The Wind Down
This begins as soon as my 18-month-old baby is in bed, so at around 7.30pm. I try to keep work to a minimum at the weekend and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but by Sunday evening I’m really in the mood to relax. I love a bit of self- care. I’ll often do a Yin Yoga class on a Sunday evening, which is basically stretching with tiny sneaky naps pretending to be exercise. I’m obsessed.
Then I’ll go home and take a bath; there’s nothing more decadent. I leave my phone downstairs so I’m not tempted to succumb to scrolling, and I’ll listen to some Joni Mitchell, The Greatest Showman soundtrack or The Cranberries. Quite a heady mix! In my bath, I like to put in plenty of Epsom Salts or Ren Magnesium Booster Bath Salts, a little Aromatherapy Associates Breathe Bath and Shower Oil (I’m ridiculously negligent when it comes to my body so I tend to use a body oil in the bath and hope something clings on). And I always, always apply a face mask. I light a candle (Malin + Goetz Cannabis Candle is my current go-to) and sometimes, I’ll have a snooze (though this is dangerous, so I don’t recommend it!).
I’m desperately trying to embrace routine. My husband is a stickler for it but I feel oppressed when I try to keep to a schedule; I’m more into relentlessly reading about other people’s routines instead. If I’ve had the time, I’ll have done some online shopping or at least picked up some fruit and veg for the week ahead. Because of travel and work I tend to eat out quite a bit, so it’s about having stuff ready for my daughter. I check my diary to see what’s happening for the week ahead and plan around that. Sometimes it involves sorting out clothes to wear for filming or packing a bag but mostly it’s chilling out. Sunday evening, I like to freestyle.
Skincare-wise, I begin with Omorovicza Cleansing Foam if I’m craving something luxurious or Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Cleansing Gel if I haven’t been wearing makeup that day. Then I’ll spritz on some Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist. I’m a serum junkie and currently into Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum and Kate Somerville Quench Hydrating Face Serum – I like to alternate them depending on if my skin feels dry or needs a boost. Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel Pads have completely changed my skin. They’ve evened out my skin tone, keep hormonal breakouts at bay and are brilliant for travel too. I generally use them at night to prep my skin before a mask or night time ritual. My skin is fair and sensitive, so in the datyime I never skip SPF. Dr Barbara Sturm Sun Drops SPF50 are great; you mix a few drops with your moisturiser and it protects your skin without leaving behind white streaks. I find lots of SPF’s clog the pores but this one feels super lightweight.
If I’ve been travelling and my skin is dry I’ll saturate it with Glam Glow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment – a firm favourite. And Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask is amazing if my skin needs a deep clean (they’ve also got a skin polish that’s insanely good!) Sometimes, I use an LED face mask (try Dr Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro), which is very sexy in bed (it’s not sexy in the slightest actually; it’s terrifying but very effective) or Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask, which I’ve used forever. It sinks into the skin so you can fall asleep watching Peaky Blinders while smelling of roses. IDEAL.
If I’m feeling up to it I’ll use a treatment on my hair and braid it while it’s damp, drying the front so my ‘curtains’ look how I like and then I blast dry the rest roughly to get the water out and leave it to air dry naturally. My go-to is IGK Hair Thirsty Girl Coconut Milk Leave-In Conditioner – it’s the dream. And IGK Hair Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm is fab too.
I’m in bed by 9pm on the button. I try to do this most days but on a Sunday it’s non-negotiable. I read in bed for a bit and while we don’t really watch television in the bedroom we do have one and sometimes go wild on the weekend. I usually have around eight books on my bedside table and choose one depending on my mood. Currently it’s a throw-up between ‘Just F*ucking Do It’ by Noon Hibbert, ‘The Art of Living’ by Thich Nhat Hanh, ‘The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read’ by Philippa Perry & a little pamphlet book by Greta Thunberg. I leave my phone out of the bedroom and don’t use it past 8pm. I try to meditate as often as I can. Some days are better than others but if I can get into a rhythm of doing it my whole mood is better. I don’t use apps for meditation. I used to have the Calm and Headspace apps but find it counterintuitive to be plugged into an app in order to unplug!
This is the time when I also take my supplements. At the moment I’m taking magnesium to help me sleep, vitamin D because I live in the UK and wear SPF and Ashwagandha for hormonal balance. I might also make myself a herbal tea. They’re my jam. Rose tea is especially delicious.
I love a pillow spray. Votary Pillow Spray Lavender and Chamomile is my most recent discovery and I’ve started using a magnesium spray, which has been a game- changer with my sleep quality. With an eighteen-month-old morning comes quick so at least if I nod off quickly and get into a deep sleep, I feel vaguely human. I’ve been using a Slip Silk Sleep Mask for a few years and take it everywhere with me and if I feel the need I’ll also use some earplugs. I steal those from Radio2. They offer them to people with tinnitus, they’re not fancy but they do the job.
Lights are out by 10pm. I used to be a real princess about sleep and wanted a minimum of 8 to 9 hours. Since having a baby, I realise I have a much greater capacity to work while also sleep deprived. Not recommending this but along with childbirth it is weirdly gratifying and empowering to know you can deal with much more than you thought possible.
I’m oddly excited on a Sunday evening. I’ve always worked freelance and so weekends tend to be quiet. Monday is the beginning of a new week and opens up a whole world of possibility so thankfully, I don’t really get Sunday evening blues.
My daughter is my alarm clock. That’s quite a profound moment as a human, to realise you never again need an alarm. She usually beeps at around 5.30/6am. Then the first thing I’ll do is give thanks for my duvet (I’m keen on lush linen), drink some Symprove and cuddle my kid.