How 3 super-busy women DO a night in
Posted by Nicola Elliott
Our stance this month is ‘Happy to be Boring’. Meaning staying in, having that down time is good for our soul (not to mention our mind and bodies) BUT giving ourselves time to truly relax, recharge and de-stress is imperative for our wellbeing…Are you happy to say you’re being ‘boring’ this month!?
Bridget: Yes! Since becoming a mum last year I've quickly accepted that staying in is the new going out, and I'm actually quite into it. I've stopped saying yes to everything and my head's not spinning like it used to. I'll never be a couch potato (can't stay still long enough), but I've rediscovered the joys of long baths and podcasts. 'Fat Mascara' is my weekly fave.
Alice: Staying in is definitely the new going out for me too! Whilst I love having a wild night out with friends, I love nothing more than arriving home, lighting a scented candle and running a bubble bath.
Hollie: I think the concept is a really interesting and often misjudged one. We are part of a culture that has glorified the idea of being busy to the detriment of our own wellbeing, which needs to change. I work with women and as part of my job as a birth educator, I’m constantly encouraging women to SLOW DOWN. We’re sold this belief that if we’re resting we’re being lazy, and I really think the opposite is true. The key to a happy balance is nurturing and replenishing ourselves when we need to, so that we can feel as energetic and productive as possible when we’re ready. So yes, I’m saying I’m very happy to be boring this month. Warm baths, early nights and nourishing food.
10 words which sum up your ‘night in’ of dreams?
Bridget: Candles lit. Babe sleeping sweetly. Fizz. Friends. A singalong soundtrack.
Alice: Lavender oil. Hot bubble bath. Scented candles. Relaxing downtime music. A nourishing healthy dinner. Cuddles with my Husband.
Hollie: Fire on, candles lit, snuggled up on the sofa with my dogs, a blanket and a good book!
Kids in bed… you’ve mentally said to yourself ‘NO jobs’ or sneak peek at emails! – what’s your go-to way to relax?
Bridget: Sometimes wine! And yoga (but not at the same time..!). For years I've subscribed to Yogaglo, an online yoga studio which has classes to match any mood and energy level. The ones with an evening focus help me wind down, and I love that afterwards there's no stepping off the mat into the real world to get home via tube/train/bus - the fastest way to lose your zen!
Hollie: I’ll be honest, a glass of wine can be involved! More often than not though, it’s a hot bath with lovely indulgent products and as a massive bookworm, whatever read I’ve got on the go too.
You’re a super busy working mum – you’re juggling it all. How do you keep it together on those days/evenings….You’ve. Just. Had. Enough??
Bridget: I watch or read the news and realise my problems are actually privileges. And I always replenish the kitchen cupboards with dark chocolate (devoured daily).
Hollie: When I think back to the early days of setting up my business, I’d be up till the early hours of the morning trying to keep on top of everything. I was so tired all the time. I got run down and couldn’t seem to snap out of it. That was a wake-up call for me to make a real shift in how I balance things. I now actually schedule in downtime. Giving it the same weight and priority as anything else in your life means it actually happens. If I’m well-rested and relaxed, I work SO much better the next day. evenings I just switch off anything digital, put on a face mask and take myself to bed before 9pm.
The Neom mantra is ‘wellbeing small steps, big difference’ – the little things we can all do each day to feel good…Will you share 3 YOUR small steps?
Bridget: 1 - Making a matcha latte to drink while doing my make-up in the morning. It's my little ritual that tastes as good as it (apparently) good for me.
2 - Taking an opportunity to exercise when I can: I hardly get a chance to do my favourite fitness classes anymore, so things like taking the steps and walking the long way home help energise me.
3 - Booking in pamper sessions. Again, I rarely do this in the evenings/at weekends, so I book an hour or so off work to get my hair and nails done plus a facial or massage. I look forward to them for weeks!
Alice: Put yourself to bed early, you’ll thank yourself in the morning. Pamper and be kind to yourself- small steps like putting a face mask on or running yourself a bath.
Hollie: Only check your emails twice a day. I do mine at 10am and 4pm and then don’t reply to anything in between. If you spend all day replying to emails you move backwards and end up feeling frustrated. Schedule in time. At the beginning of each week I write in my diary when I’m going to exercise, read, relax, cook. Blocking out time for those things means they don’t always fall to the bottom of the list. When you’re off, you’re off. I don’t use social media or check my phone when I’m with my son. I don’t want his memories of me to have a device in between us, so from when he gets home from school to when he goes to bed, my phone stays in another room. Knowing he’s getting my full attention when I’m with him makes me feel happier about reaching a balance as a working single mother.
Your take on…saying no? (in the interests of making that time for yourself)
Bridget: I saw this meme once saying 'Sorry I'm late, I didn't want to come'. I thought, 'that's so me!' then, 'isn't it better to actually not go, than to be somewhere begrudgingly?' Now I say no more!
Alice: If it doesn’t feel authentic, walk away. As women, we feel compelled to multitask and do everything, I’ve found it’s truly liberating to say no to things and save your energy for only what makes you feel good.
Hollie: It amazes me that so many women are so out of touch with their own bodies/hormones. It can be as simple as noting down how you feel each day, and then reflecting on it month-on-month. You’ll probably notice that there are obvious patterns. So I know that some weeks I’m going to be feeling well up for socialising, so I say yes and then on the days I know I’m going to want to hunker down, I just say no. I think a lot of us feel guilty for saying no, but if we’re looking after ourselves we’re better equipped to say yes more often, and be better company when we do.
Connecting (according to charity Action for Happiness) is one of the 10 ways we can be happy…Favourite Saturday evening night in activity where you connect?
Bridget: Our little boy has helped bring our wider family ties even closer and my husband and I love nothing more than watching him bring them (and us) pure joy.
Alice: Truly uninterrupted time to listen, talk & have a proper belly laugh is vital!
‘Topping up your cup’ the motto making its way around insta….What does this mean to you? How do you top up YOUR cup’?
Bridget: I kept hearing from the teachers in my prenatal and postnatal yoga classes that you can't possibly give enough as a mother/partner/friend/employee if you don't put fuel in YOUR tank first. Self-love doesn't make you selfish. Quite the opposite. By being your best self - whatever that is - you can be the best in all your multiple roles as a woman.
Alice: Count your blessings. It may sound cliché but taking a moment to realise how lucky you are does wonders.
Hollie: I always have my son on a Saturday evening, so we have a little routine where we take the dogs for a late afternoon walk in the woods, then come back and have hot chocolate and watch a movie of his choice before bed. Snuggling up under a blanket, having my arm around him and watching him giggle at the funny bits is one of my favourite bits of the week and it makes any stresses seem insignificant.
Bed time read?
Bridget: For magazines, Harper's Bazaar (of course), Women's Health and Allure. Book-wise, I'm currently reading 'French Children Don't Throw Food' by Pamela Druckerman which is making me want to move to Paris!
Alice: The last book I read was the Nightingale, a moving and memorable read..
Hollie: I’m a massive book worm and always have a fiction and non-fiction on the go. At the moment I’m reading I Am Pilgrim which is incredible, and then Option B by Sheryl Sandberg which is all about navigating life’s curve balls to live a fuller, happier life.
Bridget: "Be kind, for everyone is fighting a harder battle."
Alice: "Less is more."
Hollie: "There are no mistakes."
Your favourite Neom products which you weave into your night in? How do you use them? Why do they work for you?
Bridget: The Energy Burst Body & Hand Wash, because a gorgeous wash is one of life's little luxuries I'll always buy into! I also love to scent my home with the Happiness Candle, the dreamy fragrance puts me in a mellower mood and it's a beautiful centrepiece.
Alice: Feel Refreshed Home Mist - I use this scent to spruce up my entrance hall at home. Perfect night’s sleep bath foam - this is heavenly and makes me incredibly bed ready!
Hollie: Neom products are all over my house as I always find the scents so comforting and relaxing. Because I work at home I always have a candle on the go - at the moment it’s a Complete Bliss one in my workspace and then a Tranquillity Reed Diffuser in my bedroom. I also use the Neom Bath & Shower Drops; Energy Burst if it’s daytime and Perfect Night’s Sleep in the evening.