What’s the best way to relax?

This week, Nectarine Girl divests from her manic lifestyle in favour of activities that are a little more laid-back.

Welcome to a weekly life and relationships column by Iris Owen, aka Nectarine Girl – the reigning queen of Depop, fame-hungry wordsmith, and author of the wackiest newsletter in London, Nectarine News.

Frankie says relax? Well, so do I. The stress of modern life can really take its toll, so it’s crucial that we all schedule in some self-care every now and then. Breathe in, breathe out: you’re about to embark on a journey of complete and utter relaxation with me, your guide, Nectarine Girl. Time to swap anxiety for peace of mind.

As it happens, I am extremely naturally energetic and find it unnerving to take any time out. Sometimes, when I get home from work, I have to sprint up and down the street a few times before going inside just to expel some of it. My flatmate tells me I need to just stop”, but for me, just stopping” isn’t particularly relaxing at all. I tend to enjoy activities such as shopping in Westfield on a heaving Saturday or taking a HIIT class while deathly hungover.

Lately, though, I’ve been losing my temper more frequently than usual. The other day, I completely lost it while trying to tear open the ridiculously tight plastic wrapper they use on eyebrow pencils. I decided that my go-go-go lifestyle may finally be catching up with me. It is time to try and unwind.

Last Thursday, I cleared my schedule for an evening of serenity. I booked a beauty treatment at the spa, after which I planned to come home and soak in a candlelit bath while reading Heat magazine.

I only sleep for an average of six hours a night. This isn’t because I have insomnia or a particularly busy schedule, but because I genuinely don’t find sleeping very stimulating”

I arrived at the salon at dusk, which is surely the most relaxing time of day. I laid down on the fold-out bed, surrounded by calming diffusers, ready to hand myself over to the gods of tranquillity. The spa therapist cranked up the pan flute soundtrack – we were off! It was only after my first few screams that she informed me I had booked the Vampire Facial, which I now know is not named after Edward Cullen’s porcelain skin, but rather the blood seeping from your face.

Personally, when it comes to relaxing, I usually resort to watching sleep hypnosis videos or listening to guided meditation playlists. I’ll stick one on and peacefully doze off to the thought of imaginary meadows and waterfalls. This worked a charm until one night, unbeknownst to me, Spotify shuffled things up and I awoke to erotic ASMR at 4am. Kinky.

I only sleep for an average of six hours a night. This isn’t because I have insomnia or a particularly busy schedule, but because I genuinely don’t find sleeping very stimulating. When I rest my head on the pillow, all I can think about are the other time zones enjoying their day and partying. It gives me terrible FOMO.

Perhaps I should read out these weekly columns in my most soporific voice and record them for a specially tailored, Nectarine-themed relaxation playlist. You could listen to them in your own twilight hours, eh? Speaking of Twilight, always read the fine-print when it comes to booking beauty treatments on Wowcher. Take a chill pill (not too many), stick your feet up and listen to that genre of music without any lyrics. You’ll feel right as rain in no time.

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