I am pretty bad at relaxing. Actually no: I am totally, completely HORRIFIC at relaxing. It’s not something I am proud of, but I have a sort of nervous energy that means I only feel OK if I am constantly doing something. I’m working on it – it used to be really bad when I was younger. I remember writing timetables on Christmas Eve so that I wouldn’t have an hour unfilled. And the summer holidays were actually a bit of a nightmare. When I got to uni, I made sure every single minute of down time was packed with trips – I learnt to sail, learnt to scuba dive, got a skiing instructor qualification… I was barely ever home, never bored, and certainly never had time alone with my thoughts. And I had never even heard of Ayurveda.
These days, as a freelance influencer, my need to be doing something constantly is arguably borderline productive: I draft blog posts in the bath, and edit pictures on tube journeys. I recently discovered ‘night mode’ on my iPhone, so I use the half hour between getting into bed and fallling asleep to schedule social media posts (while listening to Stephen Fry read Harry Potter, because I absolutely cannot deal with silence).
So I guess you could say I’m a kind of awesome multi-tasker. But then, I guess you could also say I’m heading for a burn-out. Which is why I took two days out of my schedule to leave the city and completely relax.
I was with Aveda at No. 38 The Park in the Cotswolds, which is an outrageously beaut Georgian townhouse in Cheltenham. We had the entire place (13 bedrooms) to ourselves, and the message was clear: relax. The house and grounds had been given the Aveda treatment (Chakra balancing oils in the air, stress-fix bath salts by the en-suite tubs), and we had a totally immersive experience of the brand. By which I mean we did more than just try the products. Although there was no real schedule, we floated between engagments like a one-to-one with Ayurvedic doctor Deepa Apte, a cooking lesson with Jasmine Hemsley, and a yoga practice with Good Vibes.
Aveda is all about connecting beauty, environment and well–being, and we were seriously living the Aveda principals for two days. It was the perfect antidote to the hustle of London and enormous pressures that increased connectivity and the spread of social media has brought. It’s been a slow process, but I think we are finally understanding that beauty comes from the inside out.
Skin is actually the biggest organ in the body, so it follows that what we put in our bodies – vitamins, nutrients, toxins, stress.. it all shows on our skin. Which is why some people suffer from hormonal break-outs, and why we associate the countryside with a healthy, rosy glow and London with a grey, sallow pallor. Confidence shows on our face, and calm is reflected in our posture. But the thing is – everything is linked. If we are constantly hunched over a computer, we limit blood-flow, and actually alter how things work internally. I got off the train from the Cotswolds and straight into a car for a press event. When I got out, the entrance was flooded by a bank of photographers, which was a surprise and something that would usually really knock my confidence. But looking back on the photos this morning, I look so calm and self-assured. To me, that is the real win here.
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