In partnership with Glasshouse Fragrances
The festive season approaches and maintaining ritual and routine has never felt more important - especially with what's going on in the world.
As we ease back into the daily lives, entertaining loved ones, reflection, gratitude and ritual are always wrapped up in the season ahead. While many of us are turning to the ways in which we can feel enriched without becoming strung out, moments of quiet haven't felt this welcome since we went into lockdown.
We all have ways to help us come back to equilibrium in our bodies and minds. For some, it's deep breathing and yoga, for others, it looks a little more like an afternoon in front of the television. For me, it's clean spaces, warm scents that fill said spaces and staring at a wall for endless daydreaming possibilities.
It's lying on my back on my living room floor, revelling in city sounds or nodding to the Velvet Underground. It's the ritual of lighting a candle and watching it come alive. It's the moment before having loved ones over for a bowl of pasta, knowing that sending people away with full bellies should be a love language all on its own. All of such rituals can be applied to the festive season, especially as we switch our bodies into gear to safely socialise again. If you plan to partake in festive activities this year, remember to honour your own rituals on the night before Christmas, we are almost there, after all.
For myself, a clean space is the best way to facilitate calm, so tidying, changing linens, and creating a mood is an important step pre-wind-down ritual. Afterwards, I'll always light a candle to brighten the space with a scent and add some visual warmth. I could stare at a single flame forever. My choice this year is the Glasshouse Fragrances Night Before Christmas Candle. With notes of blackcurrant, redcurrant, plum, lemon and lavender, the scent feels warm and festive without being overly heady or intense.
After my space is set, I'll cleanse with a gentle milk cleanser and apply a hydrating mask, something like Chanel's Hydra Beauty Mask, with under-eye patches for some extra love. I'm not a fan of a 12-step routine, so this is usually me for the evening. I'll sleep in the mask and take the patches off once they've done the job.
For a night in, I'll make sure to take time to do very little, instead of cramming a whole bunch of 'relaxing' activities in. I'll let the candle burn while lying on the living room floor, legs stretched out and tracing the patterns on my ceiling, just being.
I'm often at home in Byron with my parents around Christmas time, and because we're in the sub-tropics, the heat never really breaks. Before bed I might have a swim in the pool, to feel extra grounded and tire myself out (and cool down). There's nothing that makes me feel safer than low light, a burning candle, and a good book, so I'll take the Glasshouse Fragrances Night Before Christmas Candle into the bedroom with the novel of-choice.
When all is said and done, and the wind-down has reached peak-low, I'll (hopefully) slip into a restorative slumber, dreaming about currants and lavender and the festivities ahead.