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Write your own manifesto
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January Schmanuary. September is the time of year to make changes in your life. As summer is dwindling, you might have a sudden urge to get your shit together, because ‘quiet quitting’ somehow feels like less of a thing as autumn kicks in.
The French call this time of year La Rentrée, which I love. With tropical fruit available all winter and bright light in our faces year-round, we have lost the art of embracing the natural rhythms of life. But it’s good for us to change and adapt throughout the year, in a positive way. Autumn could be construed as a bleak time: the end of summer and back to school, with the prospect of darker mornings and evenings on the horizon. So let’s celebrate this transition, and use it to feel inspired and motivated.
It’s the perfect time for a fresh start. As ever, there are no silver bullets, and a summer break won’t cure your burnout, but it can give you time to step back and assess how your work/life balance is working out. Are there any changes you want to make? Like the new prime minister (OK, sorry, you’re nothing like the new prime minister), it’s time to write your own manifesto.
A good way to start is by working out what your values are. There are various lists online to inspire you. You values can - and should - change over time, but it’s good to have a clear idea in your head. Are you prioritising a work project, or a friendship group? Are you making time for exercise, or writing that novel? Are there any unhelpful behaviours, situations or people that you might be able to remove from your life? Perhaps you’ll stop drinking for a few weeks and see how that feels? Or maybe you want to meet more people so will prioritise socialising? It’s about being aware of your daily activities, rather that frittering time away, and making conscious choices about how you want to live your life.
Me? I’ve decided that I’m going to be a person who values my work, and so I’m taking the plunge and going paid on this newsletter. If you feel as though you get something out of my weekly dispatches from the frontline of realistic wellness and future-proofing your body, then you can sign up for just £4 a month (that’s less than a coffee and a pastry around these parts), or £40 for the whole year.
For that you’ll receive my weekly newsletter, plus the option to hear me reading it out loud, when you’re feeling like you’d rather listen than read. In even better news, if you sign up this week you’ll get 20% off, making it just £32 for an entire year. I mean, why wouldn’t you?
If you stay as a free subscriber, you’ll still get an email once a month but will no longer have access to the archive.
Part of me hates the idea of charging for my work when I want to help as many people as possible, but a bigger part of me is like: girl’s gotta pay the mortgage. I value thoughtful, well-researched writing, which is why I pay for various journalism subscriptions, so I’m hoping that you do too.
If you’re struggling financially, but want to keep receiving the newsletter, email me and I’d add you for free, no questions asked. You can also donate a subscription here.
Join me in this brave new world! If you do, I’ll see you next week. If not, no hard feelings, and I’ll be back in your inbox on 3 October.
This week I’m…
Eating the last of the blackberries and looking forward to squash season
Working out which Vitamin D supplement to buy for the darker days. I like the look of this one, but I’m open to suggestions
Probably not spending £120 on Kate Moss’s ‘Sacred Mist’ thanks
Recommending rentrée-appropriate books. If ‘quiet quitting’ isn’t enough, read The Big Quit: How to ditch the job you hate and find work you love by Anniki Sommerville. If you want to be more resilient, try Fortitude: Unlocking the Secrets of Inner Strength by former Twitter VP and excellent Substacker Bruce Daisley
If you’d rather listen to this newsletter, paying subscribers can hear me reading it aloud below…