Kath­leen Baird-mur­ray on how to sur­vive and thrive dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son

Town & Country (UK) - - CONTENTS —WINTER 2017 -

Kath­leen Baird-mur­ray on the pam­per­ing prod­ucts to bring you peace of mind amid the Christ­mas may­hem

My Aus­tralian guest, en route to Syd­ney via a pit stop in Lon­don, care­fully tipped out the gold­enyel­low pow­der into a glass and cov­ered it with cling­film. ‘I can’t give you the whole tub, as I re­ally need it. But pop a tea­spoon into a glass of hot al­mond milk at night, and it will help.’

He had just wit­nessed the most god-aw­ful fam­ily ar­gu­ment, the kind that forces you to won­der what your vis­i­tors will think, for­get­ting in that mo­ment of raised voices, slammed doors and some­thing that sounds sus­pi­ciously like a mug of tea be­ing hurled against a bath­room wall that, this be­ing Christ­mas, they will all have been there too at some point.

The guest’s magic pow­der – Sleep In­ner Beauty Pow­der by the Beauty Chef – is prac­ti­cally con­tra­band in this coun­try, thanks to our strin­gent leg­is­la­tion (no bad thing most of the time), but in Aus­tralia it has been granted Listed Medicine sta­tus by the Ther­a­peu­tic Goods Ad­min­is­tra­tion. If you have a friend in the US or Aus­tralia, do urge them to bring some back in readi­ness for when Good Tid­ings to All Men turn into the Sea­son of Discontent. The blend of turmeric, pas­sion flower and le­mon balm is far health­ier than knock­ing back gin, less habit-form­ing than Val­ium, and eas­ier to come by than your ther­a­pist, who is wisely in Tu­lum with his phone off.

Ah, Christ­mas! How you were sent to try us! And yet, like the worst case of pre-men­strual ten­sion, or an ex­tended stint of Mer­cury Ret­ro­grade, isn’t it also a timely reminder to pause, draw breath? It’s the sea­son in which we are meant to be hi­ber­nat­ing and hun­ker­ing down, not travers­ing con­ti­nents by plane, train and au­to­mo­bile or spend­ing for­tunes we don’t have on presents we don’t need for peo­ple we like, well, not so much. So tonight, in­stead of ar­gu­ing, light a can­dle over din­ner and think of the things you love about your near­est and dear­est. Have a bath and stay in it for hours. In the still small hours of the morn­ing, in­stead of freak­ing out, take this tip from the KX Pri­vate Mem­bers Club yoga and Pi­lates teacher, Char­lie Hol­loway, and prac­tise body sens­ing to help with anx­i­ety and stress: ‘This is when you softly bring your at­ten­tion to a spe­cific body part and rest it there with­out try­ing to do or change any­thing,’ she ex­plains. The idea is to keep your mind there and al­low the sen­sa­tion of that body part to emerge into your aware­ness, then move it onto an­other body part. ‘It calms the ner­vous sys­tem and helps you han­dle stress.’ And for ev­ery­thing else, there’s this se­lec­tion of com­fort and joy in a bot­tle, sa­chet or jar.

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