Oh how I love September! The promise of fresh starts, gorgeous colours and hues, crisp autumn morning and back-to-school newness has far more poignancy in it than january, when we normally think of making changes or doing something differently. Of course I miss summer and it’s not even really over as I gaze out of my garden studio into brilliant sunshine. And yet, it is there, in the air.
A summer break, if we are fortunate enough to have one, allows us to refresh, recharge and perhaps restart. Life can be very busy and sometimes stressful. Sometimes we can add to that stress ourselves – when we don’t set good boundaries and routines for ourselves, for example.
Start my days differently – I’ve been having lazier starts and got into some bad habits reaching for my phone. I have been walking first thing and intend to keep doing this after school drop off. But – that phone! I used to have a rule about not even touching my phone until after gratitude practice, intention setting, hydration, school drop off and getting out into nature. That rule is coming back!
Bookending my days with exercise – My son is about to start sixth form (where did that time go!) which means his days are longer and, by default, mine are too. At first I was going to fill this extra time with work but I have now decided to fill it with exercise instead. I want to lose some weight and autumn is a perfect time to do this – far better than miserable January. So, after school drop off it is out with the dog for an hour and before school pick-up it is an hour of either walking, swimming or gym. This leads on to being productive – my next tweak.
Every Friday in October we’ll be running live lunchtime wellbeing sessions
We focus on being present and using breath and different themes to help us to do this. The more we can be in the present moment, the more effective, grounded and happy we are.
Why not join us for a boost of energy and power? Sign up here
You know how resolutions often go: you set a goal and start strong … then the motivation runs out and feelings of frustration and shame creep in. The struggle is real — but what if it doesn’t have to be? Sociologist Christine Carter shares a simple step to shift your mindset and keep you on track to achieving your grandest ambitions.
Email only after lunch – This week I am experimenting with not checking or writing email in the mornings. I know, and have known for ages, that my most productive work is in the mornings. I get so much more done. When I begin the day with checking email this simply creates stress. Usually when I do this, whatever other tasks I had planned for the day get absorbed by emails and then I tend to leave email on and create that stupid loop of always being available and being too distracted. Instead I am reserving time each afternoon to read and respond to email. This is freeing up time and making more far more efficient.
Remembering to write – I love writing! It’s what I do best and I want to do more of it. Yet often I am behind with blog posts and work writing and forget to write in my gratitude journal. I had got into the habit of writing in that gratitude journal each morning but now, with those later starts, it wasn’t always as regular.. 2 easy solutions: I am getting up 15 minutes earlier so I can still fit this routine in AND I am scheduling just one hour a day for writing. This is actually advice I gave to a writer friend of mine who is desperate to write his book and says he never has time. I told him to just do one hour a day and write – but it’s also what I need to do myself.
Being kinder – in all things be kind is what I want to practise more of. In whatever way I can – whether that is a kind gesture, baking someone a cake, volunteering to do something and make a change, or in the conversations I have with others. There is always room and space to be kind….