At ember, we love to join forces with like minded, incredibly talented women. When we stumbled across The Pilates Project (or TPP for short) we got very, very excited.

TPP, founded by the lovely Lily Baker and Laura Halls is an online wellbeing destination. A space where the girls share their passion for movement, wellness and community. Both girls are qualified Pilates Instructors (fabulous ones at that!) and teach all over the eastern suburbs of NSW.

We jumped at the opportunity to have the wonderful Lily write a blog post for us, focused on Getting Back into Routine Post Holiday. It also leans nicely into our next challenge - BODY RESET - starting on the 7th of February, which the TPP girls will also be joining! 

The Lovely Lilly Baker from TPP

Over to you Lily..

2022 - goodness gracious me! I truly feel like I am still trying to comprehend the absolute mayhem that was 2020 and 2021, yet here we are. If we haven’t met before, my name is Lily. I’m a Pilates Instructor, primary school teacher and content creator based in beautiful Sydney. I run a platform called The Pilates Project which is a female-focused online destination that revolves around movement, wellness and community. Now I’m not sure about you but I feel like I’ve been out of my regular ‘routine’ for SO long now. I think we can all agree that Silly Season (aka the party period that begins in November and lasts until February) and the latest COVID-19 outbreak has a lot of people feeling out of balance, myself included. Never fear! I’m here to share a few tips and tricks for getting yourself into that post-holiday routine. 

So what is a routine? A routine is a sequence of actions that you do repeatedly. There is a lot of chat surrounding morning and evening routines and there’s a good reason for that. Having a routine or daily rituals set in place is a beautiful way to create balance in your life and feel centered within yourself. However, in saying that, when you’re on holidays it can be so nice to throw routine out the window and adapt to whatever leisurely schedule your body has been craving! I know my holiday routine of eating, sleeping, swimming and drinking is very different to my typical day to day schedule! Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end including the summer holidays. So, let’s chat about the easiest way to ease yourself back into routine post-hols. 

Hack 1: Give yourself a buffer period

We all know that feeling of imminent dread you can get on a Sunday afternoon about the week ahead. Affectionately known as the ‘Sunday Scaries’. I’m sure we’ve all felt a similar feeling once we hop in the car to head home or once the plane lands post vacay. The key way to avoid the ‘scaries’ is to give yourself a buffer period between your holiday finishing and work resuming. This buffer period could be a day, a few days or even a whole week. A buffer period will allow you time to settle back into your non-holiday life. Allowing you time to enjoy being in your house and giving you an opportunity to unpack, clean, organise food, sleep and generally get your s*hit together. I vividly remember a time in 2020 where I had been on a big ski trip and despite knowing that I would be getting in very late the night before, I decided I would be fine to teach my regular Monday morning block of Pilates classes (5:00am-9:00am). The nightmare that ensued was arriving home at 1:00am, having no sheets on my bed, no clean activewear and an impending 4:00am alarm. Moral of the story - give yourself the buffer period!

Hack  2: Prioritise your sleep 

Ever heard of circadian rhythm? Circadian rhythm essentially refers to your 24-hour sleep/wake cycle. This rhythm can be impacted by so many things including light, your work hours, physical activity and general lifestyle. When we’re on holidays, our circadian rhythm can easily get out of whack and can leave you feeling not as well rested. So how do we get ourselves back into a good sleeping/waking routine?

1. Give yourself at least 30 minutes before you go to bed to start winding down. I know it’s easier said than done, but minimising your exposure to technology during this time will ensure you aren’t stimulating your brain when it should be doing the opposite. Use this time to have a sleep tea, read a book, journal, meditate or whatever else gets you in the zone to sleep. 

2. Ease back into setting those alarms! There is nothing worse than shocking your body with a 6:00am alarm after weeks of sleeping in. If possible, ease yourself back to your regular wake-up time. Simply set your alarm for thirty minutes earlier each day until you’re back to your regular wake-up. This will also help you avoid the afternoon crash that nobody wants. 

3. If you can, try to wake up with natural light in the morning. When it’s dark, your body naturally produces more melatonin (the sleep hormone) which is not what we want first thing in the morning. Leave your curtains or blinds  slightly ajar so that you can wake up with the sun and fresh air!

Hack 3: Get your house in order

If you’ve been away from your house for a couple of weeks, chances are it might feel a little unloved. Use your buffer period to get your house feeling zen. Do a big house clean, put fresh sheets on your bed, do a fridge clean and go through your mail. If your space feels messy and chaotic, chances are you’re probably feeling the same way. Your future self will thank you when your space feels clean, fresh and zen. 

Another one of those things that is easier said than done …  unpack straight away! Personally, I have to unpack my bags straight away or else that suitcase is staying on my floor for the week. I always try to chuck on a load of washing at the same time so that I know I’ll have clean clothes for the week. 

Normally after getting home from a trip, I’m very happy to have takeaway that night because I never want to do  grocery shopping after unpacking. The next day, I’ll make sure I fill my fridge with easy basics for the week so that I can throw together meals that I know are hearty and nutritious. I love having staples that I can mix and match to create different easy meals. I always have chicken, tuna cans, brown rice, pulse pasta, pesto, fetta, parmesan, sourdough, fruit and bulk veggies on hand. I’m all about quick and easy meals!

Hack 4:  Have something in the pipeline to look forward to

Ok, so the post-holiday blues can be so real! My mantra is to always have three things in the pipeline that you’re looking forward to. That could be your next holiday or could be as simple as a dinner with friends. My current pipeline joys are:

- A weekend on the South Coast with a group of my girl friends
- My friend Tilly’s wedding at the end of February
- The April school holidays! It’s not too soon to get excited lol!

Love Lily x 

If you'd like to experience the magic of ember and our challenges, we are launching our first challenge of 2022 on the 7th of February.

A BIG focus of this challenge - BODY RESET - will be setting good daily habits that allow you to get back into routine.

We are offering our ember and the TPP community the opportunity to join at a discounted rate, if you refer a friend, using the code BRINGAFRIEND. Head to www.emberpilates/join and enter the code to both receive 50% off your first month, on a monthly membership! 

We can't wait to meet you on the mat x

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