Advice for organisation, relaxation & rest during the festive season
Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place is our go-to brand for bringing a little bit of wellness back to our routines. From her uplifting podcast to the beauty collection that encourages calm, Fearne knows a thing or two about slowing down and relaxing even in the busiest of times. And there’s no busier time in our year than Christmas.
“I’ve always liked Christmas because it requires organisation and planning, which I love,” says Fearne. “I like being cosy at Christmas time and spending time with people I love, buying people thoughtful gifts and eating." Preparing for the festivities doesn’t need to feel stressful or chaotic. Here are Fearne’s tips for staying on top of everything this Christmas and how she chooses to unwind at the end of a long day.
To-do lists are your best friend
Avoid that Christmas Eve panic by starting slightly ahead of schedule this year (or even earlier, if you’re anything like Fearne!). Grab a notebook and pen, and jot down ideas for meals, plans and presents. "I’m 100% a list person. As a Virgo, there was no way I’d be anything but,” says Fearne. “I start in October time picking up little sweet things I’ve seen for family and friends, as well as getting ideas from Pinterest as I love making gifts too".
Some simple Christmas craft ideas include festive jams and marmalades, scented candles or DIY salt dough ornaments. Whether you craft alone or get the kids involved, taking time out of your busy schedule to hand-make presents will help you switch off your mind and bring some calm back into your day. Plus, you’ll have some unique gifts to surprise friends and family with!
Take some time for yourself
Speaking of mindfulness, it’s important to carve out some time for yourself this December. As the festive season approaches, it’s very easy to move from task to task and quickly burn yourself out as you try to keep all the plates spinning. If you manage to nail tip number one and use your preparation time wisely, you can spend the run-up to the big day simply enjoying the time you have by yourself.
“I try and switch off a little more. I spend as much time away from my phone as possible, with lots of movie afternoons and early nights with a good book,” says Fearne. “I’m not a big Christmas party person, so usually I turn those offers down and instead get in a nice bubble bath."
Get as much rest as possible
You can’t pour from an empty cup – no matter how many presents still need wrapping! With so much to do and so much to organise, sleep is one of the first things we sacrifice when we get busy. If stress is causing you to wake up in the middle of the night after a nightmare about gingerbread men, it’s time to take action.
Fearne adds: “I have struggled with sleep on and off, so I’ve tried many things. I have found that routine helps a lot, so I try to go to bed around the same time most nights. This used to be very hard in my twenties and early thirties, as some filming jobs didn’t finish until 11pm, but these days I’m mostly writing and podcasting so I can be in bed as early as I like. I keep things familiar with the same sleep scent, eye mask, earplugs and routine of reading for half an hour or so first.” If you’re consistent with your habits, your body will soon begin to associate this quiet time with a good snooze, and you may find that your eyes will begin to droop as soon as your head hits the pillow.
Create a relaxing mood at home
Fearne developed her Happy Place range to help you alleviate stress, promote deep sleep and awaken your senses – helping us unwind and switch off from our busy lives. And Fearne’s favourite way to do this? Creating a relaxing atmosphere with the Happy Place-And Breathe … Ceramic Burner, Tealight and Home Fragrance Oil Set*, ideal to have all around the house to create a relaxing mood. Simply mix the oil with cold water, light the tealight underneath and let the creamy vanilla and jasmine scent fill your surroundings.
The entire range focuses on rebalancing and relaxing. Fearne says: “We have kept out three scents – Sleep, Energise and Calm – as we feel we’ve had great feedback on these. But you’ll see some surprises in the new range too!”
Give something back to the planet, too
While working on this year’s Happy Place range, Fearne was aware of the impact on the environment. “We’ve been working on the sustainability aspect and have made even more improvements with the packaging. There is no plastic included in any outer packaging and bottles and tubs are made from 100% recycled materials - we even have a beautiful eye mask that is made from recycled plastic bottles. We plan to further improve on the sustainability of the collection in future years too.
If you want to watch your own carbon footprint this Christmas, there are some easy swaps to make that won’t spoil any of the magic. A simple one is to get creative with gift wrap and decorations, making sure your wrapping paper is recyclable and using a re-usable string or ribbon instead of tape.
Remember, Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year! Use Fearne’s top Christmas tips to bring some order and calm back to your December.