A simple one for a Sunday night – when it’s crucial to unwind, but also restore…
1) Baths are my health-boosting failsafe. I always have a bag of magnesium flakes in the bathroom cupboard, and whenever I am feeling achy, on the edge of run-down-ness, or just overly tired, a deep hot Mg bath before bed unknots every muscle and eases all the tension. BLISS OUT.
2) As someone who never, ever drank English tea, it makes me smile to think how much I now enjoy (and rely) upon a steaming brew to re-centre my thoughts and bring me back to a moment of uninterrupted presence. Once the kids are in bed, I do many things, but one of the first is boil the kettle (we have an old stove-top one, and it’s a treat to hear that whistle – reminds me of my nene). I have a tea ritual (I use the Jing single cup/pot decanter and their little glass egg timer), which seems entirely extravagant – were it not something that gave me such simple pleasure, each and every time. Jing source beautiful organic tea too – their rooibos is a favourite, while their gorgeous rose (a bag of the full fragrant rosebuds no less!) is such a lovely soothing tipple. Once I have posted thusly, I am off to do just this! I urge you to create a little tea ritual for yourself – stash some of your favourite bags in a box somewhere, or loose leaves in a special tin, and make the time to curl up, on your comfiest sofa, to do nothing more important than sip and smile.
3) This spring, I shall begin meditating – properly, without excuses. It’s the one resolution I have made (in a very long time in fact) and I have committed some time to meeting with one of the best Vedic Meditation practitioners out there, with a view to really nailing this incredibly balancing act of self-kindness and (given the rigours of modern life) self-preservation. In the interim, I’ve started doing something altogether simpler, but still pleasurable… I know that I shall never be one of those women who sets her alarm to wake her an hour before her kids do (they wake at 6.30am, c’mon!). So, when the little one jumps into my bed to give me my morning nuzzle and song, I park my queueing thoughts at the door – and just listen to each delicious word, take in every little touch, and lie there for as long as she’ll happily let me (before ordering us all out of bed and down to make her rumbling tummy a plateful of breakfast). Instead of springing out of bed and into the to-do list, I take those 10 to 20 minutes, lying there with her, taking it all in, and then when she’s toddled off to wake her sister, letting myself drift off to a point outside the window – a spire in the distance is my focal point – and just let things float in and out of my mind, as and when they will, with no ordering, prioritisation or judgement. It’s the simplest thing I’ve every tried, and has, hands down, made me enter the day in a much, much calmer way. No damage control, no control, just… giving myself up to whatever may be.