The Downtime Agenda

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  • Words — Samantha Dick
  • Images — Marnie Hawson, Carlotta Moye, Kane Skennar

Australian actress and co-founder of Your Zen Life, Teresa Palmer, understands the value of carving out downtime in between her busy schedule. She talks to us about her favourite spots to find solitude, including her self-made ‘zen den’.

Teresa Palmer, living a zen life.

How important is downtime to you?
So important! It is definitely a part of overall wellness and is often the first thing to be pushed to the side unless you consciously carve out time for it. I make a point of having downtime most days.

What do you do to unwind?
I love spending time at home to unwind. Whether it is having cuddles with my son, relaxing in a lavender bath, vegging out with my hubby watching Netflix or reading, I try to incorporate relaxation into my daily routine.

Where are you when having downtime?
A spa every now and then is definitely a lovely luxury! However, most times my downtime is at home. I have a beautiful, peaceful space that we have created at home called our ‘zen den,’ which is filled with crystals, incense, books, natural sunlight and comfy pillows. My bedroom is also one of my favourite spots to sit and read.

Do you have any daily rituals?
A bath!

What advice would you give to busy people about incorporating mindfulness into their daily routine?
Life can get so busy and it seems like we are constantly rushing around. I am guilty of that for sure! However, even if it is just 15 minutes a day, try to make a conscious effort to carve out that time for yourself. Treat it as though it is breakfast, or going to bed at night, a non-negotiable. It takes practice, but when you actively make an effort to show up and hold yourself accountable to a daily mindfulness practice, it becomes a part of your routine.

Where is your favourite vacation spot for Downtime?
I love beach vacations. Having downtime by the ocean, playing in the water and making sandcastles with Bodhi is my idea of heaven!

Tell us about your farm in Scott Creek, South Australia.
In one word, it is bliss. I have recently just purchased the property from my father and step-mother and can’t wait to spend more time there throughout the year. It is a wildlife sanctuary, nestled in the Adelaide hills. Not only is it incredibly peaceful, it is rejuvenating and there’s a ton of room for Bodhi to run around and explore, play with the animals and experience the Aussie lifestyle that I had growing up.

What are you reading right now?
I have just finished The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and I am implementing her teachings around my home. I have also just re-read A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, I love this book – it’s like a bible to me. I love the way Eckhart Tolle so beautifully breaks down the patterns of the human psyche and gives us really practical and mindful ways of incorporating more presence and working towards eradicating our ego.

Who is your downtime partner in crime and why?
My hubby – we love having downtime when the kids are in bed and we will binge watch a show on Netflix. We get really passionate about good shows. Recently, it was The Leftovers!

Describe your ideal day off in 5 words.
Bodhi. Mark. Sunshine. Chilling. True-crime-docos (this counts as one word, right?).