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Life can be a hectic, stressful and - at times - just overwhelming! It's really important to take time for yourself to relax and focus on your wellbeing. I personally think Sundays are perfect for this, as there's generally less going on so you're not really missing out on much by giving yourself the day, the afternoon or even just the evening. This is how I like to wind down and relax so I'm ready for the week ahead. I have some product recommendations in this post but that's just what I like - please feel free to swap them out for stuff you already own!
The first thing I like to do on a relaxing evening in is to take a bath - it's a shame it's not as easy for me to have one where I live at the moment! I recently treated myself with to a little Lush haul. One of my old favourites which I pick up pretty much every Easter is the Lush Golden Egg Bath Bomb Melt | £4.95. It smells so good - it's a warm, sweet honey and orange scent and this turns my bath water orange and sparkly! It's so lovely to have a soak in this water, just close my eyes and relax. It makes my skin so nice and soft too.
A product I'm loving at the moment is the Caudalie Fleur de Vignes Shower Gel | £9 | so of course I like to treat myself to it on a relaxing evening in. This has the most beautiful scent - it's fresh and floral but also very clean. I think it's gorgeous and I find this soap-free formula doesn't strip my skin of moisture. Once out of the bath, I've then enjoying using a new discovery of mine - the Molton Brown Suede Orris Body Lotion* | £26 | just to moisturise my skin and give that lovely 'soft, smooth legs against the sheets' feeling. It's a nice, lightweight lotion so is easy and not at all fussy to apply. It's hydrating and smoothing without being greasy and I really like this light scent - the suede is slightly powdery but there's definitely a floral element in this fragrance too. The notes include rose and jasmine absolutes, cedarwood, patchouli and mandarin, alongside the two stars of the show.
- AN AT-HOME FACIAL -I love skincare so obviously taking my time and doing a bit of a longer routine features as part of my self care evening. I don't tend to be wearing makeup on a Sunday so I usually go straight in with my Foreo Luna Mini 2* | £119 | full review | device and a cleanser that works well with it - here I have the Fourth Ray Cloud Bank Milky Cleanser | $12 | review coming soon. I absolutely love this device; it gently exfoliates and gives my skin that deep cleanse it needs, taking whatever product I pair with it to the next level. It's also just nice and relaxing to use and feels really lovely on the skin. There are a variety of settings and textures and I chose this cleanser because the milky, minimally-foaming texture works nicely with this device. The Foreo presses the product into the skin to hydrate and soften it with jojoba oil, rose water, argan milk and more. My skin feels so soft, smooth and as though the day has been cleansed away after use!
Whilst I'm in the bath, I like to use a face mask and - given that an evening like this is all about feeling calm and looking after myself - I don't go for one of my more intense ones! Instead I like the Dr Roebuck's Tama Healing Mask* | £25 | full review. This contains soothing, hydrating, softening, clearing turmeric, avocado oil and manuka honey. This is one of my favourite all-rounder masks to give my skin some TLC. After removing the mask, I like to use the Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm* | £20 (travel size). This is such a treat for my skin! This cleanser is mineral-rich and packed with antioxidants - I just take a little and warm it between my fingers before applying to the skin and taking my time to massage it in. It leaves my skin so incredibly smooth after removing it (I gently pat a damp cloth on my skin so I don't remove any of that goodness). I then press the Pixi Rose Tonic* | £18 | full review | into my skin, again so I'm not wiping away the amazingness of the Omorovicza cleanser. This is a lovely hydrating, soothing and softening toner.
As I get settled into bed, I like to use a treatment. I apply them a good hour or at least 30 minutes before I plan on going to sleep so I can let whatever I'm using absorb into my skin. One of my absolute favourites products for transforming my complexion is the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Facial* | £54 | full review. I like to apply this and then use a Rose Quartz Face Roller to really massage it into the skin and to give a cooling effect. I just got mine from eBay but there are many places you can pick up these sorts of skin tools from. My top tip is to stick it in the fridge or even a glass of ice water to get an amazing cooling, depuffing effect. Paired with the oil-based Sarah Chapman facial, it glides smoothly across the skin to give you a lovely facial massage. The overnight facial itself is amazing for hydrating the skin and smoothing out any fine lines so you wake up the next day with your skin looking its absolute best!
- RELAXING SCENTS -When I'm getting ready for bed there are a few things I like to do to create a more relaxing atmosphere. The first is to light a candle because I love them! One of my absolute favourites is the Overose Valkiria Candle | £46. It's such a high-quality product; honestly it's like pure, luxury perfume melted down into a candle. This is a beautiful scent - a blend of fig, peach, coconut milk and cedarwood bark.
You might be wondering why there's another body lotion in this routine? I actually don't use the Lush Sleepy Body Lotion | £8.75 | all over my body; I just apply it to the insides of my wrists and a little on my neck and chest to get the aromatherapy benefits. It's a gorgeous take on lavender in terms of the fragrance, as it's paired with sweet tonka, to create a lovely warm cuddle of a scent! I then mist my pillow with the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray | £19.50. This mist contains lavender, vetiver and chamomile so when you settle down for sleep you'll be enveloped in scents that will calm and relax you.
- SWITCHING OFF -I like to take a minimum of half an hour but ideally an hour before bed to wind down, read a book, maybe have a caffeine-free herbal tea (such as a chamomile blend - I tend to go for Pukka or Whittard teas). I've found that this really helps me and (touch wood!) I've not had any severe bouts of insomnia, disrupted sleep patterns or struggles getting rest since starting doing this. You have to figure out what works for you, but this is my routine that helps me and might help you!
Initially I was wary of using YouTube as part of my relaxation routine, as I tend to go for a 'no screens' approach, however a few of these suggestions can be used with the brightness turned right down or without the visual element at all, just by sound. I use an app called Simple Habit which has daily meditations (many are only 5 minutes or less) that are targeted towards your specific concerns - whether sleep, health, stress, anxiety or anything else. ASMR has also helped me so much. If you've been living under a rock - this YouTube genre features sounds intended to relax the listener and produce a sort of 'tingles down your spine' feeling that's considered an effective way of reducing stress. It's best listened to through earphones and triggers range from close-up whispers going from one ear to the other to tapping and scratching to the ASMR artist pretending to give you a haircut! There's a lot of content out there so I recommend exploring and seeing what works for you, however some of my favourite channels include Gentle Whispering ASMR and ASMR Magic. Finally, I recommend getting a nice early night!
I really hope you enjoyed this post and that maybe it inspired you to take some time for yourself today! I think it's so important to shut out the noise sometimes, whatever that means to you - whether that's checking your work emails at the weekend or stressing out about errands you need to get done - there's a lot buzzing around in our minds. Taking care of your skin and giving yourself a bit of a pamper can get you in that relaxed mindset before Monday and the methods I mentioned really help me look after my mind too.
How do you like to relax? I hope you're all having a lovely Easter bank holiday weekend!