Challenge! De-Stress Me In 14 Days
Brand Manager Lucy set a challenge to de-stress herself in 14 days (with lots of help from the Neom Wellbeing Board)
The moment I arrived home, I spritzed the entire downstairs with Real Luxury™ Room Spray & Pillow Mist. This hour of madness is always a challenge. Dinner is being cooked, my other half is still answering work emails, and we're both trying to entertain a tired and irritable 3 year old. We needed a therapeutic scent to disperse quickly throughout the house, to instantly create a calm environment.
After dinner, I continued my challenge with easily the most enjoyable part, a deeply relaxing bath filled with Scent to Sleep™ Bath Foam bubbles. (Was this really part of the 'challenge'?!). The hardest part was keeping my little boy from jumping in and splashing. This little pleasure relaxed my muscles, rid tension from my body and I was a whole new calm mum when reading the bedtime story. I'm convinced it made him a little calmer and sleepier too (*mums take note*)! There's even a study which suggests lavender has relaxing properties which improves the mother/baby bed and bath time ritual, resulting in relaxed mothers and calmer babies too. (Any excuse for a 30 minute soak in the tub).
After my little boy was asleep, I lit my Tranquillity™ Scented Candle and went into the 'Viparita Karanai' pose. This is when you lay on your back with your legs up the wall and breathe for 10 minutes - sounds simple, but I loved it and it gave me the excuse to not do anything but close my eyes, lay down and breathe (how often do you get to do that?). A final spritz of the pillow and a scribble in my note book for 2 or 3 things I was grateful for that day and I was off to sleep at roughly the same time every night - which, due to pregnancy, always seems to be 9pm at the moment. This combination really worked for me and I fell asleep with ease, which is unlike me.
Working in an open plan office, I found the mindfulness part of my challenge a little tricky. To make sure I stuck to it, I made myself a little note (like an open and closed sign) and during my 2 minutes 3 times a day, plugged in my headphones and put up my sign and closed my eyes. Every day at lunch I'd head across the road to Nuffield Health where I spent 30 minutes swimming and took a 5 minute sauna. Sitting at a desk all day, like most I imagine, gave me back ache and tension in my shoulders (and made me a bit grouchy) but taking that time to clear my head and release tension from stressed out muscles made a massive difference and is something I will continue to do.
Next to report on is the food. Breakfast and lunches were easy to manage - yoghurt with berries or porridge with a splash of cinnamon and a little agave syrup made the whole family happy. I've found a new love for hummus and toasted pitta bread (the entire office got a sniff and went and bought their own) and nut butters on sourdough (I actually ended up blitzing up my own from a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe which was super quick to do).
Dinner wasn't so easy, saying words like 'bulgar wheat' or 'salmon' would turn my other half's nose up, but we managed to swap in wholewheat pasta and added plenty of leafy greens to make it work.
Another easy one to report on was having the Neom De-stress Wellbeing Spa Treatment. Who doesn't love a massage? But this one wasn't just any old massage. It was out of this world. I got myself booked in with our therapist and she adapted the moves perfectly for pregnancy. I felt like every inch of my body (from face to foot) was considered in order to effectively de-stress, with meditation and reflexology foot sequences, and some of the most unusual massage moves I have ever experienced, I literally felt like my body was floating when I emerged for a peppermint tea. Highly recommended for the ultimate de-stressing.
The last night of my programme was time alone. I booked a babysitter (my little one slept at his grandparents) and took my other half out for a surprise. We had fresh sea bass at a beautiful local pub. It actually was a great way to reconnect and not be working parents for a while. And we didn't feel much guilt.
Do I feel de-stressed in 14 days? YES! Do I know why? Yes. Perhaps the moral to this story is making time, each day, to make yourself feel good. Being consistently plugged in isn't good for us, and perhaps I was trying to do it all.
Here's what I'd recommend:
• Take time to take a bath alone and make it work twice as hard for you with added oils from Neom.
• Take a lunchtime swim and tell everyone in the office that's where you're going - switch your out of office to read "I have unplugged and will be back shortly".
• Book yourself in for regular wellbeing treatments - everyone should be making time for the right treatment, to help them feel good.
• Make 'feel good' snacks by following our Neom Nutrition Expert's de-stress diet advice. It's surprising the huge difference that the right snacks can make, no more sluggishness and mid-afternoon slump!
These 2 weeks have been just what I need to recharge, re-think and de-stress.
Do you need de-stressing? Tell us why using #NeomWellbeing or leave a comment!