With the holidays fast approaching and work being as busy as ever, it is so easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed during this time of year. End of the year work deadlines, holiday shopping, and end of the year parties often mean that “me time” gets taken off the agenda almost completely. While I find myself negatively affected by the shorter days of winter, it can also offer a good reason to have a cozy night in. Whenever I have a relaxing evening in I normally gravitate towards these three things to really get my mind off of the craziness of everyday life.
Go Without Screens ~ One of the things that really gets me to unwind is not being bogged down by screens, whether it be my phone or my laptop. I find that I am able to relax so much better when I’m not constantly being reminded of the outside world. There is also a lot to be said for sleeping better when you don’t look at screens before you go to bed, a habit which I am working to adopt more and more into my usual evening routine. Reading a book or a magazine is a guaranteed way for me to stop thinking about all of the things on my to-do lists for the days ahead. I’ve also been getting into doing adult coloring books, which I find helps me relax because I still feel like I’m doing productive (can you tell I don’t like to sit still?) without using the part of my brain I use for work or other everyday tasks.
Get Cooking ~ Spending the evening baking or even just cooking myself a simple dinner is another thing I love to do when I need to just switch off for the night. I find the precision of baking and the linear-ness of following a recipe oddly therapeutic. It also can’t hurt to have extra homemade baked goods lying around the house during the holidays. Cooking or baking also really helps me to switch my mind off everything else that is going on around me, since I’m focusing on something that needs my full attention and is completely disparate from all my other tasks at hand. I tend to peruse my Pinterest board for recipes the day before (so I’m not glued to a screen all night when I’m trying to relax) and pick out one or two recipes for the night. One of the best one’s I have tried lately is the classic mince pie recipe from BBC Good Food, because I can never go a Christmas season without making mince pies at least twice.
Pamper Yourself ~ There’s simply nothing better than having a good ol’ pamper night when you’re trying to relax from the busy holiday season. And there is nothing that typifies a pamper night quite so much as taking a long bath. Especially in the wintertime when it’s so cold, it feels so much more relaxing to take a bath rather than a shower. Because the wintertime also coincides with the busiest season work-wise, I tend to gravitate towards bath products like Epsom salts that help me to relax and de-stress. Doing a facemask is always part and parcel of a relaxing night for me as well, especially since stressful moments often coincide with stressed out skin. My favorite face mask of the moment has hands down been the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. Along with a face mask I always like to give myself a fresh manicure since my hands and nails always look worse for wear during the winter months.