The first daddy-long-legs have made their way in, the leaves are turning and I’ve started wearing extra layers – Autumn is here! So today I thought I’d share 5 ways to embrace Autumn days.
5 Ways to Embrace Autumn Days
Get outside as much as you can – it helps to have layers and raincoats handy with the changeable weather! Enjoy the Autumn scenery and the crisp air. And take advantage of any sunshine and blue skies we get before the darker months of Winter.
Make a list of things you want to do to celebrate the season. You could:
Cook/bake with seasonal ingredients
Create a nature table/tray/display filled with conkers, acorns & multi coloured leaves
Have a pyjama day
Watch some Autumn themed TV or movies
Try a new hobby or craft…you could learn to knit/crochet and make yourself a scarf ready for Winter!
Make a list of all the things you LOVE about Autumn and make time to enjoy those things.
Think of something you’d like to focus on this season (like a goal or intention) and schedule some time regularly to work on it. Imagine how good it will feel at the start of Winter if you’ve committed to it over Autumn. Examples include:
A new exercise schedule
Keeping a gratitude journal
Having regular ‘me time’ to do what brings you joy
Reading up on a subject that interests you
Getting back into a favourite hobby
Which of these suggestions will help you embrace the Autumn days? What are your favourite things about the season?
Helping you Embrace Autumn Days
I’ve just released some items in my Etsy shop which are designed to help you make the most of the season:
The Autumn Days Guided Journal is available in paper and digital format and provides lots of prompts that build on the suggestions above to help you celebrate Autumn.
It has plenty of space for:
setting seasonal goals
exploring what you love about Autumn
helping you make the most of and find the good in the season
creating an Autumn playlist (of seasonally themed music, TV, movies and books)
The Find the Good Everyday Gratitude Journal is a handy A6 sized journal printed in rainbow colours with space for 31 entries.
This is a great starter for developing a regular gratitude practice. Why not try it every day for a month and see how it feels?
Each page offers space to write the date and list 3 things you are grateful for (feel free to squeeze even more in!). There is also a prompt on each page to help you if you’re stuck for ideas – flick through the prompts until something resonates.
Seasonal journals – I created Spring Goodness as a practice run and then Love Summer to sell in my etsy shop. An Autumn version will be coming soon!
Creating my etsy shop – trying not to get to hung up on what’s right and just experiment
Looking at nutrition and wellbeing from a curious perspective to try and lessen my all-or-nothing mentality
Getting back into sewing and making new things – I took a Learn to Sew course Autumn 2019 and loved finally being able to use a sewing machine. Over lockdown with a focus on home learning and not having enough space for sewing it fell by the wayside but I’m gradually getting back to it now
Trying different planning methods – it’s good to try new things but in this case I realised bullet journalling really suits me and I started a new bujo last month (I’ve previously blogged about bullet journalling here and here).
I’m more aware of the word Curiosity and tend to notice when it comes up in conversation or discussion – it helps me tune in and learn more about curiosity!
I do wonder if I use the excuse of curiosity to keep exploring new things rather than cracking on with existing hobbies. And if sometimes it lessens my focus?
But all in all I think it’s been a great word for me and I am glad I chose it.
Plans for curiosity for the rest of the year
I want to continue to use it as a lens and theme for the year. Something that I think about when new opportunities arise and also when issues and challenges come up in daily life… looking at things from a point of view of curiosity rather than judgement helps me to be more open minded about how I deal with problems. At least that’s what I hope!
Did you pick a word for 2021? If so – how’s it going? Has it had an impact on your life?
Today I want to talk about Seasonal Self Care and how planning and thinking about our self care seasonally can help us take better care of ourselves.
What is Seasonal Self Care?
So many people I chat with say that making time for self care is hard and it’s often the first thing to fall by the wayside when life gets busy and routines get changed up.
But what if we looked at our self care on a seasonal basis? For both the seasons of our life and the seasons of the year.
We know that self care isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach and that we have to work out as individuals what taking care of ourselves means (Hint – it’s not always about the bubble bath and pampering!). Different times in our life call for different ways to take care of ourselves. And I know that my self care in Winter looks very different to the Summer.
Perhaps part of our commitment to self care should be sitting down at the start of each season and working out how we can take better care of ourselves? It’s also a great opportunity to review and reflect on what’s been working and what hasn’t… to help us determine the self care that feels right for us every day and what works at certain times.
For me – journalling is a constant… every morning (about 90% of the time!) I write morning pages and every evening (99%) I write in my gratitude journal. Getting outside in nature is also a constant for me… but where I choose to go is dependent on the weather and the seasons.
Take a moment to think about the things you do regularly that contribute to your self care and figure out if they work every day or change up depending on the season.
Examples of Season Specific Self Care
Here are some examples of seasonal self care but remember – it can look different for everyone.
Summer Self Care
Wearing SPF daily
Meditating or doing yoga/exercise outside
Creating and listening to a Summer playlist
Visiting the beach or seaside
Making salads that use plenty of in-season produce
Autumn Self Care
Making crumble and other Autumnal recipes
Starting/getting back to a hobby that suits Autumn and Winter (like knitting, crochet etc)
Buy a new sweater or jumper to keep you cozy
Treating yourself to a new candle
Go for a walk somewhere where you can see the Autumn colours
Winter Self Care
Making sure you have warm layers to wear including hat, scarf and gloves
Trying out new hearty recipes for the slow cooker
Putting up fairy lights to add some twinkle
Have a regular early night where you cozy up with a book or to get more sleep
Spring Self Care
Visiting your favourite spot to see Spring flowers
Getting outside in the garden
Decluttering your space
Trying something new (a hobby or activity)
Use the extra evening light to walk in the evenings
If you have any season specific self care activity suggestions please do share them in the comments below.
Read on if you’d like to know what’s included before you decide to buy… I’ve also filmed a video sharing the contents of the box. You can view that here.
How did it come about?
I’m a big fan of embracing and celebrating each of the seasons. Most of us have a favourite season and ones we don’t like as much. And sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in what we don’t like about a season. I had an idea to create seasonal kits (yes, the plan is there will be one for every season!) to help us find the good in the season.
I’m a big fan of journals and journaling (as you can see here (morning pages), here (gratitude) and here (Find Your Happy)) so I created a journal for the main part of the kit. I have also created and curated other contents along the theme of LOVE SUMMER.
So what’s in the LOVE SUMMER guided journal and self care kit?
The main element of the kit is a 20 page guided journal to help you plan and create an awesome summer. It’s an A5 journal printed in black and white – allowing you to decorate it however you wish. There are lots of suggestions and ideas to help you create your own lists and plans. It’s hand bound (by me!) and has plenty of space for:
setting seasonal goals
exploring what you love about Summer
creating a Summer playlist
writing your own Summer bucket list
and capturing your memories of the season
I wanted to create a kit to go with the journal to really help you decorate your journal, focus on summer self care and make the most of the season. So alongside the journal you will receive:
SPF30 lip balm in a summery flavour (vegan)
a heart shaped pink tea light candle – perfect for lighting while you write in your journal
Glow tea bag (individually wrapped) – Strawberry, cucumber, green tea and aloe vera – a lovely summery blend
Either: Heartea tea bag (individually wrapped) – Blackcurrant, rosemary, honey and hibiscus or: SLEEP tea bag (individually wrapped) – Spiced apple, vanilla, camomile and Passion flowers (vegan option)
Rose quartz tumble stone crystal – symbolises love and peace
Blue gel pen for completing your journal
Small roll of glitter washi tape in a lovely bright colour to compliment your journal
Small roll of decorative washi tape to match your journal
An affirmation card (I’ve created a deck of 24 affirmation cards, 1 will go in each box – like a fortune cookie type message!)
Some love heart sweets (vegan)
This will all be wrapped and presented in a pink A5 mailing box. All of the packaging is recyclable and I’ve had as much fun putting that together as I have the kits!
Today I want to talk about how we can cultivate positive energy.
It’s helpful to know what activities and things raise our energy. Then when we are having a meh day we can try them to see if it helps lift us up. It may not always help and it may not always be what we need (sometimes we need to feel our emotions and not brush them aside). But it’s great to have an idea of what might help raise our energy when we want to try it.
Get to Know Yourself Better
Something that has been super helpful for me in how I cultivate positive energy is getting to know myself better.
And I’m an INFJ who can sometimes be described as “sensitive” and work best when what I am doing links to my personal values.
There are various quizzes you can take online if you like that kind of thing (I do!) to help you discover more about your own traits. I know some people aren’t a fan of labels and being pigeon-holed but I’ve always found things like this a great leaping point to understand myself better.
If you do any quizzes I’d recommend following it up with research on your “type” to see if you do feel like it fits you. And then use that knowledge to give yourself tools and help in the areas you want to improve.
Knowing I am an introvert has probably been the biggest game-changer for my energy levels. Now I understand when my battery is running low and that quiet alone time is exactly what I need to help raise my energy again.
Get Ready to Cultivate Positive Energy
If we’re having a meh day and want to try and raise our energy – that often isn’t the best time to work out what we need. What is helpful is already having a file or toolbox you can open up when you need it. So let’s look at how we can do that…
Create an Energy Toolbox
Open up a notes file on your phone or a page in your notebook to record your answers to each of the prompts below. It can become something you revisit when you need to lift your spirits.
Make a list of things that raise your energy. E.g. listen to music, dance, go for a walk, talking to friends, being creative
What one thing can you do every morning to help you cultivate positive energy? E.g. journalling, meditation, hydrate, exercise, stretch, wear something that makes you happy, put on your favourite jewellery/perfume
Make a playlist with songs that make you want to dance and sing. If you prefer podcasts to music – which ones inspire you and motivate you?
Engage your senses… what colours mean happy or high energy to you? Which scents wake up and refresh you? What food/drink revives you?
What’s your perfect break when you get overwhelmed or stressed? Do you like to get outside? Have a nap? Have a drink? Switch to a different activity?
This is a great starting point. If you know your personality traits or have answers to the quizzes you could also screenshot your answers and keep them together to refer back to.
Start creating a file on yourself – what makes you feel good and what helps raise your energy when you need to. And then open it up on those days when you need a boost!
What’s the number one tool in your energy raising toolkit?
“Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.”
How I make my Morning Pages practice work for me
I use A5 notebooks and aim to write 3 pages each morning before I start my day.
I do miss the odd day – especially if I oversleep, have an early appointment or feel unwell.
Some days I only write one page and sometimes it’s more than 3 pages. It’s usually 2-3 pages.
I used to write whatever came to mind and sometimes still do. But I have also developed something of a structure which I often use to keep the words flowing:
I start out writing about how I’m feeling and how I slept.
I often give myself a score out of 10 for how I am feeling. Then note down some ideas of what I can do that day to improve my score.
Recently I’ve been drawing a card from my Starseed Oracle deck each day. I write down which card I’ve pulled and any thoughts about it.
Next I write out my affirmations – I currently have a list of 9.
I write about plans for the day, things on my mind and about dreams I’ve had.
If I don’t have time to write my pages first thing sometimes I get to them later in the morning. I’ve even written them in the afternoon and evening.
It usually takes me around 10-20 minutes depending on how many pages I write, what’s on my mind and if I am interrupted by family members.
Benefits of Morning Pages
My morning pages journals are a great place to vent, express emotion, solve problems, come up with creative ideas and untangle all the random thoughts that get in the way of me getting on with things.
Writing them each day (usually in the morning) gives me that all important time as an introvert to process my thoughts and have time to myself.
They often help me wake up. I am often bleary-eyed as I begin and feel much more awake by the time I am done.
They are a commitment to myself and my self-care. By completing them first thing they often create a momentum for the day to get other things done.
I usually write my morning pages before I pick up my phone or go near a screen. They help me have less screen time. Plus I get my own thoughts out before I am bombarded with the internet and everyone else’s thoughts!
Have you tried writing morning pages? How did you get on?
I hope my morning pages practice inspires you to give them a go… be sure to let me know how you get on!
Hello. It’s time for a 39 Before 40 Progress Report. This is a fairly long one so you might want to grab a cuppa. Read on to see how I am getting on with the 39 things I want to achieve by the time I turn 40 (in October 2021).
39 Before 40 Progress Report
1 – Blog 25 times IN PROGRESS
I’m up to 11 posts (including this one). 14 to go with just under 6 months remaining. That’s doable! I’m aiming for 2-3 posts each month.
2 – Release 3 FTGE (Find The Good Everyday) paid for products IN PROGRESS
I have something coming very soon. A Summer Guided Journal and Summer Self Care Kit. I also hope to release an Autumn themed project in September.
3 – Mindset Training IN PROGRESS
I did Sophie Cliff’s Master Your Mindset course in November 2020
I also did Sophie’s First 100 Days journaling project
And I am currently working my way through Jamie Varon’s Live with Intention course
I think mindset is a constant work-in-progress and I am grateful that these trainings have helped me to continue working on it.
4 – 39 Soundtrack IN PROGRESS
This is such a fun one. It’s shaping up to be a list of songs that hold specific memories this year rather than a collection of my favourites. Previous annual soundtracks have been a mix of both. You can see what I’ve picked so far here.
No progress on this yet. I’ve not been doing very much sewing at all lately. I am still hopeful to make a start though – perhaps over Summer.
7 – Take Reggie on “holiday” IN PROGRESS
Reggie is our greyhound. We have something booked. Just a short overnight break quite close to home to have a practice run and get him used to travelling and staying somewhere else with us.
8 – Go to Skye IN PROGRESS
We’ve got something booked for later in the year. Fingers crossed it goes ahead!
9 – Ride a Horse
I have no immediate plans to do this. It may get swapped for something else. Or I might just get something booked and do it as things start opening up again.
10 – Visit Norfolk IN PROGRESS
This one is tied in with number 7 (taking Reggie on holiday!)
11 – Plan an epic 40th
I’ll wait a bit longer before I make any plans for my 40th in October – who knows what the rules will be by then?!
12 – Spa Day
This is booked for the summer and I am really hoping it will go ahead as it’s been a long time coming. My friend and I originally had a spa day booked for March 2020 and it’s been postponed a few times already.
Hoping to do this as the world opens back up. I’d love to do something in person rather than online.
15 – Instagram growth – reach 1k and grow my community IN PROGRESS
I’m getting there with the 1k… please come and follow me if you don’t already. And I’ve been trying to share posts and stories that help people feel part of the Find the Good Everyday community. I love having chats with people in my comments and DMs there.
16 – Europe city break First 100 Days Journalling Project COMPLETE
I switched this up as I don’t think a Europe trip will happen this year. I changed it to a project I’d already started at the time and have since completed.
17 – Grow the FTGE newsletter and mailing list IN PROGRESS
I really enjoy sending my monthly newsletters. I create a freebie to send out each month. It’s usually journalling prompts or a worksheet to help you find more good in your everyday. It makes me happy each time someone signs up! If you don’t already get the newsletter you can sign up here.
18 – Visit Bury St Edmunds/Suffolk
We may do this as part of our take Reggie on holiday, on the way to Norfolk. Or it may be a seperate day out. But I plan to do it over the next few months.
19 – Reach my Find Your Happy Sales Target COMPLETE
21 – Submit the kiddo’s high school application COMPLETE
This was done back in October and we were very pleased to find out he got his first choice school in March.
22 – Family Movie Night with a Theme COMPLETE
We watched Harry Potter, made Butterbeer (here’s our recipe!) and had HP related snacks! (M&S sell chocolate frogs and other wizard treats!)
23 – A Me Day for Whatever I like (follow my nose!)
I haven’t done this yet due to the lockdowns and schools being closed but I hope to schedule this in before the Summer holidays and take myself off on an adventure!
24 – Do some work on the house
I really want to get some work done on our kitchen but we need a surveyor/engineer to have a look because it involves knocking down a wall… the first step is to make some phone calls and find someone to come and have a look.
25 – Solstice and Equinox adventures IN PROGRESS
I made a wreath for Winter Solstice and purchased a beautiful Spring Wreath for the Equinox. And I enjoyed spending time outside on both of those occasions too. Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox to go!
26 – Find fun ways to use glass jars COMPLETE
I ended up playing with glass jars for my Crafternoon.
27 – Host a Crafternoon to raise money for Mind COMPLETE
I did this back in November. I really enjoyed hosting and would definitely consider doing it again.
28 – Food bank donations COMPLETE
I set up a monthly financial donation to our local food bank at the end of last year.
29 – Share my RA story
I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in March 2020. I’ve got a blog post drafted about this but it doesn’t feel quite ready to share yet. I might share it around the time of RA Awareness Week which is coming up in September.
30 – Read Untamed COMPLETE
I read it, loved it and recommend it!
31 – Monthly RAKs – big and small IN PROGRESS
I wasn’t as consistent with this to begin with and got a little behind. I’ve got one month to “catch up on” and will continue them monthly. Most recently I gave away a Gratitude Journal on Instagram and a Happiness Toolkit to a newsletter subscriber. I’ve done some RAKs offline as well.
32 – Try dairy free (for a week? Or month?)
Haven’t tried this yet. I think it will be a week to begin with and I’ll see how I go from there.
33 – Bring back a meat-free-day each week
I’ve got meat-free dinners on the menu plan each week but I don’t always make sure I’m meat-free for lunch as well so I need to revise the menu plan to reflect that. One of our favourites is this Smoky Chilli recipe by Jamie Oliver.
34 – Review this list monthly and make plans IN PROGRESS
I’ve not been “formally” doing this but I do have a paper version pinned up and I check/update it every few weeks or so. Plus I’m writing this 39 Before 40 Progress Report!
35 – Aim for 30+ rejections pitches and learn from them IN PROGRESS
This was in relation to pitching to publications. I realised recently that the wording was putting me off so I’ve changed it to sending pitches rather than waiting for the rejections. Part of pitching is undoubtedly receiving rejections which is why I chose the wording originally – to accept that it was going to happen. But I prefer the pro-active wording of tracking the number of pitches I send rather than the responses (or non-responses) I get back.
36 – NLP Training Taster COMPLETE
NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. I did this in January. It was interesting and something I would consider exploring further in the future.
37 – Be a guest blogger/tutor/speaker COMPLETE (but would love to do more!)
I was a guest on the Creative Productive podcast – the episode went live in November and you can listen here. I also did an Instagram Live with the host Sarah (@stationerymagpie). And I was a guest tutor for Jocelyn at The Reading Residence Bring Back Paper membership in January – chatting all things journalling.
38 – Make Hot Chocolate bombs with the kiddo COMPLETE
39 – Get kiddo ready for high school (uniform/kit, equipment etc)
I’m not sure I am ever going to be emotionally ready for this one but we will be working on this over the summer months ready for September.
So that’s my 39 Before 40 Progress Report. In summary:
I’ve completed 13 items on the list – a third complete at the halfway point.
I’ve made a start or have things planned for another 13 things.
Which leaves 13 things still to start and get ticked off.
If you’ve read this far – bonus points to you! I know it’s been long but I share my birthday projects and progress for accountability and I appreciate you, as the reader, helping to hold me accountable!
I’ll be back with another update, once I’m 40, later in the year!
This year I’ve been getting back into weekly Artist Dates and I wanted to share what they are, why I do them and which ones I’ve tried so far.
If you’ve not heard of Artist Dates or you’re looking for more information about them please read on…
What is an Artist’s Date?
The idea of an Artist Date is from a book by Julia Cameron called The Artist’s Way. I worked through the book in early 2017 and really enjoyed the process. I blogged about the book here. I’m also a huge fan of Morning Pages which is another tool that Cameron recommends in The Artist’s Way.
Here’s what Julia Cameron has to say about Artist Dates:
“The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic” —think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration. When choosing an Artist Date, it is good to ask yourself, “what sounds fun?” — and then allow yourself to try it.”
Why am I making weekly artist dates a priority?
I have set myself 3 intentions this year – they are Wellbeing, Creativity and Joy. When I was thinking about how I can bring more of each of those things into my life I realised that Artist Dates can often tick two of the boxes! (Creativity and Joy).
And combined with my word for 2021 which is Curiosity it feels like Artist Dates are the right thing to do.
I talk a lot about Joy and use my creativity here for Find the Good Everyday. I do that because I want to… but I also want to make sure that I’m making time for joy and creativity outside of any commitments I have. It’s important to refill the creative well and to have some fun in our lives!
How I’ve been getting back into weekly Artist Dates
It requires a commitment – I need to make sure I plan it into my week and actually do it! It’s so easy to cast it aside when urgent and important things come up. But I really want to give myself this time to play and discover and create on a weekly basis so I’ve set aside time to do so.
I’ve marked out time on Friday’s for Artist Dates. This is changeable but if I haven’t done an artist’s date by the time I get to Friday – I am committing to doing it then.
I want to get into the habit of thinking of a couple of options each week and then choosing the one that sounds most interesting or fits best with the time and resources I have available that week.
So far, for my weekly artist date, I’ve:
1 Taught myself cross-stitch with a teeny rainbow kit 2 Watched It’s a Sin 3 Had a brainstorm about Spring and creativity and all the things I wanted to do 4 Created a Spring-time journal 5 Had a rummage in Poundland (went in for some essentials but had a look at the arts and crafts aisle while I was there!) 6 Played with felt pens and cling film to create watercolour backgrounds (which I’m hoping to turn into bookmarks!) 7 Purchased and put up some rainbow watercolour dot decals in our hallway 8 Worked on my Spring Journal – capturing the things I love most about the season
I think it’s important to keep coming back to the Julia Cameron quote above to make sure it’s about fun, mischief and whimsy rather than a chore!
When I get stuck for ideas I’ll be referring back to the ideas I’ve already shared here on the blog. If you’re looking for some fun and creative ideas check out these posts:
It’s time to share my Spring Activity List as well as some extra ideas to consider if you create your own list!
If you’ve been around a while you’ll know I’m a huge fan of celebrating each season and partaking in seasonal activities to make the most out of each one.
If you’re new here, HELLO! Lovely to see you. I hope you enjoy this post. I’ve shared more Seasonal Activity Posts at the bottom of this one. And please consider signing up for my newsletter where I regularly share seasonal prompts and other ideas to help you get more joy in your everyday!
My Spring Activity List
Some of these activities aren’t specifically related to Spring but they are things I want to achieve this season.
Get outside daily for a walk and out for a longer walk at least weekly
3 Random Acts of Kindness (one each month)
Get something booked for a night away with the doggo (and the husband and kiddo too!)
Catch up with friends that I haven’t seen for AGES!
Keep a Spring Journal…and look at creating a Summer version that people can buy and fill out for themselves
Get my hair cut, my brows sorted, a pedicure and have reflexology treatment (I’ve missed them so much during lockdown!)
Find dog friendly places we can go to eat (pubs with beer gardens, cafes with outside seating etc)
Have a Ploughmans lunch!
Finish the Live with Intention course
Leave the county to visit somewhere else (I’ve only left my county once since March 2020)
Have a weekly Artists Date/Me date – try to come up with some Spring themed ones!
Start sorting out my craft supplies
Extra Spring Activity List Ideas
If you’re keen to create your own Spring Bucket List these ideas might be fun too…
Plant flowers or seeds
Go on a bike ride
Go in search of lambs and other cute baby animals
Visit an open garden
Create a fairy garden
Spring clean and declutter
Celebrate Earth Day on 22nd April
Have a picnic
Visit a play trail / larger play area
Paint pebbles and rocks
Fly a kite
Visit the zoo or farm
Feed the ducks
Eat in-season produce
Try Couch to 5k
Write a poem or story about Spring
Redecorate a corner of your home with a fresh Spring feel