Switching off doesn’t come easy for Jane Yates, entrepreneur and co-founder of meat-free, fast food restaurant Not Dogs. Building a brand from scratch and overseeing its expansion means a spot of TLC is much needed, find out how Jane balances running her own successful sausage business with a scrupulous Sunday evening wind down routine that begins with yoga, ends with The Archers, and includes hundreds of Diptyque candles somewhere in between.
The Wind Down
Our Birmingham restaurant is open every day (apart from Christmas Day) until 8pm, but on a Sunday we shut a bit earlier so that means I can start to wind down at about half six. I’m always ‘on’ in the day and to be honest, owning my own business means I can never really switch off, even when I’m doing something non-work related. My brain is always buzzing and I’m constantly thinking up new ideas. But on a Sunday, around about this time, my phone goes off and I try not to think about work anymore. After a tasty vegetarian dinner, my husband Mark and I take our golden lab Beau for a walk, which is always a lovely way to relax, chat and spend time together. When we get back, I’ll turn the lights down low and do a bit of yoga. I’m addicted to Yoga with Adriene on Youtube, I just love her. Sleep doesn’t come that easily to me but I find that yoga really signifies the start of my evening ritual and helps me wind down. When I’m practising I really focus on my breathing, I don’t care about trying to get into weird poses or anything like that, for me it’s more about channelling my inner calm and a chance to come into myself. I love candles and have hundreds of them. Diptyque is my favourite brand and people often buy me candles for presents; I love to light a few at the same time and have different scents going. My favourites are Feu de Bois, which is earthy and woody and Coriandre, which is more floral and great if I’m doing a pick-up yoga session. I practice every day, but on a Sunday I try to do a longer session. Sometimes I’ll pop a yoga playlist on, there are some nice ones on Spotify, but I tend not to have any sound on unless I’m very stressed and finding it hard to focus. I’m a bit late to the podcast party, but if I’ve recently got really into them, and if I want my mind to be active I might listen to a well-being one. I like Deliciously Ella and The Food Medic – I love learning about my health – it’s something that’s really important to me.
My evening beauty and self-care rituals take place upstairs in my bathroom, which is quite a relaxing space for me anyway. I don’t wear a lot of makeup but I’m meticulous with my skin and always start with a cleanse. There isn’t particular cleanser that I stick to, I like to experiment, but I do enjoy a foaming formula. There’s something about it that makes me feel that my skin is properly clean. I definitely take more time over my beauty regime on a Sunday. I always try to fit a face mask in during the week, but I never get round to it, so after I’ve cleansed, I’ll pop a hydrating a sheet mask on. I really like Patchology and have used quite a few of their sheet masks; I like to mix up my routine regularly and try new things. I love these masks because they’re so quick, and I’m not really one of those people who sits around for half an hour with a mask on. I’ve got combination skin, so while I don’t tone I do like to moisturise. I’ve got a bit of congestion on my forehead, so I do have to watch out for that. Depending on the face mask I’m using I’ll also incorporate an exfoliating scrub into my routine. I would say that natural brands tend to spark my interest more, as well as products that don’t contain a lot of ingredients. I don’t like to overload my skin as I feel it goes into overdrive and I end up with congestion. The main aim of my ritual is to achieve a nice healthy glow, so I do look for glow-enhancing products. I love Malin + Goetz Jojoba Face Scrub, I do use it once in the week too, but on a Sunday I’ll scrub it all over my face and really target my problem areas as well as bringing it down to my neck and chest, which often gets overlooked. Whenever I put water on my face, I feel like I need to apply moisturiser pretty quickly afterwards. I love the lightweight, smooth texture of La Mer’s The Moisturizing Soft Cream and the smell is like nothing else I’ve ever smelt. It’s so expensive and indulgent that it’s not an item I use every day, only on a Sunday, but I love the whole experience of applying it. It’s special.
I’m not a massive bath person, but if I have the time and I’m in the mood, I’ll get into the bath on a Sunday evening. I love Laura Mercier products and have been using them for years – Crème Brulee Honey Bath is all I ever use in the bath. It comes with the wooden honey dipper so you can drizzle the mixture into the water, which is quite fun. My hair has a tendency to be dry, so while I’m in the bath, I’ll put one of the Ouai Treatment Masques on and leave it on because I find with hair masks, the longer you leave them on, the better. Sometimes I’ll even leave it on overnight. I don’t use this mask every day, just once a week and I have really noticed the difference in the manageability of my hair. They come in packs of eight, and I like to have a little stash of them in. I’ll also use a body scrub in the bath. I like the Caudalie Crushed Cabernet Scrub, because it’s quite reasonably priced and leaves my skin feeling so silky when I get out of the water. Usually in the week I’d have to moisturise my skin after showering, but with this scrub I don’t. When I’m done soaking, I’ll get into my pyjamas and jump straight into bed.
My mind is always buzzing and so I do have to consciously be ready to go to sleep in order to drift off, which is why I try to start my wind down nice and early on a Sunday. I absolutely love to read and always have a big pile of books on my bedside table, but I can’t often manage it in the week, so on a Sunday I’ll read for about an hour before I turn off the lights. I feel like I’ve done something for me as well then. I am a sucker for pillow sprays. I’ve got the This Works one, it came in a set with a few other things and I love it. I read recently that giving yourself a little foot massage with oil helps you to sleep, so I’m trying to do that and I’ll use a sleep oil with lavender, known for its soothing properties. I have been meaning to try using a sleep mask too, because I’ve heard they can help if you struggle with sleep. I don’t use earplugs but instead I pop my Airpods in and like to drift off listening to The Archers. Geeky, I know! I love Clipper Sleep Tea and I really do think it helps, but the only thing with that is I then have to get out of bed to brush my teeth. I’ll eventually drift off at about 11.30pm or midnight.
I naturally wake up about 8am or sometimes even 20 minutes before. I didn’t used to, but I think it’s because of my routine, and doing the same thing every day. I don’t jump out of bed, I try to take things slow as I find it a calmer way to approach the day. Monday is a really nice day for me because I work from home and I don’t need to be anywhere; although I do try and start every morning in a quiet and calm way, I make a particular effort on a Monday with the hope that it resonates for the rest of the week.
The first three things I do are measure my temperature. I use the Natural Cycles app, so I have to remember to do that every day. And then one thing that has really helped me and my skin is taking a pint of water up with me before bedtime. I drink it the minute I wake up and find that starting the day this way helps me to get my one and a half to two litres done before I’m even out of bed. I watched something with a woman who said you should try to make yourself smile the minute you wake up. I can’t remember where I saw it, but she literally just said, no matter what, just smile. So I’m giving that a go too!