, here are the best ways to say "no" with grace. 

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