That dreaded time of year, when summer’s over, long gone are those beach days and it’s time to get motivated. In France it’s such a defining time of the year, that they even have a proper term for it - La Rentrée, literally meaning ‘the return’. Most of Paris shuts down for August - my favourite cafés and restaurants close shop for a minimum of three weeks and head south or to some other equally chic and sunny location. So early September really does mark Parisians’ ‘return’ to the city.
It’s a funny time of year, the end of summer and change of season and I’ll admit it takes me a few weeks to adapt. How about you? The holiday blues aren’t called that for nothing… and after time spent in the sun on a beach with book in hand, it’s not easy to get back into a routine and find the motivation to go back to working hours. I’m always caught between sadly saying goodbye summer, sandy toes and tan lines and the exciting promise of new projects to come and of course new season clothes. There’s nothing like a new wardrobe to get you in the mood to go back to work!
Reminiscent of my first school uniform, which was indeed brown, I’m currently loving mixing different autumnal tones. Admittedly it’s still summer weather in Paris - hence the bare legs, but this look is certainly helping me get back into the swing of things. Scroll down for outfit details.
And here are a few tips to get you motivated!
I’ve said it before in a previous article, but reading helps focus your concentration and can make you smarter. I finally eased my way back into reading, while I was on holiday in Ibiza over the summer with Dan Brown’s Origin and have recently picked up Call Me by Your Name, as I haven’t watched the film yet (I know, I know). I usually read entrepreneurial, girl-bossing books and a few favourites are Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Girl Boss (obvs) by Sophia Amoruso and You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero.
Can’t find the concentration to read a book? Peruse an article in a favourite magazine. I love Porter for example – yes it’s fashion, but the journalism is at a very high level and there’s always a thought-provoking article or interview with an inspiring woman.
Listen to Inspiring Podcasts
If you haven’t got time to read, or don’t feel inclined to, listen to a podcast. They’re great for on the move, commuting or working to. Top on my list are: Magic Lessons by Elizabeth Gilbert, Out of line with Caroline Lee, How I Built This and How to Fail with Elizabeth Day.
Start an Exercise Routine
This is something I’ve been working on for a long time and think I’ve almost cracked it, mainly because I’ve started seeing a difference in my body. I started boxing a few months ago (there’s nothing like punching a bag to let off some steam, vent any frustration and work those abs and arms!). When I need a good cardio hit I go to Dynamo and I have my own exercise routine, which I do at home at least 3 times a week, which involves press ups and stair climbers. I love the likes of Shona Vertue, Magnus Lygdback (he trained Alicia Vikander for Tomb Raider, no less) and my friend Cat Meffan, for instant fit-spiration.
Probably the most important tip here: get into a good sleep routine. Go to bed early, put your phone away - you know those screens do wonders to inspire insomnia - and read! If you need a dark room, get a black out blind or wear an eye mask - I love the silk eye masks by Slip - and if you’re a light sleeper, wear ear-plugs. They take some time to get used to - around 3 months for me, but now I can’t sleep without them, even if I’m at my mum’s in Kent, where all I can hear are the birds. This is a great article by Emma Hoareau of Lolita Says So, with tips and beauty products to help you get your solid eight hours.
Photos by Monika Varšavskaja, editing by Marissa Cox.