How to relax when you are stressed -

I love a good pamper and take as good care of my skin as possible. But I’m
human and there are some days when I really truly can’t be arsed with a full on routine.
However especially in these trying times, looking after your skin and getting into a self care
ritual is a very quick way to slice in some me-time during your day. And after the last few
months, we certainly can do with some of that. So breathe in, and slowly breathe out as I go
through some of my best products to relax.

When it comes to my quiet safe space I love to turn on some good old fashioned Netflix,
and put on a sitcom that I’m 450 seasons into but it doesn’t need much brain power
to watch. I like something on in the background to help me relax and have a chuckle at. My
favorites I’ve been loving so far are always Gilmore Girls and most recently Grace &; Frankie
– if you haven’t seen that show then I highly suggest it. But I have also loved a good docu-
series. One I love is Pretend It’s A City which is made by Fran Lebowitz, if you
haven’t read any of her work you are seriously missing out! She is an icon.
Bonus points if you have an oil diffuser, there’s something about the calming lights and the
puffs of vapours that make me feel zen.

Okay so we have a cosy environment, curtains have been drawn, Fran is yapping
away in the corner, time to get the day’s story off your face.
Wine is optional here but highly recommended. I do recommend a good glass of Tignanello
or a Trefethen Napa Valley. Also a square or two of Goddiva 90% Dark is also a good
Starting with a warmed washcloth, dampen your face and take some deep breaths, really let
the steam sink into your face. Trust me, I could stay here for hours at this point, it’s
seriously so soothing. Using your favourite cleanser, do a double cleanse. If there is one
thing you take from this, cleanse your face twice. Once removed the makeup and dirt, the
second nourishes and gets the skin prepped for skincare. Changes the game entirely.
If I’m really going gung-ho then I’ll do a mask, something like Ren’s Glycolic Mask or
Elemis’s Superfood Greens is great for a quick mask moment that packs a punch.
The one thing I love using is the Origins Mushroom Lotion, if there is one thing you want to
use it is this, I swear my face just looks glowy after using it. Carry on with your eye cream,
serums etc until you have completed your routine and if you feel like it, apply a hair mask if
you are leaving it on overnight – which I fully recommend you do. Philip Kingsley does a
great one that I swear by, I’m giving you all my secrets! (Ps. If you have curly hair like me,
investing in a satin/silk pillowcase makes all the difference to your skin and hair.)

Now we are sufficiently moisturised and feeling like we have just taken care of ourselves
by looking after our skin. We can do rituals like body oils or moisturizers, hair oils etc, and
for me I like to take some time to centre my breathing.
To do this, I close my eyes – still listening to Fran at this point – and take some very deep
breaths slowly. I’m listening to whatever I have on Netflix, or an audiobook and I’m really
listening, taking it in, breathing. I’m tuning into my hearing, ignoring everything else around
me, just listening, not thinking about anxieties or such. Before I know it I’ve sunk right
between my pillows on my bed and I’m feeling relaxed and very zen. I like to have a cold glass of water and make some caffeine free tea. Some sort
of ginger or berry flavour is a personal favourite of mine. Although I do love a chai if I have
some more time, especially if I’m stressed.

I switch off my laptop, turn my phone on bedtime mode, dim the lights and curl up with my
dog and a good book. Keeping away from my devices is really key here, because I know
that I don’t switch off until they do. Right now I’m reading The Corfu Trilogy, which is the
book behind The Durrells – it’s quite excellent.

It’s incredibly important to carve out time for yourself. If you have the luxury to do this every
night then super power to you, teach me your ways! But I like to do this 3 times a week,
however making time to centre my breathing is paramount every night.
Try it, and watch your stress levels dissipate. Trust me!

Written by Mollie Rose Houston Netwomen Ambassador

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