One of the most used phrases in my whatsapp groups or when out with friends, when we talk about the past is, “oh my god, how was that four years ago!!? It seemed like just yesterday!” – Why does time go so much quicker the older you get? Well, obviously time still goes by at the same rate – we’re not on a constant fast-forward. But it does seem like the days, months and years have started to fly by. I was told it’s because we get busier as we get older, so our time is constantly being used up as we’re always always doing something. Gone are the old days of being a kid! We had school and a bit of homework but what else? No work meetings, no dinner parties, no friend’s birthday drinks at a totally far out location a million miles from your home across town and no colleagues awkward birthday drinks after hours. But now I spend my free time desperately googling busy girl hacks to try and make my life a little more seamless (when ironically, this time would be better spent actually doing stuff then googling how to do it faster!)
I can’t actually believe it’s been 5 months since taking Fashion Slave full time – it’s been a whirlwind. I figured I’d have all of this spare time on my hands but if anything, I’m busier than ever. Hands up if your main response to your friends question of “how have you been?!” is “oh my god, SOOOO busyyyyyyy!!!!!!” – we’re all here with our hands up, aren’t we? I’ve written before about the importance of balancing your time and how it’s totally okay to take a break, but the reality is, you can only afford to do those things every so often and you’ve got to power through. Especially if you’re self-employed!
I’m always being asked “what does an average day look like to you?” – the truth? There is no average day. 6am wakeup, admin, get ready, head out, go to a meeting, do some work whilst on the go, pick up some pieces for a shoot, take some photographs for Instagram, grab some new makeup, coffee meetings with PR’s, blogger events, do some more work in a coffee shop in between, meet my photographer for a shoot, put another pic on Instagram – it’s relentless! Repeat x 5 – well, realistically 6 or 7 as I can’t remember the last time I took a day off (once again, self-employed life!) it starts to paint a picture of endless work and the weeks blurring in to one.
And then, another one of the things people ask is “why do you do it? Why don’t you just take your foot off the pedal?” – the truth is that I love it. I’m one of those weirdos who absolutely thrives on a little bit of stress. Yes, I left all of my university coursework to the last minute because I perform best under pressure! And then, of course, I’m living the life I have always dreamed that I would live here in London, working in fashion, and being my own boss (okay, I don’t own a townhouse in Notting Hill but I’m getting there…)
Then, there’s the next question: “how do you do it?” – How do I honestly keep my ahead amongst it all? Because I know it’s so easy to lose your mind in a world of filters and hashtags and photo opportunities.
Well, you’ve got to stay healthy. When I’m rushing around all of the time it can be difficult to keep on top of what you’re eating – but you desperately need it for all of the energy! It’s just as easy to grab a calorie-laden snack as it is to skip a meal because you’re too busy flitting between appointments – both are just as bad, so you’ve got to keep your nutrition up. That’s why I’ll always try and pick up one of Naked’s juices whilst I’m on the go – the Red Machine being a personal favourite for its fruity berry taste. It’s packed with vitamins too which contribute towards combatting tiredness.
Fitness has been a huge anchor for keeping my energy levels up over the years – I mean, science totally says that exercising gives you more energy as it makes your body stronger and fitter! Let’s rewind three years ago and I had only just started working out regularly and it’s changed my lifestyle and routine hugely. Before, I was tired, sluggish, had very little routine to my life, and would easily sleep in until 11am every day if I could. Now, I’m up at 6 with a get-up-and-go attitude (not gonna lie, I’m definitely still sleepy at 6 sometimes though!) Making fitness a solid part of my life has given me far more energy throughout the day and I’ve felt myself becoming healthier and happier alongside it. We all know what Elle Woods said, “exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!” – and it’s true.
But three years down the line, I’ve started to look into new avenues to keep myself going. When I’m doing the same old things in the gym, it doesn’t matter how fast I turn up the treadmill speed or how heavy the weight I pick up is, I’ll still find my mind going back over the mental checklists of things to do, and never really giving myself that break that I need. So to give myself an additional boost, I began boxing sessions with Carly PT.
I’m still very new to it (hence my poor form – but I am learning!), but it’s easy to get the basics fast. My usual gym routine is 50% HIIT training and 50% weights, but doing a totally different kind of sport has been a little bit of a game changer.
Mental benefits: the great thing with learning anything new is takes up all of your attention – this is exactly true with boxing. You’re giving your entire focus to something else, it requires all of the strength in your mind, checking and focusing on your form (a lot easier to do in front of the mirror than in the park here!) and remembering combo routines, so all of your other worries or stresses don’t even come up to play in your head.
Breaks up the day: my days can be pretty full on with early starts and late finishes, so I like to try throw a session in the afternoon to break the day up. It’s a way of kind of hitting reset half way through the day so I start the afternoon all fresh and raring to go all over again!
Reduces stress: Not to mention it’s a huge stress reliever! Throwing a few punches can really give me the boost of energy that I really need when in reality, sometimes the only thing I want to punch is the pillow (with my face, and then fall asleep). Every punch into a pad feels like the tension is being expelled and as I draw my first back to my body, I’m pulling in the good vibes instead.
What do you do to to give you that mental and healthy nudge along the way in your busy daily routine? I’d love to know!
Photography & Videography by Rebecca Spencer