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FEBRUARY Newsletter
GOOD MORNING TO YOU! How are we all? After 648 days you'll be pleased to know that January has finally come to an end. It's February and it's a short one that will completely fly by in a haze of cold snaps and heart-adorned teddy bears in the blink of an eye. You gearing up for a busy month? I feel you. January was perhaps the most crammed of my career yet. I released a book! I zipped around the U.K to do eight book signings! I went back up to two videos a week! I attempted to not eat the Pret Kale & Cauliflower Macaroni Cheese everyday! It was wild and on paper had the potential to be a tad stressful, when in fact it ended up being a thoroughly enjoyable four weeks. So today I thought I'd share with you how to find a bit of harmony and happiness in your routine when your diary is absolutely chocker.
 

Lesson #16

How To Enjoy Being Busy

*NEWSFLASH* Everyone is busy and we all love moaning about it to everyone and anyone who will listen.

It's become our standard response when anyone asks how we are and I am 100% guilty of doing it too. We're all busy. We all get it. But what about when you're *really* busy? I'm not talking about week-long spurts where your diary makes your eyes pop out of your head, I'm talking about the long-game. Deadlines, revision, big meetings that require ALL THE PREP and can go on for upwards of a month. How do you cope with those? Ultimately busy-ness is great. I'd take it any day over the other 'B word' - *whispers* boredom - but we can't run on 100% for 24 hours a day. It's just not sustainable, nor healthy. So here's how to lean into those periods and not only manage our stress levels during them, but enjoy them too. 

Guard your free time. When the business side of things get busy, you have to protect your limited free time like a hawk. In January I didn't have too many of these - even evenings and weekends - so those that I did have felt like gold. It's always good to exercise your 'no' muscle, and doing so only makes it stronger. Be realistic when you look at your schedule. If the one night that your mates can all meet is one of only one or two free evenings you have that week and you know you'll be terrible company anyway, then politely decline and reschedule for when things have calmed down a little. Your friends and family will thank you for not sitting at dinner with your eyes barely open, unable to form a sentence. Rest up and relax instead. You need it. 
 
Do one thing for yourself. When your diary is particularly packed it can be easy to go weeks without realising that you haven't taken a moment for yourself just to do something that pleases you; whether that's painting your nails, going for a run, picking up a book. So choose whatever activity it is that slaps a smile across you face and aim to do it whenever you can. For me that's reading - particularly when on a train or plane. I bought a couple of new books to get me in the mood and allowed myself the time to actually read them. Heck, I even finished three! Whenever I felt bad for reading and that I should be spending the time writing/editing/replying to emails, I took one look at my iCal that had begun to look like a game of Tetris and reminded myself that I was pretty darn busy and needed a moment to chill the 'F' out. I highly recommend that you do the same (and read Sally Rooney's 'Conversations With Friends'*). 

Balance the scales. If you're finding yourself doing something particularly mentally or psychically hardcore at work at a particular time of day, be sure to at least try to balance it out with some downtime. For example, I'm a big lover of early mornings. Love 'em. However book signings have the tendency to go late into the evening (sometimes past 10pm because I just CANNOT STOP TALKING - sorry event organisers!), so when coupled with a 6am alarm, it wasn't exactly the best equation. So instead I pushed my alarm back a bit in the mornings and took them easy, working from bed and taking it slow. Saving all my energy for the evenings and accepting that I didn't have to have the most productive day in the world, when I was going to be having a pretty full-on evening instead. 

Beak the rules. I mentioned it above, but let me just put out there that I NEVER usually work from bed, unless I'm ill. In fact the last time when I worked from bed was when I had a tooth infection and became addicted to sucking on frozen peas. Nice. However, if you're got a prolonged period of busy-ness, then I'm down for breaking the rules a little. Play around with your bedtime and wake-ups, let go of the routine a little and if things start falling by the wayside (sidetone: I went to just five Reformer Pilates sessions during January), then as long as you're still relatively chirpy and keeping your stress-levels low then bend them as much as you need to. 
 

'AN EDITED LIFE BOOK TOUR

A huge thank you to everyone who has made it out to AEL book signing so far. They have honestly been some of the best evenings of my life (as cheesy as that sounds, but it's true!). Here's an updated list of upcoming book signing dates. SEE YOU SOON! 
 

FEBRUARY

4th February - Indigo TORONTO - FIND THE INFO HERE 
16th February - Habitat LONDON - SOLD OUT!
20th February - American Book Centre AMSTERDAM - TICKETS HERE
28th February - Habitat BRIGHTON - TICKETS HERE 

MARCH 

13th March - Waterstones CANTERBURY - TICKETS HERE
14th March - Aye Write Festival GLASGOW - TICKETS HERE
15th March - Blackwell's EDINBURGH - TICKETS HERE
16th March - Waterstones NEWCASTLE - TICKETS HERE
18th March - Blackwell's MANCHESTER - SOLD OUT! (more tickets released soon - hopefully!)

A Point In The Right Direction

'Why Every Luxury Brand's Logo Looks The Same' by John Whelan for BoF It's a weird phenomenon, but here's an in-depth dissection of the thought behind luxury brands all rebranding using the same darn font.
'Lentil Nut Vegan 'Meatloaf' by Minimalist Baker  Not a read per se, but instead a recipe. We made this last week for our vegan mates and it went down an absolute TREAT. 
Does Knowing Your Screentime Actually Change Your Habits?' by Hayley Nahman for Man Repeller  As someone who is actively trying to decrease their screen time (more on that in another post!), this was a very insightful discussion. 
'Is This What Balance Feels Like' by Hannah Gale  A beautiful piece from one of my favourite bloggers and a good reminder that sometimes we need to stop, take stock and enjoy the moment. 

In case you missed it

A Tour Of Our Flat It only took almost four years, but here it is. Here's what our flat currently looks like and what we're planning in the next 12 months.
How To Plan For The Week Here's how to effectively plan for the week ahead, so that you actually get round to ticking *most* of the items off your list.
The AEL PDF Worksheets How to download the six-worksheets that accompany 'An Edited Life' and how to incorporate them into your everyday.
The 10x10 Capsule Wardrobe 10 items, 10 outfits - here's how to do it. Perfect for 'shopping your wardrobe' or packing for travel.

Four THINGS I’VE BEEN LOVING THIS MONTH

Mango Beaded Methacrylate Bag* Every version of this bag they bring out gets better and better. I'm tempted.
& Other Stories Chunky Sweater* Will there ever be a winter where I don't recommend this jumper? I think not.
Topshop Spot Satin Bias Midi Skirt*I've surprised myself by how much I've worn this skirt over recent weeks.
& Other Stories Oversized Shirt* I know I sound like a broken record, but this shirt comes in so darn handy.
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