The start of September always marks the inevitable shift from lazy summer days to the return of our routine and structure. Every time this glorious month rolls around there is always a sense of change afoot, and for me a chance to rebalance, restore and begin afresh.
With the children back at school, holidays a fond and fading memory, it is a time for pouring concentration back into moving on with our goals, passions and projects. However, and let's be honest, this really can take time to get into a rhythm and a sense of 'togetherness' to return, if such a thing even exists!
With a fresh cup in hand, I find myself rewriting to-do lists and creating new lists for immediate action and lists for things that can wait, I know, nuts! This often instills a sense of calm and order but equally makes me feel like I am still yet to actually achieve ticking anything off those lists as DONE, anyone else!?
For me the biggest and best ways that instill a sense of calm, organisation and ablity to work well starts from being kind and realistic to myself. I am still learning this skill and often am too tough on myself for what is actually achieveable within any given day. However, it is important to be kind to yourself so you have the best chance of meeting your own expectations and know where your limits lie.
To me, nothing symolises being kind to myself, ready to take on the next task of the day, than taking a moment to pour and enjoy my favourite comforting cuppa. For me this is normally always in the form of tea. Coming in to make the first cup of the day, after the school run, fills me up with love and calmness and prepares me for the hours ahead.
Next month marks 3 years in business for Jo D and with this in mind I am particularly driven to take the company to the next level and continue on my mission to design and produce the best quality, choice and style in British fine bone china. For this I need buckets of organisation, passion and drive, all the more reason to continue being honest and realistic with myself and hopefully the dream will continue.
Below are some ideas of ways you can bring harmony and order to your lives which will hopefully help you across all facets of life.
A work space harmony
To me, nothing does this better than a clean desk space, where coming to work is a joy, not a dumping ground to keep pieces of lost paper, and yet more never ending to-do lists! One of my personal goals is to one day create a space with a large clean desk, in my stock room, where it is light and airy and I am surrounded by my inspriation.
This solid oak and walnut desk screams Jo D, so much geometry and pattern, I just love it!
I love the feeling of being organised at work and in the day to day and a solid diary and post-it notes aplenty always help me with this, but when it comes to winding down at the end of the day, continuing the same order can be such a good way of maintaining the balance and structure, which in turn helps us in the long term. Something I have just recently tried for the first time, but so far has brought a brand new sense of calm to life, is menu planning for the family. As the littles in this house are still little, they eat earlier than us, and making sure they are nourished and energised can be a full time job in itself.
The below bit of wonder comes from Fraser & Parsley and I am not joking when I say that writing down a food plan for the week not only helps take care of the stress of what to cook but it also helps you buy only what you need week to week, saving the pennies, a win-win!
What we eat and drink and when we do this, all makes a massive difference to how efficient we are when running at 100MPH per day! It is so important to take regular breaks, eat plenty of good stuff and keep hydrated. The threat of winter bugs is being talked about everywhere at the moment, so along with the menu planning, it is so important that we try to keep ourselves running as optimal as possible. Warm drinks such as home brewed honey, ginger, and lemon, takes a matter of seconds to make but can be so beneficial to our well being and energy.
So too is the brilliant power of the mighty Elderberry...we keep a bottle of this in our fridge at all times and we all have a spoonful when the bugs are about...
Keep calm! Keep Moving!
Easier said than done, I know, but if I have learnt one thing it is that taking a break to move your body instills so much calm and clarity, always right at the point when you really need it. The discipline of stepping away, putting on your trainers and getting onto your mat or out into nature is something that can be a daily struggle to achieve. However this is non negotiable for me and I know it helps me so much in clearing my thoughts and bringing about that warm and fuzzy feeling of getting in a bit of a burn to shake out the brain fog.
I have just started trying Melissa Wood Health, an app that has a plethora of workout videos, all low impact, yoga and pilates based, and there are some really lovely meditations on there, if that is your thing! The movements are intense and slow and it is such a great feeling to slowly be getting stronger.
I am also absolutely loving my seriously loud leggings from Hush. I don't know what it is about having some fresh workout clothes that makes such a difference to my motivation and willingness to exercise but it works. They are so comfortable and supportive and I can't help but get moving when I'm wearing them.
I fully support dancing in your kitchen as a workout by the way, if you don't already do this, may I suggest you start, it is the best form of exercise I know!