DAYLIGHT TO CANDLELIGHT
It's been an amazing summer truly! If you didn't leave the UK, often you were blessed with unexpectedly better weather here in good old GB than in Spain or Italy! Who saw that coming?
But the nights are getting darker, the temperature (actually thankfully) has dipped significantly, we had a fire pit in the garden last night to stay out longer (as our baby girl just turned 17) - plus candles galore obviously - and it reminded me what it is that helps us to keep that holiday feeling going longer - even if you never went away.
In my mind it's peace. It's a step back from the everyday. It's finding a few mini must-dos that are mood-enhancing to do for you...and YOU alone.
So here are a few of my summer musts for a happier Jo - so hopefully there's something to inspire you too - or tell me what you love to do - 'sharing IS caring'
TO FEEL SETTLED ... I burn, whether home or away (and so always pack in the case if abroad) my fave incense sticks (guaranteed not to spill) called Pavarti by Nitiraj that I buy from The Wilde Ones (my favourite little wild bohemian shop down London's King's Road, SW3 - def worth a visit)
TO FEEL ENERGISED ... I add fresh lemongrass to salads and soups as it gives all my senses an unexpected zing and is just not something I think of including in the weekly shop at any other time for the year. Lemongrass is also a great antioxidant whole food, that is believed to reduce a fever, pain and inflammation. The aroma too is just divine and is one of the key notes in my GOJO Uplifting blend which I burn heavily in the evening outdoors on the patio.
TO FEEL RESTED ... Take a power nap for 20-40 mins (or however long feels right) mid-afternoon. Just curl up on your favourite cushion, in a cozy lounge chair, a soft blanket (watch this space for my favourite) and phone on silent. Try not to OVER sleep to ensure it doesn't affect your evening sleep later.
TO FEEL CONTENT ... Make your time matter. Make a list of the things that bring you joy. It could be a clear orderly space, a brilliant new book, a piece of music that makes you smile, a deeply memorable movie that touches a nerve. This is your moment to start an 'emotional wellbeing for life' list to help bring in sunnier thoughts and actions every day wherever you can.
TO SLEEP BETTER ... Windows ajar (a few drops of citronella essential oil in the room to ward off being bitten by mozzies - I am delicious it seems); a couple of Kalms (herbal tablets with Valerian herb to send me off, 3 tabs will knock me out); breathe slowly and calmly, in for seven and out for 10... wake up afresh.
TO RECONNECT ... Look up and around you more. Everyone walks around on their phone more now, bumping into people - or weirdly stopping when they 'sense' there is another body in front of them but never looking up and registering that individual. How far removed are we becoming from each other? Whether city or country, look up, appreciate architecture, landscape, nature, beauty in everything, including each other. It is there...we just need to keep looking and not ignoring. I told a stranger how pretty she looked the other day, as her blue dress matched her eyes...her face lit up even more. It makes your heart lighten too. It's just NICER to live and think, and be that way.
OK, so they're simple, summery thoughts, nothing too taxing... but they're the ones that brighten your mood any time; and as autumn draws closer, embrace a few feel-good musts for you that will see you happily through SAD old winter too.