We all deal with varying levels of stress these days. From major life upheavals to the smallest annoyance, it infiltrates our lives on an everyday basis. I admit the last few months have been a bit more stressful than most as we navigated our way through the UK’s selling and buying process which, I’m convinced, is almost orchestrated to ensure maximum stress for the duration of the process, right up until the very last minute. Thankfully, we’ve managed to get in here and while it wasn’t what I would consider ‘smooth sailing’, I know plenty of other people who had homes they set their hearts on, only to have the proverbial rug pulled out from under them when deals have fallen through.
But stress doesn’t have to only come from the big stuff. I mean, I get stressed out if I’m working on something that takes a lot of concentration and my dog starts going nuts, barking at a bird bobbing around across the street. I get stressed when I see my inbox overflowing and wonder how I’m going to manage to get on top of it. I get even more stressed watching the news. We live in a fast-moving world that’s constantly demanding our attention and we have the world just a click away on our phones, telling us how bad things are, how bad things are getting. It’s enough to send anyone reaching for a glass of wine to just chill out.
I’m not the type of person who ‘lets it all out’ either. I don’t lash out and punch walls (probably a good thing) or scream and sob into a pillow. My stress tends to build up inside me quietly and I internalise a lot of it which isn’t particularly healthy, I’m aware. But finding time to spoil myself a little (and I promise, it doesn’t mean having a spa day or blowing a huge amount of cash) on a regular basis means I also can release some of that pent-up energy so it doesn’t get on top of me.
And while plenty of wine was consumed the last few months (hey, I’m not here to judge), I know it’s not the only way to chill out, despite what the world around us constantly tells us. So today, I’ve teamed up with the lovely Bloom & Wild to share some of the ways I carve out calm in chaos.
If you aren’t familiar with Bloom & Wild, they are a nationwide flower delivery service that creates the most perfectly gorgeous contemporary arrangements straight to your letterbox. The gorgeous flowers you see above were sent to me to style this post and I’m utterly in love! More on them in a minute but here are just a few ways I choose to chill out these days…
I’m a really big advocate of using scent to change my mood. The smell of incense (which I now burn quite regularly) instantly transports me to Cova D’en Xoroi in Menorca where we spent our holiday a couple of years ago. It’s a stunning bar, built into the cliff face over the ocean and everywhere, they had incense burning, even outside. Sitting there, watching the waves crash below and boats pass, drinking a mojito in the sunshine was a pinch-me moment. I still think about it when I burn incense now, the scent reminding me of our time there.
I also love scented candles and room fragrance diffusers. All of these wonderful scents relax me or transport me or simply give me the good-feels. If I want to relax, I tend to avoid citrus scents (which energise rather than chill me out) but I do love florals like rose and bergamot and natural scents like fresh cut grass, forest pine, cinnamon and vanilla. Figure out what your relaxation trigger scents are to be instantly transported to happier, more chilled out times.
Podcasts & Audiobooks
I don’t read anywhere near as much as what I used to but at the moment, I’m loving Audible. I have a monthly subscription which costs me around £8 a month and for that, I can download around one book a month to listen. At the moment, I’m listening to You are a Badass by Jen Sincero, the perfect book to get inspired to not let anything hold you back (mostly yourself) from achieving your dreams. A couple of others I’ve read recently that I really enjoyed and would recommend? Sara Pascoe’s hilarious and surprisingly informative Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body and Robert Webb’s How Not to Be a Boy which I found incredibly funny, sad and heartwarming. Side note: it’s rather nice listening to audiobooks read by the author as you really feel as though they are talking to you personally.
I’m also a big fan of podcasts so if you don’t quite have the time to plunge yourself into a full book, then shorter, sweeter podcasts are where it’s at and there is literally something out there for everyone, no matter what your interests. I’ve recommended The Guilty Feminist to so many of my friends (hilarious, entertaining, incredibly informative) but I also rather love Control Alt Delete with Emma Gannon for creative digital types. If you are looking for interior blogs inspiration and chat, check out Style Matters by Little Yellow Couch, where I was interviewed a couple of years ago!
Of course, nothing beats a good digital detox and while I’m more into paging through magazines these days, there really is something incredibly relaxing about getting off of the laptop or phone and just unplugging completely for a while. I recently received Kate Watson-Smyth’s second and latest book Mad About the House, named after her incredible multi-award winning blog and while there are very few interior photographs in it (I know, but let me explain), it’s so incredibly informative, filled with tips and advice for just about every single space in your home and all via the wit and wisdom of an experienced writer. I’ll share more about her best-selling book on the blog soon but in the meantime, I’m truly enjoying getting stuck into it.
The Pamper Sunday Ritual
It may seem a cliche, but I find spending a little time to pamper myself is such a lovely boost at the end of a long week. Sundays are almost always a little more chilled out at home and so I like to take an hour or two to just relax and give my face some goodness. I have everything from facial oils to eye masks, pampering scrubs to nourishing balms in my stash and treating myself to a little in-home spa day is a great way to just be nice to myself.
I’ll do a post on my Sunday pampering routine at some point soon but a few products to get you started: Barefaced Brightening Face Mask with Rice Bran Oil is incredibly nourishing and reduces uneven skin tone and you get a nice big pot for just £13 so it’s really easy on the pocket too. After washing this off, I like to use a face oil followed by Sesderma’s Factor G Renew Face Cream. I’ve also been enjoying Skyn’s ICELAND Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels to reduce any puffiness around the eyes!
Create a Chill Out Playlist
A little relaxing music is something I’m always really fond of playing in the house. I tend to work in silence during the day (I find myself distracted when there’s music playing but that’s just me!) but once work is complete for the day, I have my Amazon Echo to fill the quiet with chilled out music. I have a music subscription service through it and so at my fingertips are tens of thousands of different albums and playlists. A few favourites for chilling out: Zero7, Hannah Cohen, Ben Howard and Agnes Obel.
When you work from home, finding a way to separate the two physically and mentally can be really difficult and often stressful. I find that music helps me to compartmentalise my day and when the music goes on, I know that’s a signal to my brain to stop thinking about work and start thinking about a chilled out evening.
Buy Yourself Flowers
And finally, when Bloom & Wild got in touch about collaborating on this post and offered some of their flowers to try out, I decided to schedule the flower delivery a few days after we moved in. I knew for a fact that things would still be messy and chaotic in the house but knowing I had a gorgeous bunch of flowers winging their way to me gave me a little boost. And when they arrived, I ooh’d and aww’d over their beauty, delivered in the most stunning pink-lined box. Over a week later (!) and they are still going strong.
I know we tend to wait for people to send flowers to us but really, what better way to treat ourselves after a stressful week, month or year than with flowers? Every time I pass these, I bend down to give them a smell or caress the blooms (I can’t help myself, I always want to touch them!) and they add so much life into a room. Bloom & Wild‘s florists choose the most gorgeous flowers and they deliver nation-wide. They have a number of options available including their ‘Hand-tied’ version which is what I received. This means they are already arranged so you only have to pop them into a vase to enjoy them.
They also have their letterbox delivery option which allows for them to be popped through a letterbox and includes all the flowers you need to easily create your own stunning arrangement. You can try out their flower delivery as a one-off (either to yourself or a loved one) but they also offer a subscription service so you can get flowers delivered weekly, bi-monthly or monthly which you can cancel or pause at any time. There’s even an option to ensure your bouquets are lily-free, making sure they are safe for your furry friends. The best part? Deliveries start at just £18! At that price, it’s a service that I’m seriously considering now that I have seen how beautiful their flowers are! They really do create a little oasis of calm amongst the chaos for less than the price of a designer candle.
And now it’s your turn… how do you carve calm out of chaos? What are your tips for relaxation? Do you use guided meditation? Long hot baths? A yoga session? I’d love to know your own tips! The comment box awaits…
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Bloom & Wild but as always, all images, text and opinions are my very own. I only work with brands I love and think you’ll love too! Thanks so much for supporting the brands that support Swoon Worthy.