I’ve got much better at this over time. If it’s my best mate’s do, I’ll go, because I’ll really enjoy it. But if it’s a work thing, I know I won’t, so I just say no. If everyone thinks I’m boring, so be it. I’d far rather be at home. You have to do what’s right for you.
I don’t need anything fancy – staying in the house and reading takes me to my happy place. The book I can’t put down at the moment? The sublime Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. I’m looking forward to going to bed tonight just so I can read it!
If I’m super-stressed at work, I tend to lie in bed with my heart racing. I’ve been sleeping well recently and it’s more to do with what’s happening in the day. Am I getting enough me-time? Am I doing too many stressful things? If I’m struggling, I’ll listen to an online meditation or a soothing podcast to help me switch off from the panic.
The more self-acceptance and self-love you have, the less you’re concerned with pleasing everyone. And if people get upset? So be it. I’m still learning this myself, but I’m definitely getting better at it.
Listening to Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’ makes me feel instantly happy. The chorus quite literally soars, and you can go with it. If I move my body, I feel better, too. Thirty free minutes? I’ll go for a walk or do some yoga.
People feel like Christmas is non-stop joy, and it’s so not the case. You’re not a freak for not feeling happy. If you do feel down, seeing someone you can offload to is a good way to feel less alone.
I love making smoothies packed with spinach, dates and almond milk. For something comforting in winter, I’ll make a vegan stew with lots of root veg, beans, quinoa, paprika, cumin and ginger. It’s nutritious and fiery.
Being in nature is so lovely. If I’m feeling sluggish, I’ll go for a brisk walk in the park. It’s free, plus I like being on my own, as it gives me a chance to listen to a good podcast. I love Russell Brand’s Under The Skin. I’ve learned so much from it, and can think about each episode for days.
This can be a really tough time of year. We have an open house, so friends whose parents live abroad or who are having a hard time can join us for Christmas Day. Rather than just inviting family, think: ‘What about that neighbour who doesn’t have anyone, or that friend who’s on their own?’
Whether it’s the smell of an open fire, the scent of mulled wine when you’re walking past someone selling it on the street, or putting up the tree with the kids – those lovely moments make me feel cosy.
Christmas cooking is a joint affair. I’ll do the nut roast; Jesse, my husband, does the turkey, and Mum does the veg. We’re quite organised, but none of us cares if it all goes wrong! It’s more about managing the kids and not letting them go too crazy because they’re all hyped up.
There’s no harm in catching up with people in January! The only non-negotiable plan is between me and my five best school mates – we meet for Christmas dinner every year.
I adore the Calm Candle* in the Fearne Cotton Time To Take Five Calming Collection Set**. Jasmine and vanilla is my fave.
The inspirational cards in the Fearne Cotton Mindfulness Block are sweet and different.
Try the Calm, Energise and Sleep ranges, plus the scents, with the Fearne Cotton Find Your Happy Place Set† (while stocks last).