“I’m too busy” is a phrase we hear far too often. Whether it’s at work or an excuse for yet another dinner, modern life is becoming increasingly full and it’s taking its toll on our health.
At Glasshouse, we believe that creating rituals and moments of peace and quiet can help you maintain a more balanced lifestyle, and find time to truly relax. This is why we’re launching a new series on Glasshouse Journal; Rituals. Speaking to people from all walks of life and backgrounds, we want to find out how they relax and energise themselves in their day-to-day lives.
Our first interviewee is freelance beauty and lifestyle journalist Elizabeth Bennett. Having travelled everywhere from Italy to India, Elizabeth’s Instagram is full of ample travel inspiration for your next trip, with beautiful pictures of sunsets and yoga retreats from across the globe. Balancing a freelance lifestyle is no mean feat though and writing for multiple publications from Elle to Psychologies, Refinery29 to Grazia means that Elizabeth knows that life can certainly be a juggling act. We sat down with her to find out how she stays motivated, energised and calm.
What is a balanced lifestyle for you?
I know now that I feel better when I sleep well, cook healthy-ish meals and do some exercise so I try and incorporate these things into my weeks as much as possible. However, I’m not strict with myself, and I think the more restrictions you put on yourself the worse you end up feeling. In my book, the less you worry about trying to be ‘healthy’ the better. Some days that’s an early night and a 7am yoga class while others it’s a late night eating pizza, drinking wine and sleeping in and no exercise.
A good morning can allegedly set you up for a good day. How do you start your mornings well?
If I’m organised and up in good time I like to start the day with meditation or yoga. Just ten minutes using the Headspace app or a Yoga With Adriene video really does make a difference. However, I’d be lying if I said I did this every day. There’s two things I always make time for though: breakfast and skincare, normally while listening to a podcast. I’m religious about eating breakfast (it’s normally granola or porridge with a green tea), and will wash my face and apply a hydrating serum and moisturiser with SPF even if I’m just working from home.
How do you focus and avoid procrastination?
I work from home regularly and I’m naturally an awful procrastinator which means I have to be very strict with myself. I started using the Pomodoro Method last year and it’s been nothing short of life changing. You work in 25 minute bursts and focus on one task at a time. I think the reason it works so well is you must remove all distractions by turning your phone on airplane mode and closing all tabs, social media and email. I think identifying when you work best is crucial too, especially if you work for yourself. I know I’m most productive first thing so try and organise my diary so I write and pitch ideas in the mornings and then organise admin tasks and meetings for the afternoon.
What energises you?
‘A change is a good as a rest’ is a favorite saying of mine I picked up from my granny. I always find a switch of scenery gives me a fresh perspective. On a day to day basis I try and mix up my working environment (working from home, cafes and offices) and on a bigger scale I love traveling to new places for inspiration. I’m lucky that my parents now live in a 400 year old cottage in rural Devon and I love escaping there for the weekend to be in nature and recharge.
How do you relax, both physically and mentally?
My job is very digital and laptop focused so anything that takes me away from screens I find relaxing. I’m not really a binge watch on the sofa kind of person but I love trips to art galleries, long walks or dinners with friends and getting into a good page-turning book (favourites I’ve read this year include Conversations With Friends, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and A Little Life). I’ve also really got into restorative yoga lately. Essentially it’s breathing class where you hold poses on the floor for 5-6 minutes at a time (i.e. it’s lots of lying down). I absolutely love Annie Edward’s classes at Level Six in Peckham. Lastly, I’ve been having acupuncture for the last year and I could not recommend it more if your looking to help calm a frazzled mind.
Which small moments hold weight for you?
The phrase ‘self-care’ has become overused of late but I do think making time for yourself is important, and it needn’t mean splashing out on a spa day or investing in expensive candles (although those things are nice!). I find a walk in the park, long bath or cooking a nice dinner from scratch can be just as beneficial.
How do you get out of a bad mood?
I hate to say it but exercise always works for me. Yoga is my favorite, and it really has saved me at some low points. It’s the only form of exercise I really do look forward to. Level Six in Peckham is my local now but I also love Stretch on Broadway Market and TriYoga in Camden. I sometimes mix it up and do other things but mainly it’s low impact classes like pilates or barre. I’m really not a fan of the shouty classes or intense weights.
Featured image: Sans [Ceuticals]
Interview by Phoebe Grace Ede