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No one needs a gift that will sit unused gathering dust in a drawer. With this in mind we have picked the items that genuinely enhance our daily lives – whether they make life just that little bit easier or a touch more beautiful . From fast impact makeup and skincare to products that induce some much needed rest, we hope they add some joy to your life or others’. Happy Holidays!

Stocking Life savers

Multi Port USB travel adaptor

The mother of all USB travel adaptors, this one has four ports so you can charge all your gadgets simultaneously from one socket. It also comes with four different types of conversion plugs – UK/ US/ EU and AUS – and even contains a safety system which stops charging once a device is full. Buy here

Jet Zone Jet Lag Prevention

A favourite from our founder Misty Reich, Jet Zone Jet Lag Prevention is a must-have for frequent fliers. The homoeopathic formulation contains ingredients that help to provide temporary relief from circadian rhythm disruptions such as aiding  restlessness, headache, heartburn, exhaustion and anxiety.  Buy here

Jet Zone
Lindsay Albanese ‘The Drop’ Hat Clip

Have you ever wanted to take a hat with you on your travels but don’t for fear of it being squashed like a pancake in transit? Fear not – the Lindsay Albanese ‘The Drop’ Hat Clip contains a high quality magnet clasp on one end and a clip on the other so you can attach it to your bag and not fear losing or squishing it. Buy here

The Cable Tidy Kit

No more getting your cables in a twist thanks to this set of tidies that will keep your leads and chargers separated, neatly bound and ready for action. Buy here

Magic Gadgets

The reMarkable 2

Whether you’re a busy mom, entrepreneur or generally have a lot on your mind, then you may need the remarkable 2 in your life. Dubbed ‘the world’s thinnest tablet’ it’s a next-gen digital notepad that converts handwriting into text, saves notes, documents and then you can save it all on the cloud. Buy here

NuFace Fix Line Smoothing Device

This clever hand held wand uses micro currents – tiny electric pulses that mimic your body’s own current – to make your skin produce more elastin and collagen. Small enough to throw in your makeup bag or hand luggage, research shows that just 3 minutes, 1-2 times a day, 5 days a week makes a visible reduction of fine lines and puffiness. Buy here

Nu Face
JBL CLIP Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Whether at home, by the pool, in a park, hotel room, at work or up a mountain, the JBL CLIP Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker gives great sound, is waterproof, and has 10 hours of sound life. Plus the integrated carabiner clips means you won’t lose it amongst your clobber. Buy here

MusicCozy Sleep Headphones

Whether you have trouble getting to sleep, struggle to get any shut-eye on a flight or would just like some time out listening to music at home, we can highly recommend the Music Cozy Sleep Headphones. The ultra soft eye mask has inbuilt Bluetooth headphones for the ultimate switch-off. Includes a voice control function and 1-3 hour auto-off mode. It even has a 3D space around the eyelashes so lashes stay lustrous until daylight. Buy here

Music Cozy
Oura Ring

The Oura ring is the ultimate digital wellness tracker housed in a small 8 mm wide ring on your finger. Made of titanium (but available in gold, silver or black colour ways), the ring tracks fitness, sleep, stress, your monthly cycles and shows its insights within an app on your phone. It also syncs to Apple Health and Google Fit, leaving you more knowledgeable about your personal wellbeing than ever before. Buy here

Current Body Skin LED Light therapy mask

We no longer need to travel to a salon for better skin. This award winning light therapy mask is great for using at home or travelling, and uses anti-ageing red and near infrared light therapy to rejuvenate and reduce lines.  In four weeks, 35% of those who tested it said their wrinkles had reduced, whilst 95% reported better skin tone, texture, firmness and brightness. Maybe don’t wear on a flight if you don’t want to scare the staff. Buy here

Your Beauty Buddies

Drybar High Tops Self-grip Rollers

For days your hair needs a little oomph when there’s no time to visit a salon, we can highly recommend this set of low maintenance rollers. For best results, blow dry hair and whilst still warm, take sections of your hair and roll the rollers in away from the face . Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing and running through with fingers. Buy here

Davines bar shampoo & case

When it comes to hair cleansing, we strongly believe that shampoo bars are the future. One of our favourites is the MOMO Shampoo Bar and Case from Davines. Just swipe across damp hair and massage in before rinsing. The box also keeps your bar protected from disintegrating in the shower. Buy here

Davines shampoo bar
72 Hair Intense Replenishing mask

The ultimate hair mask for dry, damaged or hot tong abused hair. This luxurious deep conditioning treatment contains avocado oil and wheat germ protein that thoroughly penetrates the hair shaft, strengthening and replenishing moisture whilst fighting  frizz. Buy here

72 Intense Replenishing Mask
Manta Hairbrush

This incredibly gentle, revolutionary and award-winning hairbrush was created by its founder when his wife was undergoing cancer treatment. Using flexible technology it fits ergonomically to the hand but is also extremely gentle on the scalp and hair, minimising pull and breaking, yet detangling and maximizing shine. Buy here

Manta hair brush
La Mer Lip Volumizer

Packed with antioxidants, this serum-inspired lip product softens, smooths and plumps lips leaving them luxuriously conditioned and plumped without oily shine. 

AM Essentials from 35 Thousand 

Give the gift of gorgeously glowing skin with the AM Essentials kit from 35 Thousand. Containing a Clever Cleansing Balm, and one All-In Day Serum SPF 30, together this power duo will ensure anyone a good skin day. Buy here

AM Essentials

On the Go-Getters

RADIUS Tour Travel Toothbrush & Case with Replaceable Brush Head

On the run, on a flight, or working late and have a date, this toothbrush is perfect for stashing in your handbag at all times. With a gum stimulating , fan brush head, the jack knife design protects the head from getting dirty. Buy here

Radius toothbrush
Tumi Just in case tote

There are reuseable bags, and then there’s the Just in Case Tote. This ingenious carryall packs into a small zipper pouch, but when opened out is strong, roomy and timelessly stylish. Buy here

Yeti Rambler 10 oz Tumbler

Here are 35Thousand we are huge fans of Yeti travel mugs which are the perfect drinks companion for busy lives. The smooth sliding lid means easy drinking on the commute/ school run, and the double wall insulation vacuum keeps drinks at just-ordered temperature for hours.  Buy here

Kusshi signature makeup bag

When you open and close a makeup bag many times a day, you might as well get a good one right? Kusshi addressed everything  that’s wrong with most makeup bags. This signature bag for example has a zip that opens wide so you can see everything inside at once, has a flat base so it stands up rather than falling in the sink, has mesh pockets for sponges and small items as well as an optional snap closure mechanism when you need to makeup and run. Buy here

Kusshi makeup bag

Self Care Saviours

Blackroll® Duoball 08

Everyone would benefit from owning one of these peanut shaped self massage fascia balls. Made from a tough foam, its shape means it reaches the places other massage rollers just can’t reach. Virtually weightless it’s also the perfect travel fitness accessory. Buy here

Duoball
Breath: new Science of a Lost Art 

There is more and more research to say that the way we breath can change the way we feel. Drawing on thousands of years of medical texts as well as cutting edge studies, this book is full of dazzling revelations about the breath as well as practical advice on how it could change your life. Buy here

Charlotte Tilbury Cryo Recovery Mask  

Inspired by cryotherapy and facial acupressure, this cryo recovery face mask is designed to be kept in the fridge or freezer. Attaching around the back of the head, it then moulds to the face to smooth, firm and refresh the skin leaving it look lit from within. And the best bit? It’s reusable time and time again. Buy here

Desmond and Dempsey ‘Parrot’ Signature pyjama set 

We’re sure we don’t know anyone who wouldn’t wish for a perfect pair of pj’s this holiday season. We think we’ve found them right here. Buy here

Desmond and Dempsey pyjamas

The 35 Thousand Skincare has been formulated with stressed out skin in mind. Want to learn more? Click here

Wild indigo extract is a key ingredient in 35 Thousand’s OTG-7 Complex because studies have shown it is an essential ingredient for counteracting the damaging effects of stress on the skin. Here’s why we wouldn’t have made our products without it.

What is it? 

Extracted from the seeds of Native Indian Wild Indigo flowers, this stress-relieving and soothing botanical has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic skincare traditions.

In a nutshell, Wild Indigo has the ability to reduce the impact of cortisol on the skin. Each day, our skin and brain are in constant communication with each other to coordinate internal and external danger signs. They do this through sending electrical impulses and the release of hormones like cortisol that we now know to be detrimental to the appearance of the skin.

Stressful situations that might provoke the release of cortisol are pollution, lack of sleep and exposure to UV light. Over time, continuous production of cortisol – caused by prolonged exposure to stress – can result in damage to skin’s internal equilibrium which can lead to breakouts, redness, inflammation and visibly tired-looking skin.

Thankfully, Wild Indigo Extract helps to break down the production of cortisol in skin cells which can prevent disruptive influences on the skin and stimulate a healthier looking complexion. Not only that but Wild Indigo is reputed to activate the release of endorphins in our cells which can help our skin manage stressful conditions and return to optimum balance.

Why your skin will thank you for it

Wild Indigo Extract is clinically proven to enhance skin luminosity and tone in an impressively short amount of time. In tests it’s been shown to be especially effective in rapidly improving colour around the eye (the most sensitive part of our skin) by significantly reducing redness and signs of fatigue like dark circles. A fast-acting skin de-stresser this plant extract works in harmony with the skin and is perfect for tackling the damage caused by hectic schedules and modern living. 

Where you can find it

A key ingredient in the 35 Thousand OTG 7 which lies at the heart of all our 35 Thousand products, Wild Indigo extract will stimulate the revival of dull or lacklustre skin, leaving it with a healthy glow. Because when your skin is happier, you will be happier too.

You can learn more about the 35 Thousand products and their ingredients here

It’s the small things that count at the moment (and a little bit of self-gifting). From hemp infused  skin patches to Ice Globe facial massaging tools and the latest lipstick, here are our latest feel-good beauty and wellbeing finds that will help you glow inside and out.

The Natural Boost  – The Good Patch

Described as ‘plant based wellness patches for when the struggle is real’, the Good Patch was created in 2017 offering mood-boosting patches you stick on your skin infused with plant based ingredients and organically farmed industrial Hemp. Working steadily over an 8-12 hour period, you just remove the backs of the sticker and attach it inside your wrist. Whether you are frazzled, wired, need a pick-me-up, or a ‘put-to-bed’ there’s a patch for you.

www.thegoodpatch.com and www.cultbeauty.com

The Good Patch
The Zoom Refresh – Chanel’s Rouge Allure Laque

If you’re as fed up as we are of looking at your own face on Zoom/ Teams/ Facetime, then may we suggest spicing things up with a new lip colour? We can’t wear lipstick under our masks right now so we might as well wear them at home. Chanel’s new Rouge Allure Laque is a lip product that imprints lips with shine and colour and lasts all day so you won’t need to reapply between video calls. Non-drying and in a huge variety of shades from luminous beige to raspberry pink, cherry red and brown, there’s one for everyone. Who said it’s all about the eyes right now?

Chanel’s Rouge Allure Laque lipstick
Nail it – Kure Bazaar nails 

One of our favourite nail varnish brands at 35 Thousand is Kure Bazaar (worldwide delivery at lovelula.com). Why ? We love the win-win combination of their eco formula combined with an incredibly chic and fashion forward colour palette. If you’re feeling a little low right now, I can definitely recommend painting your nails to add a bit of joy into all that work on the laptop. Our favourite positivity shades? Cherise (shown here – a cherry red) which instills us with confidence, Lily Rose (a dusty pink) when you need to be kind to yourself, and Bacio, (a soft red/ orange) which is bringing all the happy vibes right now.

Kure Bazaar Nail Varnish in Cherise

The Atmosphere Changer –  Heloise o’ Hagan candles

There are candles, and then there are Heloise o’ Hagan candles. This British interior designer turned candle maker has created a product called The Perpetual Candle which is a beautiful hexagonal, bone china vessel which you can buy refills for. Not only do they look incredibly sophisticated, they smell it too. Our favourites are No.4 Frankincense for some indulgent relaxation after a long day Zooming, and No.1 Neroli, Lavender and Rosemary which is fresh, vibrant and uplifting for daytime.

(Delivery worldwide heloiseohagan.com)

The Heloise O’ Hagan Candle

The body booster – Hermosa protein powder

There’s no point in all those at-home workouts if you aren’t fuelling your body correctly. Enter Hermosa, a new protein powder that is shaking off (excuse the pun) images of muscle competitions in favour of a protein powder that supports an active and modern lifestyle.  Hermosa’s creators have been on a mission to create the best tasting and smoothest protein powder there is, using non GMO and responsibly sourced ingredients. In chocolate and vanilla flavours. Most importantly they taste amazing without any of the nose-holding graininess of other powders.

Worldwide delivery at www.livehermosa.com

Hermosa Protein Powder

The skin saviour  – Frâicheur Paris 

Fraicheur Paris Ice Globes look set to be the next big thing in facial massage. A glass stem with a liquid-filled ball on the end that you store in the freezer, the idea is that you massage your face with them to help invigorate tired Zoom’d out eyes, boost dull skin and help serums and creams absorb faster. Deliciously cold and soothing on skin and eyeballs, the way they work is that they constrict blood vessels so blood is taken away from the skin’s surface. After a while blood floods back to the skin with extra nutrients providing an amazing glow that over time helps the skin appear more youthful too. 

Shipping worldwide from www.faceiceglobes.com and www.cultbeauty.com

Fraicheur Paris Ice Globe facial massagers

Glow from the Inside Out – The Beauty Chef

Carla Oates, the Australian founder of The Beauty Chef first discovered the life changing powers of probiotics when she used them to fix her family’s skin problems. Using probiotic and lacto-fermented food, many of her friends would also ask her what made her own skin that glowy. Realising the gut-skin connection, Carla created the Inner Beauty Powder which has developed into a range of bio-fermented, probiotic-rich, wholefood supplements created by microbiologists, nutritionists and naturopaths. Our favourite is the Glow Powder, containing 18 certified organic wholefoods which you add to water daily.

Available worldwide www.thebeautychef.com

The Beauty Chef Inner Beauty Powder

The Cult of Collagen Powder – Bamford

There’s a big beauty buzz about collagen powders at the moment, with many new brands launching onto the market. There is also a lot of debate as to whether all of them actually work. The one collagen that has been proven by dermatologists to make a difference to our skin is high grade marine collagen. The latest we’ve been trying out is from Bamford whose new supplement range is exceptional. The Beauty Blend contains purified hydrolysed collagen extracted from sustainably sourced wild fish off the coast of France. It also contains Camu Camu powder, hyaluronic acid for skin hydration and Acai powder. Since using it our skin looks like it’s had a spa break (in our dreams).

Shipping worldwide from  www.bamford.com

Bamford Beauty Blend capsules

If you loved reading this, then you will love our other beauty features from Tools of the Trade  about the latest beauty gadgets to 5 of the best eyelash serums

Faith Russell is one of the founders of leading podcast production and promotion agency Mags Creative which brings a number of UK voices to the podcast space including Laura Whitmore, Deliciously Ella, Alice Liveing, Amy Lane and Clemmie Telford. In a world of mindless scrolling, Mags Creative believes that the power of the spoken word brings us all a little closer together.  Their shows have been downloaded over 12.4 million times to date.

Here Faith tells us about being an introvert and being pushed out of her comfort zone, letting go of the urge to plan right now, and why listening to podcasts and talks of vulnerability has got her through this year.

Tell us about your work

“I started a podcast production and promotion agency called Mags Creative with my sister Hannah 18 months ago and we’ve grown to a creative team of producers, sound engineers, brand experts and researchers. We actually named the company Mags Creative after our unsurpassable grandma, Margaret –  known to the many that loved her as Mags or Maggie. I think of her every day and I love that her name lives on in this company.”

Where do you physically work currently?

“I work at my home in Camberwell and I somehow manage to work in every room in the house during the working day. I tend to change my background for every call to keep things fresh in my own mind..!”

What is the best thing about your work?

“It’s such an incredible feeling to be creating content that has a meaningful impact in showcasing stories that wouldn’t have previously been heard or progressing important conversations. This month, for example, we’ve had the pleasure of working with Lily Cole on the release of her podcast Who Cares Wins: an ancillary audio supplement to her Penguin released book earlier in the year.

The podcast series holds a series of divergent opinions that ‘solve for climate change’ with insights from the likes of Elon Musk, Patti Smith, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir David Attenborough to name a few. It’s such a buzz to work on a podcast that is rooted in a sense of mission and purpose.”

Faith has found podcasts particularly therapeutic throughout COVID 19
What is the worst?

“Hopefully a lot of business owners can relate to this one, but when you really love what you do and have real ambitions for growth, I think it can be a challenge to give yourself permission to switch off without guilt. Guilt is such a useless emotion, isn’t it? I’m working on this one because I know that my most creative moments have come from the unexpected – when I’ve given myself space and freedom to think inventively rather than being bogged down in the minutiae and consistently staring at a laptop 12 hours a day.”

What has been the most pivotal point of your career so far?

“When we first launched Mags Creative, we were a marketing agency that supported brands across podcasts, events, social media and influencer campaigns. Twelve months in, we saw the growth of podcasts and made the (daunting) decision to relaunch solely as a podcast agency. We had to turn down other work along the way but we’ve stayed true to our belief in the podcasts we were producing – and thankfully we haven’t looked back.”

What is the best advice you’ve ever had?

“My mum is great at advice and my sounding board when I can’t quite get perspective on something. As we’re hitting growth goals, I naturally have an ‘onto the next’ approach but my mum always encourages me to appreciate the wins in real time. It’s so easy to be waiting for the end destination and end up missing the journey of getting there. 

Another thing I learnt really early on is that mistakes are inevitable – I’ve made many mistakes in my career and no doubt I’ll continue to get things wrong in the future. I love any insight around reframing failures as opportunities for growth and try to instil this in my team. 

Ultimately, my biggest challenges have taught me so much more than any successes and I’m now the first person to hold my hands up and say ‘this is really hard, isn’t it?’ It feels like this takes more courage than ‘faking it till I make it’.”

What’s your context outside of work?

“Hannah gave birth to the most beautiful little girl called Alba in the middle of lockdown and I fell in love with her instantly. When work is overwhelming, I’ll message Hannah ask her for some ‘Alba-therapy’. Babies are great at keeping us present as Alba will never let me look at my phone and get distracted with work emails!”

What was your ‘normal ‘day to day life like pre COVID?

“I’ve always been a morning person – it’s the only time of day I feel free to be slow — whether that’s taking my time to enjoy (rather than inhale) a cup of tea, an online yoga class or a long walk before the rest of the world has woken up. When the pandemic hit, my mornings became more sacred than ever – it’s the time I feel most centred and set up for the day ahead.”

Who Cares Wins is one of Mags Creatives podcasts by Lily Cole following the launch of her book of the same name this year

How has the Corona crisis impacted you personally and professionally?

“Personally, I feel that the crisis has made my relationships more meaningful and helped me find happiness in the simplest of things. 

Professionally, lockdown happened at the same point as Hannah went on maternity leave, which means that there was a whole new set of business challenges during this time. Hannah would usually oversee new business pitches whilst I manage our existing clients but this year, I’ve had to step into her (very large) shoes and take on the role of being more outward facing for the brand. I have to admit that, as a natural introvert, there have been moments of imposter syndrome and doubting my pitching abilities, but ultimately it’s built my confidence and made me feel empowered to grow the business.”

What are you now finding challenging right now?

“An ongoing challenge is releasing the urge to plan. When the world has no idea of where we’ll be in 1 month, I have to sit with the discomfort of holding off on planning the next 12 months of Mags Creative, but trusting that with my team (who are awesome) we will continue to be reactive and adapt to the situation in real time.”

What has got you through?

“A predictable answer from me, but podcasts! Listening to honest conversations of vulnerability make me feel so much less alone. Some of the podcasts that saw me through lockdown include Mo Gawdat’s podcast Slo Mo for perspective on happiness, The Squiggly Careers podcast for career advice during a very uncertain time for so many people and Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place (the episodes with Glennon Doyle and Russell Brand were particularly incredible).”

Do you feel that Lockdown has changed your outlook and if so how?

“I am embracing the knowledge that there is so much that happens that is outside of our control.  Sometimes we just have to sit in the not knowing. (I know, it’s uncomfortable just typing it…!) No hypotheticals or no future plans to hide behind. Also, realising that we actually pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things which can either be a scary thought or a liberating one – and I choose to take the latter approach.”

Personally how have you managed your mind and wellbeing throughout Lockdown?

“From the start of lockdown, I’ve tried to keep checking in with myself, my friends and family and my team to encourage a dialogue about how we are all coping through such an uncertain time. We have a team check-in everyday to not only touch base on what we’re working on but to share how we’re feeling and to voice if we’re struggling. There will undoubtedly be low moments but having a support system is so important and something I don’t ever want to take for granted.

I realised this when I started volunteering with Independent Age where I call the elderly once a week who don’t have any relatives to support them through this time – it can be heart-breaking but also incredibly rewarding to be doing something to help. Practically, I try to bring some consistency to my wellness routine with yoga videos or walks in nature, cooking healthy and delicious food and enjoying boxset Sundays with my boyfriend.”

What are your thoughts on travel right now?

“I had no idea how much I value travel until we were told we couldn’t go anywhere. For me, the act of physically removing myself from my day-to-day routine and setting gives me so much perspective. I usually do one big trip a year and often I go alone (solo travel is the best kind in my opinion). Last year I went to India on a solo yoga retreat, and I had plans to go to Bali this December to do the same.

This isn’t happening in the current climate, so it’s definitely encouraged me to appreciate the escapes closer to home. Instead, I’ll be going to St Mawes this December for cold, wet walks, warming soups and box set days. Dreamy.”

What are your current handbag essentials?

“I’ve never really been into lots of ‘stuff’ apart from the usual keys, wallet, phone but one thing I’ve always done since I was little was carry around a snack stash wherever I go. (It used to be Wagon Wheels and as an adult, I’ve upgraded to Deliciously Ella bars).”

What gets you through Working from Home?

“I’m a creature of habit and my lunchtime scrambled eggs made my boyfriend is always a highlight. I also love the ritual of making a matcha latte in the morning and drinking it really mindfully.”

What is your work wardrobe like now from what it used to be? 

“I’ve always been into the less is more approach when it comes to my wardrobe – I’d rather buy quality pieces that I wear again and again. One benefit of lockdown was that it prompted me to reorganise my wardrobe and re-wear items that haven’t been worn for years. 

When we started Mags Creative from our kitchen table, I would get fully dressed in my work outfit to help get me into the mindset of productivity. When lockdown happened, I started dressing for work as if I was leaving the house – but as it’s getting colder and darker outside, I’ve gone for comfort instead (think comfortable leggings and warming jumpers).”

Faith has a collection of Anthropologie headbands for quickly adding glamour to her look
What are your current 5 essential items of clothing?

Denim dungarees 

Not really an item of clothing but I love an Anthropologie headband 

A colourful print shirt to brighten up winter days  

A cosy cashmere jumper 

Sweaty Betty leggings  

What is your vision for the future of your business?

“We want to keep creating content that brings important conversations to light and reaches audiences in a meaningful way. The big vision that we’d like to become the largest independent podcast company in the UK – and the exciting thing is that I truly believe that we can do that.”

If you loved this article then you will love our other How She Carries On articles. See journalist Sarah Vine’s here

We all know that lockdown didn’t have the same effect on all of us. Some people thrived, others felt utterly overwhelmed, for good reason. However Mara Klemich who is a top psychologist, neuro psychologist and co-founder of Heartstyles.com an indicator tool that can help us make the absolute best of our selves at work and at home , says that the one common denominator between us all is that we all know what this means for us a second time around. “We all learned that it’s really important to focus and prioritise our mental health,” she says. Her advice is to really focus on self-care, which includes proper sleep, routine daily exercise, harnessing positive social connections and staying mentally stimulated. “The most important thing to bear in mind is that we know how to do this!” she says.

Whether you are already in lockdown or are in Limbo like the rest of us, we asked Mara and other top experts for their advice on staying sane over the coming months. 

Learn from the first time 

“Use your experience during the initial lockdown to your advantage this time around,” says Mara. “Back in March, we learned a lot about ourselves. We learned what we did well to get through the stress of lockdown and we learned what we didn’t do so well. This is a massive positive advantage, so let’s see it that way. Think back to that time and now be proactive, take those steps that you know you needed to do to help sustain you, whether that’s social connection or self-care or coping skills.” Mara suggests making a list of what you know works and what doesn’t, and be intentional about how you will take control of your life during this time ahead.

Choose nutrition over toilet roll

In March the lockdown took us by (relative) surprise and with hindsight we realise that our priorities were a bit warped. With hindsight, we know that we were never short of toilet paper, but that eating well had the ability to vastly improve our mood, our wellbeing and ward off any illness.

We all know about the importance of eating fresh food and eating the rainbow (as many different coloured fruits and vegetables as possible), but nutritional therapist Karen Cummings-Palmer says there is also a lot of nutritional value in many packet and tinned food.  “When it comes to feeding ourselves and our families in these challenging times let’s focus on good and forget about perfection.  Whilst highly processed food is unhealthy, minimally processed food – think tinned, jarred and frozen – can the source of fast healthy nutrient dense meals.  

Nutritional therapist Karen Cummings-Palmer says there are a lot of tinned foods with amazing nutritional value

Her advice is to look for organic tinned food – it is not just about the contents (unlikely to have added sugar, preservatives and colours) but the context – some tins still contain low levels of toxic chemicals in the lining. 

“Having a store cupboard filled with foods that last months or even years means we can whip up delicious nutrition in minutes and we are far less likely to make unhealthy decisions” she says. Her advice is to stock up on good quality beans, albacore tuna in olive oil, frozen peas and herbs, tinned tomatoes and pulses that you don’t have to soak overnight.

Keep moving 

Research has shown that movement can seriously boost our immune system . According to immunologist Dr Jenna Macciochi, our lymphatic system (which carries the white blood cells around our body) only moves when we do. It is therefore vital that we get up from our desks to keep the lymph pumping throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be a full blown HIIT class – Jenna says that a walk will do – but it’s vital that we factor in movement into our day. 

Note: it is also important to remember that moving too much and exhausting yourself can also deplete your immune system so use your common sense about how much is too much.

Be mindful of mornings

We don’t need to be told this (hello The Social Dilemma), but too much tech will fry our brains. Yet with Zoom now the norm, and with limited people interaction right now , it is hard to avoid spending more time on our devices than ever. If we exercised consistently day in and day out we would burn out and the same goes for our brains – it needs downtime in order to function at its best.

One way of limiting technology is to keep the mornings free of it for the first few hours of the day. Maeve O’Sullivan Chinese Medicine practitioner and co-founder of escapadahealth.com in Ireland says this is also something that follows Ayurvedic principles. “Traditionally, those following an Ayurvedic lifestyle would dedicate the first hour or so of the day, before sunrise, attending to their own personal wellbeing, making sure they awoke early enough and refreshed enough to slowly greet each new day. The way we spend the first few moments of the morning undoubtedly has a huge impact on how we feel the rest of the day, which is why so many cultures and healing traditions see this as a sacred time of day. This time could include journaling, meditating or simply taking a few deep breaths and thoughts of gratitude for the new day.”

Self care is not self indulgent

Life was hard enough even before COVID-19 enveloped our lives. Maeve O’Sullivan says, “We can mistake the feeling of being under stress for having energy and this feeling can become addictive, so you run from early morning until late at night, turning yourself into an energiser bunny. Between holding down a job, maintaining relationships, and caring for a family, we can often negate the energy we earn from sleep, good food and good company. When we constantly put our bodies into overdraft, our mental health and physical health suffer resulting in anxiety, depression and physical ailments like skin breakouts, low immunity, digestive issues and much more. Our bodies, especially at time of such uncertainty, crave nourishment, stability and routine.”

So how often should be take time for ourselves? “The simple answer is everyday,” says Maeve, “It can be so beneficial to attach selfcare to some of your favourite beauty rituals like meditation, body brushing, and jade rolling. Not only do these beauty rituals have a fantastic effect on our skin health, they also have a wonderful impact on our inner health. These rituals also allow us the time to pause in our day, check in with how we are feeling and give back to our body so we start to pay back the overdraft from times when our bodies have been under more stress than normal.”

Stretch for success 

It’s all too easy at home to sink into our new working environment (both physically and metaphorically speaking), however according to stretch specialist and TED talker Robert Frampton, sitting for long periods  can put unnecessary pressure on the spine, which is our essential piece of machinery that interacts with the brain. He explains that the spine can also squash our butt muscles and close the front of our hips leading to wrecked posture. So what can we do? Robert suggests dedicating 10 minutes a day to stretching the tightest parts of the body. He recommends the following: 

The HIP Opener – Kneel on the floor with a wall behind you. Next, take one of your legs backwards so your shin is on the wall and you are kneeling on one knee. Then bring your other foot forward into a lunge position and there you have it, a strong feeling of stretch in the front of your back thigh. Spend 2 mins here each side. To make it easier bring the back knee slightly away from the wall. 

Shoulder opener – Sit on the floor, legs outstretched and place your hands behind you, shoulder width apart, elbows bent with your thumbs facing forwards. Next walk your body away from your hands and push the rib cage open. When doing this you should feel a strong stretch in front of your shoulders. Back off if you feel any pain and remain here for 3 minutes. Aim to keep the elbow above the hands. 

Ted Talker and stretch specialist Roger Frampton gives his advice on the importance of stretching
Stop the work traffic

For many of us, working from home is a blessing but it can also be a curse. With no ‘end of day’ finishing times, work and home life can become a blur, especially if you work for yourself. One way that we can draw a line is to instill a traffic light approach that many life coaches use. 

It works like this: When you’re working you’re on green and are full-steam ahead. As it gets into the early-evening you stay on orange meaning you’re relatively alert and can pick up work if needed. But set yourself a deadline, for example beyond 8pm, you’re onto red meaning you ignore emails and calls. This will allow you to wind down for the evening and get work off of your mind right before bed.

Identify your coping skills

We have all had our moments in the last year –  whether due to work, family life or the juggle of it all  – when we’ve been overwhelmed and feel unable to cope. Psychologist Mara says it’s important that we identify three specific things we can do to cope with high-stress situations, and most importantly, to actively use them. “These are things that you do when you know the stress levels are going up and self-care isn’t enough,” she says “It could be things like breathing techniques, practicing gratitude by speaking it aloud or writing it down, a walk outside, listening to a specific playlist. Find three and use them intentionally and regularly.”

Plan ahead

Whilst many of us feel like planning ahead is not something we are capable of right now, Mara stresses that it’s important to have a routine.  “We learned that in the first lockdown,” she says

“So be intentional about scheduling your work time, and your socialising time, your exercise time, and your “just being” time.

Identify your trouble spots

We all had our individual stresses and triggers in lockdown. For some it was home schooling, for others it was 24/7 Zoom fatigue. It is key to identify your problem area (the one that triggers stress) and plan ways that might make it easier a second time round. For example for us we felt overwhelmed by relentless cooking and coming up with new ideas for the family. We’ll be investing in a meal delivery service from now on such as www.gousto.co.uk who deliver fresh ingredients for tasty meals straight to your door.

Amanda Thomson is the founder and CEO of Thomson & Scott Ltd. Having always had an interest in healthy living, her Organic Vegan Prosecco and Noughty, Alcohol-Free Chardonnay are revolutionising the wine industry. Certified organic and a Certified B Corporation, her products are made with the greatest of care for the environment and sustainability whilst never compromising on the quality and taste of her products.

Amanda says, “My obsession with the perfect 100% Chardonnay champagne is the reason Noughty is so damn good.  We created it to come as close to that special feeling as possible that you have with the alcoholic corks popping. We want people who aren’t drinking to stay at the heart of every party instead of feeling excluded. We also want a drink that tasted like it was made for adults and not just a one glass only sugar bomb.” 

Tell us about your work?

“I am the CEO and founder of Thomson & Scott the original creators of Skinny Champagne and Prosecco and now the leaders of the alcohol-free wine world with our gorgeous new bottle Noughty – organic, vegan, alcohol-free sparkling Chardonnay.”

What’s your context outside of work?

“I have two fabulous children – 18 and 12 and a husband (does he count as a pet too?) I live in Hampshire.”

What was your ‘normal ‘day to day life like pre COVID?

“Insanely busy.  Running a start-up is a 24/7 experience.  You’re never off duty and every day is either a huge high or a massive low.  It never just rumbles along.  So juggling that, travel to international markets, school runs and everything else that a 2020 woman copes with, was a daily challenge.”

What is your day-to day life like now after Lockdown? How have things changed?

“Both my children have now fled: one to university and the other to weekly boarding.  Lockdown forced me to drastically rethink the business as most of our customers were hotels, bars and restaurants before the curtain came down with Covid (or ‘Rona’ as my kids call it).  So, I had to pivot pretty quickly to focus solely on the online world and direct-to-consumer sales, which was a monumental mountain to climb.”

Amanda’s Noughty Organic Sparkling Champagne
How has the Corona crisis impacted you personally and professionally?

“Professionally, it’s been a rollercoaster.  We initially feared the worst but then an incredible review by a top wine expert starting the phone ringing off the hook from across the globe.  In a way, after the initial idea that people could sit in their gardens and drink all day wore off, the idea of an alcohol-free alternative for the BBQ started to make sense to a lot of people and our sales grew and grew thankfully. 

Personally though, like for many of us, it’s been claustrophobic to remain in the house, which is by no means big, for weeks on end trying to cope with heightened emotions all round and a sense of frustration that we have been given endlessly changing instructions on how to live our lives. That said, I am luckier than most with countryside around me so I’ve bee constantly check myself there when I feel ratty.”

What are you now finding challenging right now?

“The uncertainty as to when this will all be over, and life will return to reality.  At the moment it feels like we’re slow walking through a disaster movie. I love people, travel, parties… Zoom just doesn’t cut it for me.” 

What has got you through?

“Fitness, food and friends. I’ve kept up my exercise regime as much as possible, which has kept my mind sane.  We’ve tried to eat as well as we can to keep energy levels up and not fall into the easy trap of sofa suppers.  A quick run and mutual moan with a great friend around the corner is a huge mood-boost, especially as she’s a fellow entrepreneur. (And the occasional sneaky online purchase – the odd pair of earrings or new fitness kit to make me smile).”

Do you feel that Lockdown has changed your outlook and if so how?

“It’s made me appreciate the freedoms that we had before this all happened and how much I want them back!”

Personally, how have you managed your mind and wellbeing throughout Lockdown? And of your family?

“Routine has been absolutely vital for us as a family.  We’ve made sure that everyone has stuck to the usual sleeping times and we’ve also remained vigilant about mealtimes.  I know if I don’t eat at regular mealtimes my brain doesn’t function.

Technology has been an issue that we’ve had to manage throughout the lockdown like most.  It was too easy for everyone to dive onto their phones or spend the afternoon gaming when the sun was blazing outside, so we made sure that we walked regularly and tried to maintain a healthy approach to social media. Easier said than done sometimes.” 

What are your thoughts on travel right now?

“I’m about to travel to Italy for a few days with a friend so it’ll be interesting to experience the protocols to see how stringent they really are.  We have discovered new parts of the British countryside that might not have happened without this pandemic.  We’re now deeply in love with Devon and are off to Cumbria this Christmas.  

My husband is currently recovering from a critical illness so we’re very cautious about taking precautions, wearing face masks and washing hands wherever we go.  The children’s grandparents are also a concern so we’ve all learnt to be careful and follow the ever-changing rules.”

What are your current handbag essentials?

“iPhone, lip balm, hand cream, floral mask, bank cards for tapping everything! And of course my Chloe perfume to remind me to enjoy certain luxuries.”

What gets you through Working From Home?

“We went nuts a couple of years ago and bought the most swanky coffee machine.  It’s been grinding all day every day since March and hasn’t failed us yet.  Finding a spot in the house to work is the biggest challenge.  My husband also works from home and when it was a full house, it was a challenge to find a background for my Zoom calls that wasn’t populated with either a child, a grumpy spouse or a school homework work plan stuck up behind me with blue tack.”

CEO and Founder Amanda Thomson
What is your vision for the future of your business?

“The alcohol-free market is growing very quickly.  The beer and spirits industries have already recognised and reacted to this trend but the wine industry has been incredibly slow to see any value in it.  

Thomson & Scott is already considerably far ahead in what we’re doing – creating a delicious non-alcoholic sparkling that is difficult to distinguish from an alcoholic version.  We’ve very much taken what they call “first mover advantage” with Noughty and are watching it launch in a number of exciting territories around the world including New York, California and Australia. So the future, put simply, is shifting the global drinks industry and making a really big impact across the globe!”

Thomsonandscott.com

Thomson & Scott is available at the following retailers around the world, but if you can’t find the wine, contact them on hello@thomsonandscott.com.

Ireland – €12–15
Pembroke Wines, all Avoca Handweavers shops; Whelehan’s Wines; Gibney’s Off-Licence; The Grape & Grain; DSix Liquor; Wicklow Wines

Hong Kong – HK$95
Sipfree (launching August 2020)

Spain – €10.73
The Blue Dolphin Store (to be launched in the next couple of months)

Netherlands – €11.95
de Bijenkorf

New Zealand – NZ$19.99
Red & White Cellar

Australia – AU$19.99
Craftzero

USA (Texas) – $14.99
Central Market (launching shortly in all outlets across Texas)

Jersey – £8.99
Lovewine

Portugal – €18 (free countrywide shipping for 12 bottles upwards)
Six Senses Douro Valley Bottle Shop

Italy – €22
Locanda Al Colle

Dubai
Spinney’s

Susie Pearl is a coach, mentor, author, podcaster and expert in positivity. Her recent book The Art of Creativity , was written after her cancer recovery and if about how to be more creative in your life. Having been diagnosed with a brain tumour a few years ago, Susie was told she had six weeks to live, yet has defied all the odds and is now living cancer free in Ibiza.

Incredibly inspired by the book The Artists’ Way, Susie wanted to put her own spin on the subject of creativity and spoke to Russell Brand, David Lynch, and Paul McCartney amongst many others to discover what makes them tick. Susie says that often,  “The idea of being creative can strike fear into people (probably stemming back to art and craft lessons at school with a less than supportive teacher giving feedback on our work).”

Author Susie Pearl

Creativity doesn’t have to be about having the piano playing skills of Elton John or the artistic talent of Michelangelo Susie says, “Is about seeing the world in different ways and being flexible in your thinking.  Its combining ideas in new ways and finding routes through blocks so that you can head out the other side. Creativity is not only about painting and drawing. It is many things including how we think and talk to others and how we choose to spend our time.”

“Creativity is about dancing with yourself, exploring your spirit and see what comes through the senses, without judging yourself,” she says “It’s not a bad way to approach life as a philosophy of living in this new world ahead of us. One thing this lockdown has created is a spring of new creativity flowing out of us while we spend time quietly at home wondering what to do.  Inevitably, if we do nothing, something happens and our mind gets busy on new ideas.  Just start somewhere with little steps, then keep going.”

Susie’s latest book

Here Susie has put together some key points to remember to help boost your creative muscles:

We are all creative

“Sometimes we feel blocked but we can get past these blocks by going within ourselves – go inside. I have never met anyone who isn’t creative in some way.  As humans, we all have the ability to pull in some creative flow to our life. The secret is about finding what you love and doing that.”

Discover your passion

“Decide what you like doing and turn up to your favourite craft regularly. It doesn’t matter if it’s sewing, drawing, doodling, painting, making matchstick men, writing, playing or writing music, designing, putting images things together, doing a Pinterest board, making a vision board, acting, dancing, or playing a game with friends. Whatever you enjoy doing that involves losing yourself in a task that gets you putting ideas together in a new way, do that and get immersed. That is creativity.  Forget about the time and lose yourself in your activity.”

Meet up with creative people 

“Surround yourself with other creative people and talk about ideas rather than talking about other people or gossiping. Talking to others helps you to build on ideas and create something new that you wouldn’t have thought of perhaps by yourself.  Expand your horizons, meet new people to get new ideas from, do things differently and to do different things. Get inspired and excited by new thoughts and plans.”

Think about projects that inspire and excite you

“Discover projects you feel like getting involved with locally – join a singing group, learn to write poetry, sing, learn a new language or take a drawing class. The way to know if it’s right creatively for you is to feel if it gives you joy and makes you feel good. When you get creatively immersed, time flies and the hours pass by without even noticing. “

Play music 

“Play music while you daydream. You don’t have to be doing things all the time. Take some time, relax, chill, listen to some soothing music and let the music take you off into feeling good. You may feel like taking a rest and relaxing, or some music may get you energised so you want to dance. Let your body do what it wants to do. Resist responding to the strong voice inside your head and instead follow your flow, follow your intuition and go towards what makes your heart sing and what brings you joy.”

See new people and places

“Chat with people you don’t know well in your area of interest and you will learn and be inspired by them. If you like art and drawing, join a local group and see who you meet.  Go to places where you don’t know anyone yet and make some friends and strike up conversations. The best adventures happen when you don’t have a plan. “

Have a beginners mindset

“Remember, that no one really knows what they are doing. Everyone is winging it and trying and experimenting. It’s good to make mistakes, fail at things and fall on your face trying something new.  No one is really watching.  The more you make mistakes, the more you explore and became inquisitive. The more you fail, the more informed you become about what doesn’t work, which helps you get onto the track of what does work.”

A final note…

Susie says that one of the main things to remember about creativity is that it’s meant to be fun and enjoyable, “Be light with yourself and your creative endeavours. None of it really matters – the only thing that’s important is that you enjoy yourself.  Try out some puzzles and games, meditate and connect with your spirit and let ideas flow without judging them.” Amen to that.

Susie’s Book – The Art of Creativity – 7 powerful habits to unleash your full potential is out now

If you liked this article you may also like our story on ’15 ways to find more balance in your day.’ Read here

Alice Cracknell is the founder of the UK’s first not-for-profit fashion brand Origin, based in Devon, UK . She and her husband create ethical garments and use the products to fund important projects in Africa. She talks to 35 Thousand about the kitchen table office in Lockdown, their fair trade suppliers and the life-changing projects they help to support in Africa.

Alice with her husband and one of their suppliers
Tell us about your work

“I am the founder of the UK’s first not-for-profit fashion brand, Origin. We create ethical garments and use the products to fund projects in Africa. I founded the company with my husband 3 years ago and we are based in North Devon but run pop ups across the UK and support projects in Mali, Gambia, Togo and Ethiopia. 

We support a variety of projects run by local communities, they span from healthcare initiatives (for example we support an HIV clinic in Gambia) to remote sanitisation in the Simien Mountains, Ethiopia. 

The key thing is that these projects are all locally championed, sustainable and have a positive impact on the community. In addition to this, during the past few months we have also funded sending PPE to Gambia, Togo, Mali and Ethiopia to protect the healthcare providers and enable them to continue providing life saving treatments to their communities.

I love my job because we’re doing something with purpose and I’m really connected to the projects that we run so it’s a very fulfilling career.”

An Origin T shirt
 What was your ‘normal ‘day-to-day life like pre COVID-19?

“A normal day for us normally starts with cycling to the Studio, where we check in with our projects in Africa over WhatsApp or video calls in the morning and often spend the afternoon updating the website adding new garments or blogs. 

We are very lucky that production was not affected by Covid-19 and we made a commitment to continue to order from our suppliers and support the artisans we work with in Africa. Though lead times took a little longer than normal, we managed to avoid any big gaps in stock by placing orders throughout lockdown.”

Tell us more about the fair trade element of your business..

“We currently use two brilliant wholesale suppliers for the creation of our base garments (before printing them in the UK using Vegan and non-toxic dyes). Our first supplier, Rapanui, has a renewable energy and fair trade factory in India, which is Organic and Soil Association certified. Stanley and Stella, who create our base tees have a factory in Bangladesh which is FairWear Foundation certified and is committed to ethical and sustainable production. 

Our ambition is to move all production to Africa within the next two years to create jobs and empower local production, however we have to ensure that standards for workers, fair pay, and all sustainable certifications are met before we make this move, which takes time working with local suppliers. The key thing for Origin is to be transparent about the entire supply chain which is why we use block-chain technology powered by Provenance (https://www.provenance.org/) so our consumers can track the production of every garment and their certifications from factory to store.”

What’s your context outside of work?

“I’m married and we don’t have any kids yet but we have a beautiful dog (a cocker spaniel called Jeffry). We live in North Devon by the sea, so a lot of our hobbies are outdoorsy (I pretend to surf but I can’t really).”

 What is your day-to day life like now?  

“Unfortunately the Covid-19 situation did mean we had to shut down the studio for some time. We normally open it as a shop so that was a bit of a hit for us. However we were very lucky we received a lot of support and some amazing online sales during lockdown. Plus we we’re used to running the business from the kitchen table (as we had done for 2 years) so we switched back to that quite easily!”

Presenter Fearne Cotton is a fan of Origin
 Do you feel that Lockdown has changed your outlook and if so how?

 “We have been really fortunate as it hasn’t had to change our outlook a lot because we’re a small and growing organisation which means by nature we are dynamic and always adapting. We are constantly dealing with all sorts of hurdles and challenges in the developing countries where our projects are based so we are very aware of the need to remain vigilant and aware of our communities’ needs. We have to stay responsive to issues that arise… and arise they always do.”

 What raises your stress levels and how to you manage that?

“We have a great following on Instagram however from time to time I do find the world of social media difficult to deal with and a little bit stressful, especially as I’m on it for so much of my day. I’m happy to say we have an amazing team around us and they help support me. 

I think it’s fair to say that when you put your life and soul into something you feel everything very personally, so we are grateful to have such an amazing and loyal following on Instagram who have been a big part of our journey of growing as a business.”

Who/ what has been the biggest inspiration to you in life/ in your career? Why?

 “There are a number of things which have been an inspiration to me during my life and have definitely been a catalyst to starting Origin. I was always inspired by my parents growing up, which is an obvious thing to say, but they were a huge part of the person I have become. 

Secondly, there were a number of authors whose books I found inspirational during the time of founding Origin including Muhammad Yunus’ book Building Social Business and Leila Janah’s “Give Work.” Their innovative thinking and perspective completely reframed my thinking. Finally meeting my wonderful husband who has always really challenged me and inspired our ideas on aid and how to help alleviate poverty, these concepts are of the soul of the business we have built together.”

 Are you travelling currently? 

“Unfortunately as a result of Covid-19 and the travel restrictions in place, we have had to cancel a number of trips to Africa including one to Ethiopia this year and a more recent trip we were supposed to take to Gambia last month. At present we cannot travel to the countries in which we work as it wouldn’t be safe to do so for us or our projects to do so. Therefore we will be putting travel on hold for the time being. However, we have close relationships with the founders and leaders of our projects in various countries across Africa and we fully support them in managing their incredible initiatives through these uncertain times. We chat to them all the time about how they’re getting on and how/if we need to support them.”

An Origin supplier
 What do you wear for work?

 “As a founder of an ethical fashion brand I live in our garments. I’m always wearing an Origin tee or sweatshirt to work. They are so easy to style, dress up or dress down.”

If you had to edit your wardrobe to 10 items what would you keep?

 “Ooooh tough question. I would keep my favourite pair of jeans (they are several years old but so comfy I live in them), and a casual white shirt. I’d have a pair of classic flip flops as I live by the beach and wear them a lot. There would definitely be a pair of Lucy and Yak dungarees, a few easy-to-chuck-on dresses… and obviously my favourite Origin tees ❤️.”

 What are your handbag essentials?

 “My handbag is a MESS! I always have dog treats for Jeffry (this is key to an easy life!), a good face moisturiser, a pack of tissues (#hayfever) and a random selection of Origin tags, leaflets and labels so I have it all on-hand whenever I’m chatting to anyone about what we do.”

 What are your home working essentials?

 “Numerous cups of tea! And it definitely helps me to have a good routine (a proper lunch break and a walk with the dog). I think a bright sunny spot to sit in really helps too – surrounding yourself with plants and being in a calming environment is key.”

Who or what do you rely on for managing life’s juggle? 

“I’m a big fan of an old fashioned list. I would be nowhere without the millions of lists I make. I’m hopelessly disorganised but somehow a simple pen and paper makes all the difference.”

A mobile clinic during Covid-19 is just one of the projects their business supports
 How do you manage your mind and wellbeing on a daily basis?

“It’s hard, on some days managing your own business can be totally overwhelming. However, we have an amazing purpose behind the business and that definitely keeps me going on the tough days. I also try to maintain a good work life balance, having regular breaks and finishing work at a reasonable time then turning my emails OFF. This doesn’t always happen… But I’m working on it.” 

 How do you stay healthy?

“We are so lucky to have a very outdoorsy lifestyle here which is why we moved to live by the sea. Long walks on the beach, a swim or surf and cycling to and from our studio keep me happy and healthy.”

How do you relax?

“I really adore cooking and for me it’s a signal that the working day is done and the relaxing can begin. Trying new dishes and being creative in the kitchen totally chills me out and winds me down after a long day.”

 If you could speak to yourself when you were just starting out your career, what advice would you give yourself that would have made the most difference to you?

 Lastly, trust yourself. Don’t worry about what other people think, just trust your gut, and that way you’ll have no regrets.”

For further information go to Originfafrica.co.uk

PR Becky Stevens runs Stevens PR with her sister-in-law. Here she reveals how she’s managed to juggle 10 clients with her 5 children (number 6 is on its way!) during Lockdown and the life lessons she’s learnt as a result.

Tell us about your work

Stevens PR is my own PR business that I set up 15 years ago which I now share with my sister-in-law. We look after health, beauty, fitness brands and aesthetic doctors. We have 10 clients in total.  I work mostly from home and I’m a member of a gym where I can work from the cafe but I also pop over to my business partners flat ten minutes away and do what we call ‘hours of power’ together.

I love that it’s an expanding and ever changing industry. I’m a people person so meeting new clients and journalists boosts me mentally. I also love linking people together, be it a client to another client or a journalist with another journalist or PR.”

What was your ‘normal ‘day-to-day life like pre COVID-19?

“I would wake up at 6.30 am to stir four out of the five kids who are all at school. I have Lettice and Edith who are 11 (twins), Ottilie 9, Tattie 5 and Foy, 2 (and I am pregnant with another girl). In normal times, my twins get the bus to the French Lycee, so it’s just a case of making sure they are fed and on the right bus. I then do the school run with my younger two which is a 10 minute car journey or 30 minutes depending on London’s glorious traffic.

I would then squeeze in a workout in the gym for around an hour on the way home (that’s my me-time and puts me in a better fighting mood). Then it was home for my coffee and I would work through till 5.30pm.

My little boy, who is 2, is at home with me but I have a live-in helper who takes care of him during most of the day, and I tend to have a cuddle and lunch with him. I try and mark out a day for meetings so I don’t spread myself too thin – I normally organise about 5 press meetings a week and about 2 client meetings. 

Pre COVID the twins would come home at different times on the bus, so I wouldn’t need to worry too much about them (although I’m on ‘Find my friends’ a LOT until they walk through the door).  I have a French Teaching Assistant who normally brings my other two back from their school to help with their homework.

Supper for kids pre COVID was around 6.30/7pm. I do supper if I can and always do the witching hour which Ed and I take a deep breath and share together. Then it’s bath time (not every night), and the slow haul to bed that could be between 8.30 to 9.30pm. Ed and I don’t have much time together most week nights. Supper is always homemade with a large glass of wine and then bed by 10.30pm to rub essential oils everywhere, drink Pukka Relax Tea, put some meditation on and zonk out. Our Corona Kitten joins us and mostly sleeps above my head!”

Pr-Becky-Stevens-Covid-19
Pr Becky Stevens in Majorca
What is your day-to day life like now? 

“We have got used to blissful lie-ins until around 8.30am – even the toddler sleeps til 9am. Then I squeeze in a Zoom workout online. I have just taken on a PT as a client, so I switch between her classes and my American client, P.volve (read about this unique online body sculpting training programme here.) After the Zoom class I have been used to school Zooms that would start at 10am, and I would get to sit down and do work, although it’s very fractured.

My husband managed to sneak off to the office throughout most of Lockdown (his excuse was ‘Too many children at home to concentrate’). I needed to make sure the tweens were up for 8.30am as their Zoom calls started then (between all 4 they’d have about 6 to 8 calls a day). This has been interspersed with ‘Mummy I’m hungry! Mummy I’m bored!’

I have tried to feed them at 12pm before they snack on yellow food all day but I have on many occasion been so knee deep in work I have forgotten their lunch. I have therefore stockpiled Charlie Binghams Lasagne, Fish Pie and Cottage Pie.

In late afternoons I have met mothers in parks so my kids can still get to play with their friends. I feel this has been essential to keeping me and my children sane! Bedtime has been getting later and later for everyone. We nearly all go to bed at the same time now which is 10.30pm/11pm even for the toddler!”

What’s your context outside of work?

“I’ve just bought a Corona kitten and I take Friday’s off to hang out with my two year old boy. My hobbies are fitness and commitments are my children and husband!  I love to see my bro who has constantly popped round during Lockdown as he lives by himself and gets lonely. Also my business partner Holly has a little boy.”

What are you finding challenging right now?

“The juggle, and patience. To spend time with each child whilst putting the same effort into work. At the moment work is slipping as I have been homeschooling four kids with a toddler nipping at my ankles. Then there’s the guilt: the guilt that my children aren’t doing enough work; that they aren’t outside playing in fresh air; that my tweens are constantly staring at their screens.”


Do you feel that Lockdown has changed your outlook and if so how?

“Yes totally. It’s changed my outlook on schooling and how much I respect the teachers who spent time and love on the Zoom calls and homework. It was a challenge for parents and teachers and kids and we all had to work together to make it work. It’s also shown me how much my kids need a routine and highlighted the most important things in life. It’s now less about work, work, work, if I manage 3/4 hours of work a day that’s actually enough screen time for me.

Lockdown has proved that I don’t need to be at my screen all day or attend pointless meetings for meetings’ sake. I have the confidence post Corona to say ‘no’ more. Previously I used to run myself ragged saying ‘yes’ to everything.

I’ve also realised my children need me more – for playdates, or taking them out to stretch their legs in the park. It’s important I’m more present rather than fretting about meetings and work.”

What raises your stress levels and how to you manage that?

“The witching hours between 6pm – 9pm. Toothbrushing and laziness also stress me out and the words ‘Mummy I’m BORED!’

Other people’s reaction to Lockdown have been stressful too. I had to really bite my tongue on a few occasions with close friends – it seems we all lived out Lockdown in our own way and we all needed to respect each others’ way of coping.”

Who/ what has been the biggest inspiration to you in life?

“I think clients have inspired me as they have believed in me. Even with 5 kids, every time I was pregnant I won new clients. I’m lucky as the industry I work in is more female so there is a sense of community of women supporting other women. 

Holly, my sister-in-law who joined me 5 years ago has been a total boost. She joined me when I was pregnant with number 4. I realised I needed support but its very hard to let go/ share something you have built up yourself. I trust her and she brings a youthful edge and outlook to StevensPR, especially when it comes to social media and tech.”

Are you travelling currently?

“Yes we made it out to Mallorca, our second home, on 5th July. I did the antibody test which came back positive. I did feel very ill at the beginning of lockdown and I was 16 weeks pregnant so it was worrying and a very confusing time for me. I now feel more positive and less worried. I did start wearing masks when we travelled in the airport and now in Mallorca the rules are very strict. There are masks everywhere – wearing one is slightly claustrophobic when you are heavily pregnant in the heat!”

What do you wear for work?

“Mostly fitness gear! I’m always rushing from the gym to meetings,  but I do style it up a bit and splash on some foundation. Most press and clients know me so well they know the busy life I lead, plus I did look after a very stylish fitness wear brand so I wore my client to meetings – great excuse. If I’m not in athletic apparel I wear easy breezy clothes, sometimes I dress like a teenager in dungarees. I have never needed to wear a suit for work.”

If you had to edit your wardrobe to 10 items what would you keep?

“Floral floaty dresses, flat sandals, pretty puffy shirts, my mom jeans, white trainers, (Reebok or Veja!), leggings, sports bra and fitness vests. “

What are your handbag essentials?

“SPF 50, Vitamin C Serum (mostly La Roche Posay), Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation, Hourglass Arch Brow `Microsculpting Pencil, Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara, Deodorant, my toddlers Wet Wipes (SO handy) and a diaper. I always have one in the bottom of the bag and sometimes by mistake I haul it out at meetings! Maybe there’s also a toy truck or a Shopkins from my 5 year old girl. Oh and a mobile phone cable as I never have any battery.”

Becky is a fan of Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Foundation
What are your home working essentials?

“My mobile phone, coffee, and Pukka Tea throughout the rest of the day. Ashwagandha and magnesium supplements, DoTerra Oils to keep me alert and/or calm, and green apples. I’m also addicted to Tabasco and I put on everything – my poor gut!”

Who or what do you rely on for managing life’s juggle?

“My live-in cleaner/nanny who we adore and is part of the family – she helps with my toddler as he isn’t at nursery yet. She clocks in at 7am – 10am then 5pm-8pm. I’ve always had to pay for extra help as we don’t have parents nearby who can help – my lovely French helper is so supportive if I’m running late for school pick-up which is always the case .”

How do you manage your mind and wellbeing on a daily basis?

“I have finally have got into meditation. I took a 4 day crash course with Jillian Lavender who I love who runs the London Meditation Centre (there is also a New York Meditation Centre). I use the Calm App at night and do breathing techniques I’ve learnt via healers and the DeRoseMethod. I find Instagram has been a huge support during Lockdown and I’ve found new healers and ways to Zen from gong baths to sound healing sessions. I also use essential oils in my Neom diffuser. An episode of Friends helps OR any cooking program I find very relaxing as I adore my food! 

Now I’m in Mallorca, I’ve just a day retreat with 10 girlfriends and done crystal healing, Yoga and meditation topped of with dancing where we just leapt around at 8pm.”

How do you stay healthy?

“I live for fitness. I adore Heartcore and Paolas Body Barrre online. I love my supplements but I’m so keen to learn and try the next or newest fitness craze or find the newest healing craze.”

How do you relax? 

“By seeing friends, walking or bicycling around London or having sushi and a bottle of Cremant and seeing my brother who lives down the road from me. Ongoing projects I do in Mallorca help me. I love interiors too and I put my heart and soul into doing up our finca over the past 5 years. Im awaiting to do up a ramshackle building on our land – my mind is boggling with interior ideas.”

If you could speak to yourself when you were just starting out your career, what advice would you give yourself that would have made the most difference to you?

“Don’t compare yourself to other PR agencies or PR’s – there’s enough room for all the PR’s out there. Saying ‘no’ is just as powerful as saying ‘yes’. I sometimes underestimate how much we nurture our clients. We go above and beyond for all the brands that we look after and even clients have told me I shouldn’t undervalue my services. Sometimes’ I need to remind myself that I’m ‘worth it’!

Finally, if a journalist never replies its not because she doesn’t like you it’s because she get thousands of emails a day. Be patient and persist.”

In years to come we will find probably find an old face mask in our pocket and think how glad we were that this strange time in history has now passed. However it looks like the facemark is here to stay for now and we predict that even when mask-wearing is no longer compulsory, they may remain the norm for many.

Unfortunately one of the downsides of mask wearing is that dermatologists have seen a sharp rise in skin problems and ‘maskne’. We ask the experts for their tips on sub mask skincare.

You will notice that when you remove a mask, that the skin underneath is quite damp, warm and pink, which, according to skincare expert and facialist Sarah Chapman makes for ideal conditions for bacteria which can contribute to blemishes. Not only that, but “Your mask might also rub against your face and irritate the skin, which can lead to soreness and breakouts”  she says.

We spoke to Sarah as well as leading global facialist Anastastia Achilleos, both of whom tend to the skin of many a celebrity on a regular basis. Anastasia has in fact worn a mask as a therapist for the past 25 years. Why? “Firstly you never know what lurgy people come in with. Secondly, “When you are so close to someone’s face as a facialist you tend to turn your head to one side or hold your breathe to avoid taking in others’ breath,” she says.” This in turn makes us become shallow breathers, which can affect our wellbeing.”

Here are their insider tricks to keeping your skin spotless sub face mask…

Look for lightweight skincare

To avoid your skin becoming greasier under your mask, both Sarah and Anastasia suggest swapping out rich moisturising creams for lighter formulations that won’t clog the pores. Sarah’s Intense Hydrating Booster, $105 is great for this as, she says, as it’s ultra-lightweight and oil free. “Hyaluronic acid and moisture magnets will deeply hydrate without feeling heavy, while soothing rose water will help the skin to feel calm and comfortable. The formula also contains Bioecolia® and beta glucan, two advanced ingredients that will help to defend against any bacteria that has become trapped beneath your mask,” she says.

Sarah Chapman’s Intense Hydrating Booster
Treat your skin under your mask

Anastasia brilliantly suggests that we should use the time we are wearing a mask to treat our skin beneath it.  For those with more oily or acne prone skin, she suggests trying a more cosmeceutical type product as they won’t contain fragrance or other irritants. One product she highly recommends is Environ’s Retinol Serum, $74.87, which contains Retinol Palmitrate, which she says reaches the lower matrix of our skin and balances and stabilises the cells there, so when those cells reach the surface they are extremely well formed. This product she says, has been part of her beauty arsenal for 15 years and she applies it once a day (note: this can be applied to the cheeks and forehead too.)

Another product type that Anastasia recommends for use under masks, are balms. These, she explains, can both nourish and protect the skin simultaneously.  “We’re looking at products that are slightly different to what you normally use,” she says.  Anastasia is a fan of lightweight balms which she says men have actually used forever to protect their skin from the aggressors they face daily such as razors and hair growth. Ren’s Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm $48 can be used in the day and is light and anti-inflammatory. “Even if your skin gets a bit congested, a balm helps to break down the congestion,” she says. Others she recommends are Decleor’s Aromessence Rose D’Orient Soothing Night Balm $29.70 and Darphin’s Essential Oil Elixir Aromatic  Purifying Balm which targets skin prone to imperfections whilst also acting as a barrier.

Decleor’s Baume de Nuit Rose D’Orient
Cleanse thoroughly (but not aggressively)

The message from both facialists is to cleanse without stripping your skin of its natural oils – lightly in the morning, then thoroughly at night. “At the end of the day, cleansing the skin well is key for avoiding the build-up of debris,” says Sarah, “A balm formula like my Ultimate Cleanse $99.98 will help to dislodge impurities and prevent the blockages that can cause congestion and breakouts. Oil-based cleansers have a natural affinity with your skin’s sebum, which means they can cleanse effectively whilst respecting the skin’s delicate acid mantle.”

Anastasia is a big fan of facial massage which she suggests doing for at least 60 seconds at night with your cleanser before wiping away with a warm flannel. This, she says, is a way of gently cleaning and lightly exfoliating the skin at the end of the day without leaving it feeling stripped. She says to make sure you use one per use (just throw them in the washing machine daily) to avoid bacteria growing on them.

Sarah Chapman’s Ultimate Cleanse
Should we be using different products on the top and the bottom half of the face?

This depends on your skintype, but Sarah would recommend focusing a lightweight formula for the lower part of the face, and continuing your usual routine above.

If your mask is causing congestion around the lower half of your face she suggests investing in her Pro Pore Refiner for here $205. “This clever, cutting-edge device mimics the extraction techniques we use in the Clinic such as thermo-therapy, ionic cleansing and ultrasonic vibrations deeply purge congested pores, giving you professional-standard extraction at home.”

Spot check

On the plus side, you can hide a multitude of skin problems under a mask and if you want to put toothpaste on your spots (an Old Wive’s Tale for drying out pimples), at least nobody will see it . However Sarah Chapman has a much better alternative. Her SOS stickers are ultra-hygienic patches infused with pimple-purging scientific actives that are released over time to help calm redness, soothe, decongest and accelerate blemish healing. I designed the patches to be almost invisible, but wearing a mask will provide total camouflage!”

Click here to discover our favourite quick fix face masks

WHAT TO DO WHEN…

YOU HAVE THREE HOURS TO KILL

Best for a bit of culture

Visiting the Maison de Victor Hugo is always a favourite. Peeking into such a well-preserved private home is fascinating and the interiors are rich with books, art and furniture. It’s in the Place des Vosges so you can visit one of the many small cafes around the square and do some people watching afterwards. We also love the Foundation Louis Vuitton, the building was designed by Frank Gehry and is spectacular. The architecture is truly impressive and there are always good exhibitions on too.

Top shopping

For big brands head to the Champs Elysées as you just can’t beat the beauty of the avenue. For smaller boutiques and designer vintage finds we can’t recommend enough that you get a bit lost wandering in the Marais.

Must check out

Musee Marmottan Monet – a lovely townhouse with a sweet garden and the largest collection of beautiful Monet paintings.

Jump in a cab to

Le Place Vendome, an easy place to kill time. Glittering with jewellery shops the most impressive gem in the octagonal square is of course the Ritz Paris where you can stop in for lunch.

The secret find

Check out Galerie Vivienne, a beautiful glass arcade with little bookshops and beautiful boutiques.

Best brunch stop

La Réserve , with its old school classic French decor, this is a stunning hotel  with an elegant breakfast menu. Also if you fancy a bit of classic American food in a beautiful setting, check out Ralph’s restaurant which is part of Ralph Lauren but has a stunning courtyard.

Best Lunch

Maison Plisson on the Boulevard Beaumarchais is our go-to for a healthy and fresh lunch. The food is truly exceptional, with a seasonal menu. There is a fresh produce market attached, as well as a delightful bakery. It’s the perfect spot to have lunch and then fill up your suitcase with cheese, chocolate and wines before hopping on the Eurostar.

Best Dinner Experience

Our go-to would be Restaurant Apicuis which has super sexy date night elegance with a cheese selection that will blow your mind.

When you want a healthy takeout

Whilst the Rose Bakery is famous for its cakes and tartes (there are four in Paris), it also sells incredibly tasty, fresh and healthy takeaway food.

WHEN YOU NEED TO IMPRESS YOUR BOSS/ CLIENTS

The go-to eatery

Chez Julien because it’s a classic. The interior, staff and food are everything you want from a Parisian restaurant. With its comfortable, deep red banquettes, gilded panelling and candlelight reflecting off antiqued mirrors it is a totally chic experience and is sure to impress even the toughest client.

Best hotel

The Hotel de Crillon has old world glamour and grandeur perfected. Its restaurants and courtyards are perfect for intimate business meetings or lunches, and it is a hotel that never fails to impress.

Best for after dinner cocktails

The bar at the Hotel Costes serves amazing cocktails and provides excellent people watching, or if you’re looking for something a bit more low-key try the jazz café la Cave du 38 Riv.

YOU’RE TRAVELLING ALONE

Best hotel for solo travellers

I would recommend the Hotel Providence. It’s great for a solo traveller, has quirky rooms, is very comfortable and is well located. The room rates are generally very reasonable, and staff are excellent.

Best restaurant for a solo diners

Josephine Chez Dumonet is perfect for the solo diner. A typical looking French Bistro with incredible food, there are small intimate tables and you can get a half portion of anything on the menu. The food is delicious, however it’s extremely popular so remember to make a reservation well in advance.

YOU NEED A STYLE HIT

Head to Bon Marche … the buy here is classic with a twist, you’ll discover new designers as well as well-established ones and also brands that make pieces exclusive for Bon Marche. The shoe room is heaven too.

When you need stylish work clothes

Head to Rue Royale in the Marais and Place de la Madeleine for all the big brands and little boutiques.

When you’ve got a special occassion

Avenue Montaigne – for all the big-name brands.

Best for stylish basics

Merci boutique on Boulevard Beaumarchais in Haut-Marais has a great selection of basics.

Off the beaten track recommendations…

We love the designer vintage store Thanx God I’m a V.I.P. Its very well curated and if you need to pick up something unique for a special dinner or event this is the place to come.

Best for shoes and accessories

The Galeries Lafayette, the most famous Parisienne shopping centre of all.

TO LOOK AFTER YOUR WELLBEING

Best hotel with wellness facilities

You can’t beat the Plaza Athenee and the Dior Institut for great massages and facials.

Best spa

Again the Plaza Athenee and don’t miss out on the Dior’s microdermabrasion facial which leaves your skin so clean and smooth.  If you prefer the holistic approach head to Hotel Lutetia whose philosophy is based around the elements – earth, water, wind and fire. It also has a beautiful serene pool.

Where to go for a great Pilates class

For Pilates we would head to Reformation which has super stylish interiors, amazing instructors and they really know how to work you.  Prepare yourself for a tough workout.

Where to go to sweat

We would do the ‘Jump baby Jump’ cardio class at Reformation.

Best health food store

We love Rose Bakery Paris, which has great organic produce and a little café, as well as unhealthy but seriously delicious cakes.

YOU ARE IN NEED OF BEAUTIFICATION

Best place for a blowdry

Without a doubt Rishi at David Mallet is best hairdresser in Paris.

Best facial in town

We would head to Maison Sisley where they do incredible facials – we are big fans of their skin scanning equipment.

Best for eyebrows

We would recommend Atelier du Sourcil who have have several shops and offer brilliant, quick and careful treatments for lashes and brows.

DON’T LEAVE PARIS WITHOUT CHECKING OUT

The hidden gallery Musee National Eugene Delacroix, which is not one of Paris’s largest galleries but well worth a visit with over 1,300 artworks, paintings, drawings and manuscripts.

This guide is compiled by Lucy Rigg founder of Lubelle.co.uk, a curation of the best people and places to visit around the world.

Papillon Luck has spent her life on and off a plane. Having run a fitness business, then a wedding business and working in the high octane world of hedge funds and investment banking all her life, Papillon would try out different supplements to try to help ward off jetlag in a bid to keep her feeling tip-top when she skipped a time zone or two.  “But nothing was any good,” she says, “I bought every single jet lag product on the market and the majority of them were just B vitamins and a load of sugar and just not enough to make a difference to the way I felt.” And so Papillon set out to create a travel super supplement herself instead.

Whilst we know that travelling can make us feel tired, lethargic and can leave our brains like mush, there is still very little knowledge available about what actually happens to the insides and outsides of our bodies on a flight. Most people just know they need to keep hydrated. Papillon set out to understand how our bodies cope (or don’t cope) and worked with an aviation scientist  – Dr Perry – who proudly holds the rare title of Academician of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine (there are only 200 in the world).

Through her research Papillon discovered various different facts about flying. Did you know that for every time zone crossed it can require up to 24 of recovery? Or that 30,000 feet up there’s 25% less oxygen? And whilst there’s less oxygen your intestinal gas can expand by 50%? (A very good reason why the curry onboard is perhaps not the best idea). Other facts that she tells me I didn’t previously know are that our kidneys don’t metabolise well at all at altitude, but start again on landing, and that we shouldn’t even begin to think about using our normal skincare in the air because dehydration levels are such that it just won’t cut it.

Working with a crack team of scientists, nutritionists, formulators and travel wellness experts Papillon set about creating a range of supplements that contain 56 active ingredients and two patented ingredients. After two years, the result is three sachets as well as botanical infusions to be taken at different stages of flying.  It is the only supplement range on the market, Papillon tells me, that addresses the 6 health functions that get disturbed during travel – our immune systems, our digestion, circulation, energy, cognitive function and our sleep or rest.

There is nothing within the formulations that doesn’t, she says, ‘Earn the right to be included.” Therefore there are no fillers or artificial colourings and flavourings and just a tiny bit of stevia instead of sugar to sweeten the taste (she explains that all those active ingredients don’t taste like honey) . Using the highest quality ingredients she could find Papillon has ensure they also have the best absorption rate possible to ensure they are distributed quickly into our bloodstream.  She also hasn’t gone down the ‘plink, plink, fizz’ route of effervescent tablets, because, she explains, “This mechanism leaves much less space for active ingredients.”

Jet Fuel therefore comes as a set of three sachets handy enough to ‘Pour in a water bottle mid-turbulence,” each with a different purpose. No.1 is the ‘Health’ Jet Fuel which provides ingredients that help look after your digestive, circulatory and immune system. Papillon has used vitamin C in the form of Ascorbic acid, which has a time-releasing manner. She has also used vitamin D3 instead of D2 because it is more effective at being utilised by the body (despite being much more expensive). This product also contains extremely robust probiotics to survive the travel environment.

No.2 The ‘Performance’ Jet Fuel provides ingredients to help maintain energy whilst keeping your mind sharp and focused. It uses Iron Ferrous-Bisglycinate which is better absorbed by the body than other types of iron and doesn’t have the side effects of cheaper forms. Other ingredients are Ginkgo Biloba  for its anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant activity and B vitamins which are the best form for absorption.

Finally, there’s No.3 The ‘Rest’ Jet Fuel which provides ingredients to help you relax, reduce tiredness and fatigue. Papillon has used the most natural form of 5-HTP which is well known for helping calm the nervous system and Zinc Bisglycinate which is better for rest than the zinc used in the health supplement.

With a calculator on the website that tells you how much you will need for your journey, there is nothing that Papillon hasn’t thought about and has put the products through a rigorous round of testing with some of the most hardcore frequent fliers she could find “We has one tester who went 74,000 on a business trip and took Jet Fuel every day,” she says “He would email me to say how amazing he felt and that he had no jet lag or fatigue.”

Watch this ‘air’ space.

15thdegree.com

With Jen Rubio, Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer, Away

Part 1 – Pro Travel Tips

What luggage and hand luggage do you travel with? Why do you like it?

“I’m usually reaching for Away’s Bigger Carry-On in Navy paired with The Everywhere Bag in Black Leather. I avoid checking my bags whenever possible, so this is the perfect duo. I’m able to pack for nearly two weeks of travel and comfortably carry everything I need.”

What’s your approach to skincare when travelling and flying? Which beauty products do you take?

“Packing the skin care products I love eliminates some of the stress that inevitably comes along with shaking up my routine while on the road, so I always pack travel-sized minis of my must-haves. My favorites are Aesop’s Fabulous Face Cleanser, Glycelene Seatox Face Mist, IGK Dry Shampoo, and Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum.

I also always have a reusable water bottle—hydration is always crucial, but even more so when you’re traveling.”

How do you approach your wardrobe on the road? For example do you have new outfits every day or organised mix ‘n’ match packing? Do you take jewellery? What do you wear to travel?

“I’m usually traveling for both business and fun out of one carry-on, so I tend to gravitate towards items that are comfortable and versatile, can easily be dressed up or down, and in neutral tones that I can easily mix and match. For me, that’s a black slip dress, my Chanel loafers, stretchy yet tailored trousers, woven tops and sweaters that won’t wrinkle in transit, and a vintage leather jacket. I keep accessories to a minimum so that they’re one less thing to think about, and only bring my most cherished jewellery.”

What’s in your carry-on / hand luggage that you never leave home without?

“I never fly without my noise-canceling headphones and a Slip silk eye mask. They’re the two things that guarantee I can comfortably get some rest on long flights.”

Do you have any in-flight routines? Are you a nervous flier?

“Luckily, I’ve never been a nervous flier. I actually enjoy my time in the air the most—it’s when I’m completely unplugged from the world that I’m able to do some of my most creative and concentrated thinking.”

What do you read, listen to and/or watch in flight?

“Usually I’ll use flights to catch up on my favorite podcasts or journal about some of the ideas my team and I have for Away.”

“I also love doing a mini inflight facial—I’ve gotten some strange looks while wearing a facial mask on the plane, but the air inside the cabin is so dehydrating so I’ll sacrifice some dignity if it means I can land with skin that’s glowing. Lately I’ve been loving the Estee Lauder Concentrated Recovery PowerFoil Mask.”

What is your seat preference and why? 

“I’m always in the aisle seat. I like to be able to get up and stretch my legs during a long flight to keep the circulation going without disturbing my seatmates, so you’ll rarely catch me with a window seat.”

Part 2  – Keeping up with life when travelling…

What is the best experience you have had travelling for work and where was it?

“We recently launched Away in Australia, and to introduce the brand, we hosted Origin: Away, a campaign and experiential pop-up in Sydney to celebrate the country’s love of travel and its entrepreneurial spirit. It was all about highlighting local entrepreneurs whose travels had led them to build successful businesses abroad, and we brought them back home to Sydney to share their stories with the local community. I always love hearing how travel has transformed the way people live their lives, so it was such an incredible and fulfilling experience.”

What was a terrible travel experience that wasn’t funny then, but is now?

“It’s so ironic because it was awful at the time but it’s also what sparked the genesis of Away—my suitcase broke at the airport while I was traveling, and I literally had to use duct tape to get it back together before my flight. My clothes were everywhere. It was so embarrassing. I was determined to find the perfect suitcase so that something like that would never happen again, but it turns out the perfect suitcase didn’t exist, so we created it.”

What do you do before a trip to ensure life at home runs smoothly whilst you are away?

“I’m on the road more often than I’m home these days, so I start by embracing that things won’t always run smoothly and I can’t control the inevitable bumps that will come up. Instead, I try to focus on the fact that everything will be okay.”

“I have a packing routine that makes last-minute trips feel less daunting, and an incredibly talented team that I trust to make great decisions for Away and our community while I’m not in the office. I know the company is in great hands even when I’m traveling or completely off the grid.”

How do you keep connected to loved ones whilst on the road?

“I make it a point to call at least one person I love before I go to bed. It’s a little routine I adapted years ago when I started traveling more often, and it’s something small that makes me feel grounded after a long day, and grateful for all the great people in my life.”

How do you make your hotel room feel like home?

“I travel with a few items from home that make any hotel or Airbnb instantly feel familiar and warm—that’s usually a sound machine to drown out any unfamiliar noises and help me fall (and stay!) asleep, and a travel-size candle in the same scent that I burn at home (Cire Trudon’s Balmoral is my favorite).”

How do you manage your wellbeing when away? 

I use apps like Glo so I can take a yoga class no matter where I am in the world, and I try to go for lots of walks to explore and unwind while I’m traveling rather than opting for a car. They’re small, easy ways for me to carve out time for myself that also keep me active and in the mindset for being truly present.”

“I’m also really mindful about eating nutritious meals when I’m travelling. Sometimes I find myself working straight through lunch, so I’ll make sure I have a big breakfast, like porridge with bananas and almonds, or eggs on avocado toast.”

“Being on-the-go can wreak havoc on your immune system, but staying active and eating well are things you can control.”

What are your tips for combating jet lag?

“Keep moving and eat breakfast. Once I arrive at my hotel, I’ll head outside for a walk or do a short yoga session at the hotel—something to keep my energy going before I can properly rest. And eating breakfast (or whatever meal is associated with the local time when you land) is a small but effective way to signal to your body that you’re shifting to a new time zone.”

Awaytravel.com