Soon the party season will be in full swing and opportunities for taking a breather will be few and far between. With this in mind, I have been focusing on ways to step off the treadmill and claw back some me-time; here are some of the ideas I came up with.
Nothing busts stress as effectively as a good laugh with friends. Whenever I invite pals around for a night in, we always have a good old-fashioned gossip and catch-up on each other’s news. Whether it’s bitching about partners, moaning about kids, offloading work worries or any other angst-dumps you care to mention, simply enjoying the company of friends who know and understand you is the best tonic. Regular face-to-face meetings with girlfriends are what keep many women sane, so have a go at organizing your posse to call round for a night of girly giggles, non-judgmental acceptance and lots of chocolate cake.
I love tuning in to my sybaritic side by turning the bathroom into a personal spa from time to time. I have to make sure I am alone; nothing kills the relaxing mood more than grouchy children banging on the door to take a pee. I set up the room with soft, ambient lighting in the form of candles, gentle soul music is pumped from speakers, I pour my favorite scented bath oil into a warm tub and lay back and relax, allowing the tension to leave my body. A face pack and intensive hair treatment help me to feel pampered and soothed. To add a truly hedonistic note to these precious moments of calm and solitude, I have a couple of champagne glasses of something sparkling and invigorating – pure heaven.
This is my favorite cozy night in because it just feels so natural. With the cold winter nights, I instinctively want to curl up in a warm place and chill out. First of all, I make sure I’m comfortable and get dressed in clothes that are warm and loose fitting. Next, I choose my spot for relaxation – will I curl up by the fireplace with a DVD or retire to the bedroom to read that amazing book I never get time to finish? Wherever I choose to settle, I make sure the atmosphere in the room is mellow and calm. Candlelight, aromatic oils, music, all of these can switch the mood in an instant and are regular backdrops to my nesting sessions. I never forget the power of food to offer comfort, and buy in some of my favorite foodie treats. Then I switch off my mobile, put the laptop or tablet in another room and surrender to my natural urge to nest. Bliss…
I have discovered, much to my intense pleasure, that taking a few indulgences here and there and living a life more luxurious, actually makes me a far more efficient human being. I get more done, my relationships are stronger and I smile 100 per cent more. With regular cozy nights in, whether it’s laughing with the girls, a special spa night or curling up with some chick-lit, I get to re-charge my batteries and align myself for the trials and tribulations ahead. How much more convincing does a girl need?