Time to Unwind

Dreamy bath situation in The Artist Residence, Pimlico. Coconut milk bath soak: Wood/Grey. Cleansing oil: £24.50, Elemis. Rescue mask: £35, Eve Lom.  Nail polish in ‘Cloud Fine’: £8, Cheeky

Perhaps it’s because a warm, bubbly hot bath sounds like just about heaven right now, or because calling 7 different numbers just to sort one tiny thing in our new house is starting to wear us down, but I’ve been thinking a lot about unwinding, relaxing and taking time to de-stress. Amongst the move, I found some papers from my overnight sleep clinic which suggested ways to relax and unwind and I realised I hadn’t really put much of it into practise.

Every year it’s kind of a new resolution. But this year it’s going to happen, right? Here’s what I’m going to do to help lighten the load for the year ahead:

Switch off emails after 6pm . I recently read Lucy Williams’ post on unwinding over Christmas, and it mentioned leaving her phone in another room. I must admit the reason we got so much done in our house in the first week was no email distractions and also no television. As scary as it sounds it means you are much more productive.

Take time for yourself. Maybe it’s bath, or 30 minutes coffee and magazine time, I know it’s easier said than done but it is important. I am always inspired by Kristina from kikki K who said she wakes up at 5am every morning, before her kids are up, just so she can have an hour to herself – now that’s determination!

Download more AudioBooks. I always dragged around my huge paperback book into town and then just never felt ‘in the mood to read’. Instead, I’m downloading eBooks so I can listen as I travel and walk to appointments, and subscribing to Audible in lieu of my unused gym membership. No time lost and takes away the effort that reading sometimes throws at you (which sounds ridiculous but sometimes it feels that way!).

Accept defeat a little more. I always try to do far too much in one day and get frustrated when it doesn’t all happen. With our new house we’ve already made so many compromises – the living room was finished 3 days after we expected it to be (which was hard as we had no room to sit in and we work from home), the kitchen probably won’t realistically get done until next year now, accepting this often allows you to plan better for the future, too. I also made the decision to do less blogposts a week this year, and this has already had a good impact on my workload.

I always try and drink chamomile tea after 4pm to help a better night’s sleep. Clipper do a good one, or Bluebird Tea’s ‘Dozy Girl’ has lavender and rose, which is a favourite. Pyjamas: Desmond & Dempsey.

1. Chambray pyjamas: £39, John Lewis 

2. ‘The Goldfinch’: £16.99, Audible

3. Dressing gown: £40, Marks & Spencer

4. ‘Sweet chamomile’ tea: £4.50, Joe’s Tea Co

5. Inspiration notebook: £6, kikki K

6. Rose reverie body scrub: £3.99, H&M

7. Sheepskin slippers: £75, Ugg

8. ‘Matcha madness’ body mask: £25, Origins

9. Large ‘Wild Sage’ candle: reduced to £22.40, The White Company

10. ‘Detox’ bath salts: £20, Herbivore at Wood/Grey


  1. I bought the dressing gown (3) from M&S for my daughter for Christmas and she’s lived in it ever since! Gorgeous colour and SO soft.

    Also gave her a plum fleece cushion from Next, scented Christmas candles from M&S, dachshund pattern socks (standing family joke) and a dark chocolate reindeer from Aldi! All very hygge.

    I do hope you get to have some quality relaxation time during your refurb – I know how stressful any house renovation can be.


    1. Oh so pleased! I’m saving it for Rocco’s birthday this week (already got him too much for xmas!). Thanks so much Fiona, I don’t think I planned for this much disruption – bit naive – but will be worth it in the end! xxx

  2. Hi Alex,

    Can you let me know what colour the nail polish in the first picture is, please? It looks like a nice milky grey blue….



  3. I’m a natural 5 am riser so that time is reading or Headspace/meditation time. I’m amazed what I can achieve in a quiet hour.

    As for letting go of my mobile in the evening, that may take a little more work 😉

  4. I am completely with you on this, Alex. I am almost at the end of a renovation project which took over my life for over 2 years! We had no heating or hot water for 2 winters (winter 2014 being the coldest and grimmest!) and last December, after 5 weeks of no bathroom, we finally had our new one fitted and it was finished on 23rd December. I will never forget that first bath! Even though we still had no central heating until October 2016, that bath and the underfloor heating in the bathroom was absolute bliss , I tell you! I used a good squirt of Aveeno bath and shower oil and some Epsom salts, lit a candle and i felt my whole body relax! I think it is so important to take care of our inner wellbeing and baths are so underated! I am already looking forward to one tonight…and an episode of the OA on Netflix!
    I am dreaming of a new kitchen too! Best of luck with your new home x

    1. Oh gosh I feel your pain. They actually turned off all water last night and we’re filling the cistern up with a bucket…needless to say I’m in the local cafe drinking hot chocolate as I type….! The pipes are now laid, we just need someone to install a gas meter – it will be amazing to have heating but sad it cost all our savings and you won’t be able to see anything pyhsical! I think ours will be a coupe of years too, we’re doing bathroom out of necessity and then…we’ll see where we are money-wise (although I know the answer to that!). On another note is OA any good? Need something to get into to take my mind off the reality right now! xxx

      1. Argh! I remember when we had no water and no toilet in the house for a whole day. Weeing in a bucket in our bedroom while the plumbers worked away in the bathroom was a low point. One I hope I never have to repeat!
        I know what you mean about not seeing anything physical for the money you spend on things like insulation, pipework under the floor etc. One thing I did feel the benefit of was under floor heating! SO NICE!
        We bought a lot of our bathroom from Sanctuary Bathrooms. they were excellent and will price match if you find anything cheaper.
        I have just seen your new post on your bathroom choices. Similar to mine with the floor tiles! Lovely!
        The OA is very good! Definitley recommend. Now I am into The Crown! x

  5. I accidentally woke up at 5am yesterday before the kids woke up and it was incredible. I do think that is the solution. The idea of a bath seems so indulgent to me, but absolutely essential. Love those pineapple pyjamas. Yvadney x

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