If you have a hard time switching gears after work and getting in the zone for romance, this post is for you.
We’ve all been there – the demands of the day are so draining, that when it comes to ‘being in the mood’, that means more Netflix and chocolate than champagne and chill.
The working week can be tenuous, and at times the thought of cultivating intimate connections can feel like just another chore.
While it’s easier to push away your partner’s advances than to push that laptop “OFF”, studies show that prioritising a healthy physical connection is the key to happiness and longevity.
And why not?
In a study on 551 married patients with heart disease, Shervin Assari, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health at the University of Michigan found that individuals who had a more active ‘private’ life reported higher marital quality, consensus, affection and overall marital satisfaction. These results are replicated in multiple studies, ranging in female age and demographics.
Sadly, many households complain of being intimacy-free zones, where we carry our ‘heady’ energy from the day into the sacred space of home.
These days we’re highly cerebral, analysing and tapping away on screens as a means of taking care of work and family.
We’re staring at computers all day, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a standard 9-to-5 that doesn’t involve a screen.
The Problem with Screens
Apart from the obvious physical symptoms (damaged eyes, affected brain function), studies show that a lack of frequent face-to-face interaction may actually impact our ability to process emotion properly.
The anti-social and highly sedentary nature of screens stimulates cortisol, which, amongst other nasty things, blocks the release of dopamine, thus pushing us further into ourselves. The message our neurology transmits is in essence, “don’t touch me, go away”, which is how we’re showing up at home.
Even if you live alone, not breaking your day properly and differentiating between your home and work zones leads to late nights in front of the screens, a time that can also be used instead for fortifying your intimate life through painting, cooking, listening to music, and indulging in romantic adventures with someone lucky!
But instead, we sit at home and avoid each other through screens. It’s crazy!
Thankfully, fostering genuine connection releases that healing love hormone, oxytocin – making the tips below your weapon to break free from cortisol and get primed for luurve.
So, how do you shake off the day when you have a brand new date or promised your partner some quality alone time?
By re-booting your sensuality with this simple, 5-step sensory plan below.
1. Reboot with a shower
The mistake most busy women make, is they spritz the perfume, re-apply their lippy and run a brush through their hair before they run out the door for their date.
However, you’re doing yourself an energetic disservice, especially now that research has shown that hot showers increase the level of oxytocin in your system. Boom!
If you’re home and can squeeze in 30 minutes for a bath, that is a whole next level indulgence. However all you need is 5-7 minutes to reset yourself right.
Rather than hurriedly scrubbing, allow yourself a mindful moment to cleanse away the day.
Use a fragrant shower gel, such as Lime Basil and Mandarine Shower Oil by Jo Malone and massage your skin with affirmative statements. Literally cleanse and think, “I’m gorgeous.”
As you relax in the fragrant warmth, inhale 5 slow, deep breaths to revive you further.
Finish with a delicious moisturiser that will help you smell like a seductive Parisienne – I personally love L’Occitane Neroli & Orchidee Body Milk.
Don’t have the time for such privileged downpour?
Please try and accomodate this in your schedule. Meet your date a mere 15 minutes later and allow yourself this swift yet transformative indulgence. In the very least, wash your face and reapply your make up and perfume. That touch of water will help you feel restored.
2. Unleash your hair!
Escaping for a cheeky blow-dry before your date will earn you massive goddess mileage. Warm water, posh shampoo, transcendent scalp rub and bouncing hair makes for a very festive combination!
Otherwise, brush out your bun and run some fragrant serum through your strands. Wearing your hair out is emblematic of being at ease, much like a windswept swim on a holiday.
Go over any rogue bits with a GHD and apply dry shampoo – and you can get away with still-groomed, tumbling tresses.
3. Indulge in scented therapy
The use of pleasant aromas to enhance well-being dates back thousands of years, and you have no better aide for triggering favourable moods.
“Scents can have positive effects on mood, stress reduction… and self-confidence” says Theresa Molnar, executive director of the Sense of Smell Institute.
Lavender and rose specifically are said to soothe, and are present in many of today’s gorgeous perfumes, candles and creams. A pine or citrus candle can uplift and energise, while vanilla, jasmine and pumpkin can provoke an amorous stir.
Even if you do NOTHING else, light that candle, use an intoxicating shower gel, slather on an essential oils and spritz a seductive fragrance like Chanel No5 to lift your mood.
4. Lose yourself in music
Who is guilty of listening to Top 40 radio, the news or a podcast as they’re getting ready?
While educational, setting the scene for a frisky night out is not the time to multitask.
Listening to music that you love has once again been shown to lower cortisol levels, while science also says that a random playlist has been linked to increases in dopamine… so mix those new Chill House discoveries on Spotify in with your Sade.
Nina Kraus, a neuroscientist and professor of neurobiology at Northwestern University in Illinois concluded that “our bodies are made to be moved by music and move to it,” so dance around and sing along.
If you need any final reason to turn up the tunes, researchers from the Netherlands found that listening to a song like Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” can create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So in the words of Marvin Gaye… let’s get it on.
5. Address your dress
Thinking of racing out on date night in your work suit? Think again.
As us Simone Pérèle fans know, everything begins with good lingerie. While for day, I have no qualms rocking my contoured Manille, a sexy night out calls for the flirty Nomade or Haute Couture sets!
There’s nothing like that tassel or the barely-there kiss of mesh against the skin. Your lingerie is your girdle, your power, your secret weapon. Wear it with reverence!
As for the outer layers, tactile, soft and swooshing layers are the go. Style expert and glam lover Gessica Marmotta suggests that more feminine wardrobe choices will counter-balance more masculine roles we play throughout the day. A special date night calls for more festive dressing that invites you to suspend your staples.
“Clothes should be good to touch and delectable to move in. A swirling skirt, frilled silk blouse or a sensuous cashmere dress will shine on their own or break up more serious brogues, white shirts and jeans that we’ve been wearing.”
“Even if you can’t part with your denims or trusted white shirt, incorporate some softer, more inviting layers to change up your mood as much as your statement.”
A pop of colour also helps, she says, be it with a vibrant blouse, candy-coloured heels, lavender or other softly hued dress and that perfunctory touch of vibrant lipstick.
“Clothes reflect the way you feel. And when you feel better, you look better.”
The Final Touch
And for that final accent to your sensual look? Look no further than some statement heels of course.
“You may have gone for comfort during the day, but if you want to channel that vixen, heels are empowering because lets face it, there’s something rather fierce about their pointed lines.”
By turning getting ready into a ritual, you are not only rewarding yourself after a long day, but priming your psyche for pleasure and connection. All it takes is five steps to get in the mood for the various delights your evening brings.
And best of all, it only takes 20 minutes.
About the Author
Alina Berdi knew early on that her life’s calling was to help empower women. Now, with more than a decade of coaching and consulting experience to her name, she has emerged as one of our most respected and trusted guides and coach to many of Australia’s most successful women. As our lives have been faced with tremendous amounts of pressure from all areas, the vast majority of women tend to feel more and more cut off from their inner goddess selves. A practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and a student of Tantra, Alina’s insights into life and love have seen her regularly contribute to a number of popular publications including Cleo, Cosmopolitan, Body and Soul and Madison.
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