Looking after yourself

Sanity series

Emma Pettit, Senior Account Manager

These are strange times indeed and for somebody who loves their work and enjoys going to work, I’ve had to adapt pretty quickly (with a few meltdowns in between).  It’s business as usual for my husband who mostly works from home anyway and my daughter has been incredibly resilient but trying to keep her on her school timetable is a different matter!  It goes without saying that keeping talking, a sense of humour, great music and giving each other space is crucial to keeping us all sane in our household. But these are a few things that are keeping me on the straight and narrow whilst juggling home and work life:

Exercise, exercise and more exercise – luckily we have a dog so Rudi and I usually disappear 1st thing in the morning before the rest of the world awakes. It’s my time: p&q, clean, crisp air and the very loud tweeting of birds – bliss. My gym has also shared some online classes which are great.  And I can sometimes be seen joining in Joe Wick’s PE classes with my daughter or her dance classes.  Not elegant but gets the heart rate up! And to stretch I love Yoga with Adrienne; she has so many different videos to choose from.

Wellbeing. A couple of years ago I did the Action for Happiness course (https://www.actionforhappiness.org) which was a fascinating insight into what makes us and the world a happier place (I know, it sounds a bit out there).  A gaggle of us kept in touch and we are now working through the 12 week course The Artists Way.  Not exactly my thing but what I’ve enjoyed is writing every morning – anything that springs to mind; 3 A4 sheets of drivel – and reflecting on my childhood and what I love and miss from those days (horses and tennis in case you’re wondering).  It also gives us the opportunity to have a call every week and once we’ve got the Covid convo out the way we have some really refreshing and frank discussions with so much laughter too.  We share the weekly tasks we have to do, stories, musings, podcasts. Through this I have become a huge Brené Brown fan and if you want to make sense of what is happening at the moment and how to deal with your feelings then I highly recommend her podcast series Unlocking Us.  

Finally Instagram.  I’m missing looking and seeing beautiful things so I have filled my feed with artists, poets, baking, crafts and fashion. It gives me some respite from my suburban life and fills me with ideas and joy.  I would so love to buy something through #artistsupportpledge but I’m always too slow on the uptake (must be my age). Finally, to keep everybody entertained I am filling my feed with daily hairstyle updates.  And for those who know my hair, it has a mind of its own. It maybe career suicide but if I can make people have a laugh then so be it! 

And finally, finally this post was meant to be about my favourite books but I got sidetracked so I’ve listed a few in case you’re in need of inspiration:

Cutting for Stone – Abraham Verghese

The Mitford Girls – Mary Lovell

Mornings in Jenin – Susan Abulhawa

A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman

The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt

Educated – Tara Westover

Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides

A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles

A Year of Marvellous Ways – Sarah Winman