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It’s summertime and while some of us are happily headed off for a relaxing vacation at a five-star resort, the rest of us continue to look for ways to manage the stress of our daily routines. So, we decided to take matters into our own hands and up the relaxation factor here at home. For inspiration, we turned to San Francisco soft goods and prop stylist Allegra Hsiao aka Allie. As a professional photo stylist, Allie is in the business of creating a variety of Zen-like spaces such as those featured in Dwell Magazine and for clients like West Elm and Pottery Barn.
While the job of a stylist may sound glamorous, one of its challenges is managing props for various photo shoots. A self-admitted spa junkie, Allie recently took it upon herself to improve her life by incorporating more of a spa-vibe at home. “As a stylist, I realize how important personal spaces are to each individual. The past few months, I've been trying to bring that level of ‘serenity’ into my own personal spaces – to make them places that are a reflection of me and how I want to live.”
Allie assures us her styling tricks are neither time consuming nor expensive. She believes that we too can turn our personal spaces into sanctuaries. Here are a few of her ‘little life hacks’ for serenity:
Leave a few bars of scented soap that come wrapped in paper in your car. (She uses Ebb & Flow.) Every time you go for a drive, your car will smell amazing. Next, invest in an aromatherapy diffuser to make your home smell like a spa. Allie recommends the SpaRoom Glass Ultrasonic Marblemist Diffusing Mister. Plus, it lasts through your entire sleep cycle.
Trick your conscious brain into letting go of the stress of the outside world by listening to sleep sounds like rain, Tibetan bowls and chimes or even crickets.
Rethink your relationship to your belongings. Allie took a cue from Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Even something as simple as refolding clothes the "Marie Kondo" way can make your clothes feel like special little packages.
Stay organized by carrying a little zippered pouch with a hook. You can find one on Sierra Trading Post for under $10. This little bag will be your best friend on a flight. Instead of trying to squish all of your things into the tiny seat-back pocket, simply take the pre-packed pouch and hook it onto the edge of the seat-back pocket. Easy.
It’s that simple. When you smile, your body releases endorphins and serotonin, easing pain and acting as an anti-depressant. In turn, make someone else smile everyday. If you think something nice about someone, say it to them. Why keep it to yourself! Studies show the act of giving is an incredible source of inner happiness.
To learn more about Allie and her inspirational styling tricks, visit www.sallyreps.com or www.allegrahsiao.com. Be well.