The Sunday Times: How I Relax with Kylie Bellard



What’s the first thing you do when you get home? 
I change out of my clothes and get into my jammies (a.k.a. comfy, loose clothes). If it’s cold, this includes a nice, soft pair of socks. Comfort is key, right from the moment I step in the door.

How do you unwind? 

By lounging in bed or on the couch with tea, a good book, and a fluffy TV show. My current fave is Nashville.

Meditation or conversation? 

Both are completely, totally crucial for me. I’d say meditation is more natural for me because I’m an introvert and love introspective practices. But quality conversation makes me feel abundantly alive.

Do you have a home relaxation zone? 

The bed and the couch. That’s where it’s at. 

Favourite bedtime reading? 

Harry Potter! (Said with my best English accent.) I also like the Mary Russell mystery series by Laurie R. King. It’s Sherlock Holmes, but with a young Jewish feminist at the center of things.

What helps you bathe away your troubles? 

Mindfulness meditation. Yoga nidra. My favorite relaxation techniques. Very hot showers.

What’s your chillout soundtrack?

Any music that has Alison Krauss’s voice in it.

What’s your idea of comfort on a plate? 

I love warm, mushy foods, like slow-cooked stews, mashed sweet potatoes, creamy grits, and colcannon (an Irish dish made of cabbage and mashed potatoes). 

What’s your favourite calming fragrance?

Probably lavender, because my eye pillow has lavender in it, as does the body oil that I make and use. But there are lots of other good smells I find calming, like eucalyptus, baking bread, evergreen, and wet dirt (I’m from Seattle, after all). I’m into good smells.

How do you beat stress? 

I have many, many stress-mitigating techniques. I try to get lots of sleep, I make sure not to schedule myself too heavily, and I avoid alcohol and caffeine, which have an anxiety-inducing effect on my sensitive nervous system. Other stuff? I exercise. I invest in coaching and therapy, I talk out my troubles with my wife and friends, and I try to notice when I’m getting stressed and take necessary self-care measures. Mindfulness meditation is big here, too. I learned most of my best stress-fighting tools from a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy course I took.


Kylie Bellard is an empowerment coach and photographer who teaches people how to like themselves so they can bring all their wonderfulness to the world. You can find her on Twitter as @kyliewriteshere, or read more of her words at


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca November 18, 2012 at 8:51 pm

I relate to so much in this post. Gorgeous <3

And that photo? Perfection!


Kylie November 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Yay! So glad to hear you can relate, Rebecca. And Marthe, thank you so much for having me. I love the idea of this series. ♡


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