I hope there are no superstitious actors amongst my readers… otherwise the title will need to be changed.
I was reminded this last weekend of the power of a decent night’s sleep in keeping a person happy, well and fully functional. My two youngest children both developed a bad cold and cough while I was away in Durham, and the only advice I could give them long distance was to sleep well and for longer than usual.
By Monday, they were on the way to better, but my daughter still needed an extra day in bed. With extra covers, her hot water piggie, warm drinks and no interruptions, she slept off her sore throat and by Wednesday was back to full health.
My default response to any illness is to see if a decent night’s sleep will cure it. Physical or mental, there are few situations when a good cup of tea and a few extra hours in bed won’t improve the issue. And sometimes, it’s sensible to remember that it can be a preventative measure as well. Putting decent sleep front and centre of our wishlist at this time of year is not selfish, but self preservation. A true act of self care.
Tonight I propose a decent night in bed. I am going to start a good two hours before my normal bedtime, by turning off the TV and taking a warm bath. A bath, not a shower, because it’s more relaxing. Use a scented product that relaxes as well. I love lavender, and this gift set from L’Occitane would be ideal.
While I soak my cares away, both towel and pyjamas will sit on a radiator getting gently warmed up. Pyjama-wise, you could do worse than channel Ally McBeal, whose cute sheep and cloud pyjamas became an iconic part of her show.
My pyjamas are a little more prosaic, but still cute. I will dry myself quickly, slip into those warm jim-jams and slather on a layer of hand and foot lotion, before covering my feet up with a pair of fluffy warm socks. I keep them on the radiator as well.
The rest of the night will be spent in my bedroom, so I can relax now.
I’ll light a softly scented candle, something soft, spicy and vanilla probably, and slip beneath my duvet. Now, I’m lucky in that my Husband has agreed to make me a cup of tea when I’m ready, but if you’re there alone, then why not make a thermos of caffeine-free tea or hot chocolate to take up with you. No coffee, no caffeinated tea. Sip it slowly, enjoy the warmth and breathe easier.
For entertainment, I’m not going anywhere near electrical visual equipment. I have my red Roberts Radio set to Radio 4, or perhaps 4 Extra, and a pile of magazines that I have been hoarding since they arrived earlier in the month. Country Living, Country Homes and Interiors and my copy of In The Moment. I’ll be browsing first, flicking through and letting the images wash through my brain, rather than deep reading. I might make a few notes, or I might not. I’m relaxing, not working.
If my eyes are feeling heavy, I’ll put on an audiobook. I’m loving Nigel Slater reading his own The Christmas Chronicles. His voice is hypnotic,and the subject matter, though interesting, is not going to keep me awake with worry, but more likely to send me to bed smiling with visions of sugarplums, or at least the 21st Century equivalent. At some point I just need to make that last inevitable trip to the bathroom, brush my teeth and remember to blow out any candles before sliding slowly beneath the surface of the river Lethe and the true oblivion of sleep.
And that’s my self care for today. Hopefully tomorrow I will wake alert and refreshed, and be reminded once again why early to bed can be a girl’s best friend.
For more Self Care Christmas ideas, why not try my book?
Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas has a whole chapter on self care at Christmas. If you don’t take care of yourself, who will? Like all my books, it’s available from Amazon.
50 Ways to Hygge the British Way is available in Paperback and Kindle version and so is How to Hygge Your Summer, again in Paperback and Kindle form, from Amazon.
Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version.
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