How are you all doing? We are approaching the final weeks of the summer holidays and we are all feeling… tired. It’s not the exhausted end of school tired we experienced in July, but rather a sort of heat induced miasma that makes us all a little extra grouchy. Dave and I have been going to bed at 9.30 every night and the kids have been crashing early too.
I haven’t been around much on my blog or Instagram, and when I look around at my community online, it seems many of us have taken a break or aren’t around much at the moment.
Whether you have kids or not, July and August in the UK is an odd time, when emails are mostly met with ‘out-of-office’ replies, and the heat makes working that bit harder. Lots of parents are busy with their kids over the holidays and things just seem quieter.
Lounging around by the sea or pool in the heat is wonderful, but trying to work and parent and just function in it every day for weeks on end certainly took it’s toll on me! This summer has confirmed that I am definitely not a hot hot hot weather person. Keep me at 24 degrees please.
However, September is very nearly here, signifying the final quarter of the year (gadzooks!). The kids are back at school in parts of the world already, and Frankie-Rose will be returning in 2 weeks. September carries with it a ‘back-to-school-ness’ that lots of people experience, even if they don’t have school aged kids. September is also the changing month between Summer and Autumn, a seasonal pivoting point that brings with a new energy that I am so here for
I announced a September Day Retreat in my home a few weeks ago, and it sold out in a day before either Ray nor I had chance to mention it on our main galleries or message our mailing lists. It seems many of us are needing a bit of a catch up with our selves following a long hot summer, and our offering seemed to hit a nerve for lots of people (there is a waiting list as I type).
So I thought i’d pull together a blog post with some of the content i’ll be sharing on the day retreat, plus some tips to ease ourselves gently into September.
7 realistic and totally achievable ideas for self care after a long, hot summer.
- Get an early night or 3. Usually this urge for early nights hits in the winter, but Dave and I have been feeling it in recent weeks. The heat and our early bird kids have wiped us out! Either way, sleep is the one thing that can have the most radical difference to our mood and health. Lack of sleep can alter our mood and perceptions of reality in a big way.
- Move your body. I have been craving the oxytocin rush after exercise for a year now. Yes, a year. One of my January book goals was to feel more energetic, strong and just better in my body. I have given grace to myself month after month when I haven’t managed to make any progress toward this goal, but finally, after the heat broke, I felt able to start. This week, I went on my first run in over a year. A very slow plod around the park. ('Just start' I whispered to myself) It feels good.
- Think. My journalling time has slipped over the summer but I made some time over the weekend to catch up with myself a bit. Writing down my thoughts is always comforting, helpful and interesting. It gave my thoughts room to breathe. Afterwards I felt lighter, calmer, clearer.
- Read. Another thing that’s fallen by the wayside over the summer. But I am currently reading Emma Gannon’s book on my kindle (rather than on my phone which is just too distracting with all the other apps) and I am really enjoying some uninterrupted reading time again at bedtime, rather than watching tv.
- Declutter. If, over the summer, your home has gotten a bit cluttered and disorganised (more likely with kids about!) or if clearing up and tidying just fell down the list because it was too damned hot (hand in the air) then spend a bit of time clearing/tidying/recycling/donating. It is incredible how much energy some cleared space can release.
- Set up a sacred space for something you want more of. If you need to focus on a new work project, create or clear a desk area and put a vase of flowers and candle or essential oil burner there. If you want to move your body more, create a space to do a workout or yoga at home. I always add nice smells and flowers, a sort of annointing of the space, ya know?
- Get new stationary. Research suggests that people are much more likely to stick to their goals and plans if they have written them down in a beautiful book with a beautiful pen*. I left school many years ago, but September hits and I start inexplicably sniffing about the stationary shops again. My to-do notebook is getting full so I am looking forward to buying a new one, and I lose pens daily, so theres always a need there. Again- this can be helpful in 'setting the scene’ for a new project, plan or routine.
* may not actually be research based ; )
These are some of the small gifts I have given to myself over the last week or so, that have just made me feel so much better. I feel like i'm emerging and am so ready for Autumn. (But hopeful for some more weeks of sunshine yet!)
How about you. How are you truly feeling after the summer?