Declaring which day is your favourite may be akin to reading the backs of food packets for fun or religiously buying a copy of the physical TV guide, but I’m going to go ahead and do it anyway. It’s Sunday. Sunday is my favourite day. Sunday is the apex of relaxation - an untouchable corner of the week with personal boundaries taller than an NBA basket player and obligations as weak as my arms trying to do a push-up. Sunday is an excuse in itself; if you don’t want to go anywhere and you don’t want to see anyone and you don’t even want to pick up your phone to let the world know, no problem. It’s Sunday, after all. The day of unselfish rest. The day of deserved self-care and rejuvenation, in whichever form those come most easily to you. Keiran and I are super protective over the tail-end of our weekends because we both need this little pocket of space and time to recharge, and as such, my Sunday evening wind-down has started to develop somewhat of a routine. Here’s how I slow things right down and put a little love back into myself (not like that, but actually, often like that too).
Sunday demands its own uniform and I am more than happy to oblige. My pyjama/loungewear drawer is now overflowing with bobbled tracksuit bottoms and ‘no don’t throw that away! I’ll wear it to bed’ options, so much so that I’ve started stuffing them into Keiran’s drawers in the hopes that he won’t notice. He does, of course, every single time, and though his patience is visibly diminishing, I will keep replacing them and claiming occasional shared use as my defence.
Regardless of the burgeoning seams of my collection, my loungewear line-up is always pretty similar: loose jogging/pyjama bottoms with a forgiving, elasticated waist, and a simple tee which smells like fresh laundry. My dressing gown is always trailing behind me somewhere, tossed over the back of a chair or hooked on the bottom of the stairs because I’m inevitably oscillating between not hot enough and shit I’m too hot. You can usually find it next to my slippers, which have been kicked off for the same reason and replaced by Birkenstocks or - shock horror - my sickeningly yellow crocs. As long as it’s clean and comfortable and I don’t have to think too much about it, I’m happy.
How I can nurture my skin is a big consideration for my Sunday evening. After a week of working, wine, and worrying, I know I need to put a little goodness back into my complexion as an act of both compassion and appreciation (I’m sorry I drank that much Sauvignon - here’s some vitamins as a thank you. Funnily enough that’s how I work with my relationships too, just with blow jobs or uninterrupted Football Manager time in place of 100% natural face cream). I can’t remember the last time I wore make-up on a Sunday so I usually spend the day totally fresh-faced, cleansing with either the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser or the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser. Both are products which have been HYPED by the internet but live up to it in real life.
Following this, I’ll apply a mask. I’ve been using the L’Occitane Purifying Face Mask recently because I’ve really wanted to feel super squeaky clean, but the bright green colour is a nightmare for my flannels and I want something a little more soothing, so I’m on the hunt for an alternative. Once the face mask is off, I’ll either follow with a moisturising option like the Dr. Jart+ Rubber Masks or the GLAMGLOW THIRSTYMUD, or pop on my eye-cream (Lumene Nordic C All-In-One Eye Treatment), my serum (47 Skin Renegerative Serum) and my night moisturiser (IT Cosmetics Secret Sauce). Et voila. Cleansed and hydrated to the high heavens.
I fall in and out of this habit more times than I’d like to admit, but I do try to incorporate a fat chunk of reading into my Sunday wind-down. Amidst the flurry of work obligations and home life, reading often doesn’t feel like a priority, but when I make time to sit down and feel the pages between my fingers, I escape in a way which is decidedly peaceful for me. Lately I’ve been sitting by my garden door, looking out onto our little sun-trap of a garden with the orchestra of the nearby birds in the background, idling my way through my latest book of choice with my phone far, far away. It’s blissful, and I always kick myself for not doing it more often. I’ve just finished The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh which I loved for its quietly threatening atmosphere, portrayal of sisterhood and survival, and pattern of omission (I’m always drawn to writing which let’s you know what isn’t being said as much as what is). Next up: My Name is Monster by Katie Hale. Anything with isolation and the promise of a possible apocalyptic landscape and I’m sold. Potentially not the most relaxing of subject matter, but it’s the process which counts.
I’m somewhat divided by sleep sprays in the sense that whilst I love them and I do think they smell nice and create a more relaxing atmosphere conducive to sleep, I’m not sure how far the ingredients actually work beyond that kind of placebo effect. I have some cheaper options and some further up the scale of cost, and I couldn’t honestly declare a major difference between the two. I do think it’s worth grabbing one to keep by your bedside, though, for those evenings - like Sundays - which deserve a little extra flourish to carry you into rest. Try the Sanctuary Spa Pillow Mist for a budget-friendly option, and the classic This Works Sleep Plus Pillow Spray for something more fancy.
Music-wise, I recently began to explore the classical corner of Spotify and I’m utterly charmed (even my vocabulary is getting bougier, as you can tell. At 25, is it too late to start trying that in-the-womb trick of repeating classical music in the hopes I’ll come out clever?). Ones worth checking out are Relaxing Classical, Peaceful Piano, and Morning Classical (ironic name for a Sunday evening, I know). Otherwise you could simply listen to the greatest playlist of all-time: Bougie Queen Chill. I heard it’s been curated by some effortlessly cool young woman who also happens to be intoxicatingly clever and beautiful at the same time…
Ignore what your partner says, bedding is important. And fresh bedding even more so, especially when it comes to relaxing. If I want to chill out in the most effective fashion, then I need to make sure I’m setting the scene first. My loungewear must be straight out of the drawer, my bedroom tidy, and my bedding recently reset. Everything cleansed and clean and ready to be, quietly. Our bedroom is very white with hints of natural green, tan and beige tones, so the bedding is typically organised to match. The best feature of all, however, is the big back pillows. We swapped out the usual rectangles for 65x65 squares and I have no NO REGRETS. They’re big and soft and perfect for propping up to chew through the last few pages of a chapter, or to lounge across whilst watching pointless YouTube videos before dozing off when I promised Keiran I wouldn’t. Just so as long as your bed is your vessel of comfort, you’re set.
Probably the most important aspect of my Sunday evening ritual is the attempted neglect of my phone to the greatest degree possible. The less I can open it, the better. Sure, I can browse reddit looking at dog sploots and TIFU (Today I Fucked Up) stories, but Whatsapp, emails, Instagram? Forget it. For now, they don’t exist. And honestly, if I don’t have to text my friends, I won’t. I spend my entire existence in my phone and so, when it comes time to disconnect and recentre, seeing that same screen in front of me is the last thing I want. Leaving it in another room helps if you know you have tempted hands.
How do you unwind come the sacred Sunday?