After a long, hectic day working and looking after my family, one way I love to unwind and refuel in the evening is with a great TV crime drama. I like to get settled down on the sofa in my dressing gown, with a big mug of tea and some biscuits. If the fire is roaring and the cat is cuddled up next to me, I find it so therapeutic! I’ll admit, some days I can’t wait to get the kids up to bed and my PJ’s on so I can indulge in a little of this relaxing time.
Although I am not naturally the tidiest of people, if the living room is messy I can’t relax quite as well, so a quick tidy up while the kettle is on is in order for me to completely wind down. And I hate being cold, so I need the central heating on, or fleecy blanket over me – or better still, a real fire flickering in the grate of our 1930s tiled fireplace.
There is nothing quite like a real fire, it makes such a cosy focus to the room on a cold evening and, if like me, you find yourself staring into the dancing flames as your thoughts process the day you’ve had, or you are mentally preparing your ‘to do’ list for the following day, you may not have realised the calming effect the fire is having on your senses.
The flickering light, crackling sounds, warmth and that distinctive smell, can have a profound and almost hypnotic effect and really help you to unwind. In fact, studies have indicated that blood pressure can actually decrease whilst we are occupied sitting by a fireside, because all our senses are focused and we become absorbed in the experience.
When you think about it, it makes sense that having a calming focus of attention could help reduce anxiety. After all, the hearth and campfires are an integral part of our evolutionary and social history; it may be that we have evolved to enjoy being around fires as historically they have been so important in providing warmth, safety and a means to cook food. And fireplaces have long been somewhere to gather round and talk, or just be together.
Perhaps it is your favourite place to sit beside and unwind? Chesneys, the UK’s leading supplier of luxury fireplaces and wood burning stoves, are keen to hear how you like to relax and refuel after a hard week. They are inviting you to share your answer on their facebook page in a great competition #RefuelwithChesney’s that will see one lucky winner enjoying a Classic Christmas Hamper from Fortnum & Mason.