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Health & Wellbeing / Ali Horsfall

A Week In My Wellbeing World: Rebecca Hopkins, Balance Me

Ever wondered what makes someone’s week tick? How other women navigate work, life and wellbeing without dropping a ball? Us too. Which is why we’re asking women we find inspiring to tell us how – week in, week out – they stay happy and healthy.

In the first of our A Week In My Wellbeing World series, we chat to Rebecca Hopkins, who with her sister, co-founded natural skincare brand Balance Me.

Any Sunday rituals that set you up for the week ahead?

“I’d say that Sunday is the day of the week when I have a little bit of me time. My children are older now so either in the morning or evening I can take some time to indulge with our products and have a play around with different skin regimes. I’m currently doing a double cleanse, starting with the Balance Me Flash Cleanse Micellar Water, followed by our Cleanse And Smooth Face Balm. I apply it to dry skin and spend about five minute massaging it in and then exfoliate with the muslin cloth. I love this because it really feels like you’re giving your skin a good MOT at the beginning of the week. When I’m fully cleansed, I then use our Radiance Face Oil, which is great for addressing any uneven skin tone.

“Next, I slather on our Restore and Replenish Overnight Repair Mask, an extra indulgence containing tri-peptides that boosts collagen and really helps to hydrate the skin. You sleep in it and then wake up with plump, smooth skin.

“Let’s not forget the body too during a Sunday ritual. I apply the Super Toning Body Oil which my sister Claire created when she was 18 and we’ve been using it ever since. It’s great if you’ve got your period as it contains lavender, juniper, bergamot and geranium oils and it’s good for any of those areas that are a bit pimply, or where there’s cellulite. We advise using a body brush – working in direction of the heart – to help reduce the build up of toxins or if you’re bloated.”

Do you have a tried and tested way to deal with stress?

“I do try and plan ahead, using the latter part of the week and the weekend to make sure I’m all set up and organised. I’ll do an online shopping delivery, so I know we’re going to be fed, and I make sure I’ve carved out some time in the week for some exercise, as the endorphins really help with stress.”

So when do you fit in working out?

“I train on a Tuesday night with my daughter on our local common, so we get a bit of quality mum and daughter time. Sometimes I might have a run in the evening and the children will join me on their bikes too. I also try and squeeze it in the morning – if I run 5k for half an hour first thing I can really process and work though things in my mind, and get some fresh air too as that’s important when you’re having a busy week. The elements can be harsh in the winter, so it’s good when I’ve done used overnight repair mask the night before – it does give my skin some locked in moisture and protection.

“I try to make sure I do exercise that I enjoy and is achievable, because if you try and set yourself up with unrealistic targets you’re much more likely to fail. Even taking the stairs rather than the lift gives you a bit of energy and makes you feel better. I lead a busy life and I’m always surrounded by people, so I like to exercise by myself or just with family, but classes are great because they’re so motivational and if you build them into your diary you can go with a friend and it becomes socialising time too.”

Do you meal prep, or figure it out as you go?

“I definitely meal prep, especially during the first half of the week when the days are really busy. My mum was an amazing cook so I’ve followed her lead and like to make lots of homemade food; I often have a bit of a cook-up so I have things in the freezer. Mostly I just try and make sure I’m taking in a balanced diet. I’m not worthy though, I love baking so we always have cookies or cakes around but I try to be mindful to take in lots of veg too. It’s hard when you’re busy because sometimes you just want to get home and have a bowl of cereal or peanut butter on toast instead of cooking. There are amazing supplements out there – ok, there’s the argument that if you’re getting the right diet, you shouldn’t need them, but equally we all lead very busy lives so they can help feed your body with what it needs.”

What’s your motivating life mantra that sees you through the week?

“Life throws so much at you, but the one thing my sister has really taught me is to try and ‘stay in the present’. I think that’s becoming increasingly more important as we all spend more time on social media, because you can find yourself constantly thinking you’re not good enough, or you’re thinking about something you should have done yesterday, or you’re worrying about the future – you have to try and just enjoy the moment. Someone also told me to think of one positive thing that’s happened to you that day before you go to sleep. I’ve been trying to do this.”

What life lessons do you draw on when you’re at work?

“I got my passion for beauty by working for a huge international beauty company; I got to experience working on lots of different brands and then took all those learnings and was able to put them into our business. I trained to be a reflexologist, which gives me my holistic background, and then Claire and I partnered to create Balance Me so I’m still on my journey of growing. I don’t think I’ll ever get to the stage where I feel like I’ve done everything or learnt everything. Different opportunities arise at different times – I’ve learnt so much in the last couple of years about digital for example. The important thing to remember is that everyone makes mistakes, I just try not to make them for a second time.”

How do you welcome the weekend on a Friday?

“We tend to have a laid back supper and movie night – Friday evenings are a great time for the family to come together.”

What’s your idea of a perfect Saturday?

“I do yoga first thing with my eldest daughter, then we go and having a coffee together or a mooch through the food market and pick up something for dinner – we’re a bit more fluid at the weekend with what we eat. Saturday night again is very family focused, or we’ll catch up with friends.”

Any tips for maintaining a healthy work/life balance and nurturing your relationships?

“I have to just juggle and be organised as it’s important to me to have quality time with my family. My husband works long hours so we have to make an effort to have some special couple time, my children are older so we can share hobbies. During the week I dedicate a lot of my time to work but I try to make some time for me too. It’s about finding what works for you. It’s about not being too hard on yourself, and not being afraid to say no to somethings too. Being very organised does help me because then I know then what’s coming up.”

Any clean sleep habits you can share?

“Well, I try and get about seven hours sleep and not to go to bed too late during the week, whereas at the weekend it doesn’t matter as much. I’m an early riser, and can be quite bright and breezy at 6.15am providing I’ve had enough sleep. I love that time in the morning, I’m refreshed and I can think clearly; it’s later in the afternoon when I might need an injection of caffeine. Having rituals at bedtime such as taking time to cleanse and not having the phone in the bedroom can all help. I sometimes cream my feet too, because that’s nice before you go to sleep. You’re on your feet all day so taking care of them before you sleep feels lovely.”

What’s your feel-good day of the week?

“It has to be Saturday. It’s right in the middle of the weekend and you can really switch off and relax. Saying that I do like the weekdays too as I find them very exciting. I think if there is a particular day that you’re really not enjoying it should be a prompt to change things – it’s up to us to take control of our own lives and happiness.”

How important is it for you to work with inspiring women and other female-led brands?

“It’s always been really important for us – working with other women is so empowering and the women on our team have really helped shape the brand, after all, Balance Me is all for women. It’s exciting too that we can partner with great brands like Pink Parcel, because let’s face it, we all get our period.”

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