On Wellness

How to Decompress, According to an In-Demand Party Planner

Inside the North London apartment of the event designer Fiona Leahy, even at midday, the hearth is ablaze, candles are lit and the heady scent of frankincense lingers in the air. “I always like my house to smell like a big old church,” says Leahy, who over the last decade has been employed by everyone from Christian Dior to Aerin Lauder to conjure experiences with that most intangible of commodities – atmosphere. The fragrance, the fire and the notable smattering of crystals are all part of a wellness routine that Leahy has evolved to better cope with the intensity of producing some of the fashion world’s most standout parties. “Working in events is like being flung off a cliff,” says the Irish native. “When you ‘go live,’ everything has to be absolutely perfect. Getting everything together takes a lot of energy. There’s a definite comedown from that.”

Leahy’s post-party decompression technique includes massage, meditation and the occasional glass of biodynamic wine. “What I do for work is quite hedonistic,” says Leahy, who began meditating about two years ago. “You need to offset that, and I’d rather do that by surrounding myself with crystals and incense than by relying solely on alcohol.” One recent self-investment is her Biomat, a device filled with heat-conductive amethyst that’s said to aid relaxation. “It’s like my magic carpet,” she says. “The heat goes right through the body, and it totally transports you.” Before embarking on a guided meditation by Terrence the Teacher or Donna D’Cruz (perfect, she says, for those whose natural compulsion is not to just wake up and meditate), Leahy will light a fire and some candles, burn incense and grab one of numerous crystals to set the mood.

Leahy spent the holidays at a smartphone-free Thai meditation retreat reading therapeutic self-improvement books from the School of Life series. “Wellness is about more than just massage and green juice,” she says. “It’s about living well, reading well, thinking well and carving out time for yourself.” The trip inspired her to work less, and “be” more this year. Though somehow that seems unlikely: She has plans to launch an online emporium for life-enhancing home goods (everything from incense to crystals to notecards) and is in the throes of pulling together a series of soirees for London Fashion Week. Her most imminent manifestation, though, is hosting a sound bath, in which friends are invited to bathe in the meditative hum of gongs, an experience she likens to an internal massage. Not that all of Leahy’s happy-making pursuits happen on a higher plane: “I’m not saying I don’t dance on the tables or drink too many margaritas,” she smiles. “That’s good for you too.”