Winter always makes us want to hibernate. But, there’s something particularly languid about that time of year between Christmas and New Year. The festive parties are done and we think we will never be able to stare down a glass of champagne or look at a canapé again (until New Year’s eve hits us and we realise that, actually, we can). It’s a time when most people really relax: sleep late, forget the gym or pilates, let the running shoes gather a little bit of dust and eat until they need to lie down.
In the spirit of wholeheartedly embracing the idle, we have compiled a list of our five absolute favourite relaxation and sleeping treats, to help you make the most of probably the only time in the year when we all think it’s brilliant to be lazy.
We swear by this pillow spray. Formulated using a soothing mix of Lavender, Vetivert and Wild Camomile essential oils, this blend will help calm the mind in preparation for a restorative slumber. thisworks touts it as “the miracle solution to a good night’s sleep”. We agree. It isn’t a best-seller for nothing.
There is still time for heavy hinting that you want this in your Christmas stocking. Diptyque say this is an “invitation to calm and harmony”. Light it. Breathe in. It’s sweet lavender flower and refreshing green leaf fragrance = instant tranquility.
A silk eye mask. If you don’t own one, you need to. For a myriad of reasons: a mask is a must for mid-afternoon nap (anything that enables a mid-afternoon nap is a winner in our eyes), sleeping in complete darkness leads to sleep of the most restorative kind and, a mask made from and lined in lustrous 100% silk charmeuse doesn't absorb like cotton eye masks or pillow cases - it allows your skin to retain its natural moisture and oils, helping to minimise the appearance and creation of deep-set sleep wrinkles while you sleep. Need any further reason? Didn’t think so.
We love all the Cowshed products – they’re resolutely British, inspired by English country gardens and although the product names are lighthearted, they’re darn serious about their herbal, botanical concoctions of the best organic, wild-crafted and fairly-traded plant extracts and essential oils. The “Sleepy Cow” tea and bath salts when combined (drink the tea in cup whilst in the bath, don’t dunk tea bag in the bath) are a sure-fire way to drift safely toward a blissful slumber. The tea not only calms and relaxes, it contains antioxidants to halt free radical damage and the bath salts, whilst smelling delicious with their blend of Melissa and Lemon Myrtle essential oils, also contain olive oil and Vitami E to keep that skin super-soft.
Oh, and if you want pure rancho-relaxo, head to Babbington House in Somerset for a weekend, it’s the site of the first Cowshed spa.
This company who sell all manner of beautiful products (for men and women) inspired by ancient India’s Ayruvedic beauty wisdom have a passion for creating all-natural, organic products, free from synthetic nasties. The blend of oils in their Surrender Body Oil is like a yoga retreat for your skin, while the combination of chamomile, frankincense, ylang ylang, spikenard, may chang, geranium and vetiver is perfect if festive season anxiety (it’s a thing you know?) has gotten to you and your bones are feeling the ache of the frantic pace that seems to be a part of modern life. This oil makes a perfect addition to a pre-sleep ritual and if you need more convincing, how about the feel-good factor that £1 from every sale goes to causes enriching the lives of children or the knowledge that Surrender was created for the brand’s spa treatments at Bulgari Hotel. Branch cachet or what?