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Firstly, let me tell you that the response to my last email was extraordinary; it hit a chord and named what some women were struggling to name.

I have returned from my four day solo jaunt and feel so much better; my fuel tank will now see me through until the end of my working year.

Now it’s my husband turn; next weekend he will go away hiking with a friend into the wilds.

Of all the responses I received one stuck with me. A reader responded to say that she was ‘crawling to Christmas’, which is how I had felt a few weeks ago.

When I responded to her email, I said that weeks of crawling would hurt her knees so how could she pad them just a little.

We still have six weeks until Christmas, and you may also feel like you are crawling too, so I invite you to pad your knees.

You may not be able to get away for a variety of reasons, but there are many other ways to ‘pad your knees’.

Yesterday I spoke to a client who told me that she was also holding on until Christmas. Still, she knew that as soon she finished work for the year, she would probably get sick for most of her holidays because that has been a reoccurring theme for her when she does not attend to her needs along the way.

When we are empty, and we keep going, when we stop, the body stops too, and this year I believe we all need a holiday season we can enjoy.

So off the back of last week’s email, my time away, and the many responses I received, I wanted to share with you a list of small and big ‘knee padders’ to encourage you to do what you need to finish this year, fully upright.

1. You do not need to answer the phone the moment it rings. You can respond when you are ready instead of reacting in the moment. Unless you are a paramedic in which case ignore this one.
2. Get into nature more and even more.
3. Garden lots.
4. Turn off notifications on your phone.
5. Stop responding to emails after a particular time of day and stay ‘stopped.’
6. Set up an out of office letting people know you will respond with 24/48/72 hours. (We are happy to wait if we know how long we are waiting for.)
7. Go to bed earlier.
8. Wake up later.
9. Drink more water.
10. Buy yourself some luxury bath/shower products and use them.
11. Cancel things.
12. Postpone things.
13. Say no to the unnecessary meeting.
14. Say no to the social event you do not want to attend.
15. Don’t do any Christmas shopping – for the last five years just before Christmas, I take a whole weekend and make love-filled jams or chutney and everyone gets the same gift).
16. Watch old school comedy.
17. Make something beautiful.
18. If you can get away, even for a morning or afternoon, get away.
19. Turn off the news.
20. Hug some trees.
21. Lessen your social media interactions or stop for a period of time; it will still be there when you return.
22. Write a thank you card to someone who has supported you this year.
23. Nap.Nap.Nap.
24. Let go of anything you think you ‘should’ do.
25. Treat yourself to a big bunch of stunning flowers weekly for the next six weeks (this was something I did during lockdown 2.0, it supported my mental health).
26. Stop listening to podcasts that will ‘improve’ you or your business for the rest of the year.
27. Stop reading personal development books that will ‘improve you’ for the rest of the year. Nap instead!
28. Read the books you loved as a child.
29. Lower your expectations of yourself and others.

I hope you find at least one of these items useful. There is nothing new here, but we all need reminding sometimes.

I would love to know what little things you are or are not doing so that you can go into your holiday season upright.

Wishing you a weekend of knee padding activities.

Kemi xxx

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