We take 3 business women down Wellbeing Street...
Posted by Adam Meads
Take a walk down wellbeing street with Pip Black, Co-Founder of Move your Frame (a place to move, sweat and fuel) Lauren Armes, Founder of Welltodo (global wellness news brand) and Polly McMaster, Founder of The Fold (great designed clothes).
Christmas. Kids (and being woken in the night). Laughter. A glass (or 2) of bubbles. Celebrating not being perfect. And reading ‘The Night before Christmas ‘all year long! We asked 3, women, who are always on the go (they run their own businesses) what they’re dreaming of, this Christmas.
Q Pip. Move Your Frame. A gym/fitness company. Will you be ‘down the gym’ over Christmas? Why/why not?
A YES 100%. Because I love moving my body and if I don't do this then after a few days it makes me quite unpleasant to be around ;-) I’ll be taking my running buggy back to my parents so I can take the kids with me, Phin loves 'racing'. We always do the 5k Park Run on Boxing Day to brush away the cobwebs from the over-indulgence the day before, and rebounding before a night out is ultimately my number 1 top on how to have a good night out!!
Q Lauren. We’re big fans of Welltodo, it’s our go-to for all our wellbeing news! Will you be working over Christmas, or will you make sure you take a break?
A Thanks, NEOM. The love is mutual! I’ll be winding right down... It’s a privilege to be my own boss and I’m so grateful that I’ll be able to take some time out over the holidays as a result.
Q Polly. The Fold. A business for women in business. Will you be ‘doing business’ over Christmas?
A For both our team and also our customers, Christmas is really a time they spend with family and friends and not at work or even shopping for work. We try to respect this, and for example we don’t hold our sale until after the Christmas period. I think it’s nicer for that to be part of our customers going back to work, than disturbing the time off they have. They are all hard-working women!
Q You run your own business. Will you take down time over the Christmas countdown? How?
A Pip: Not really. January is a huge month for fitness, and especially for us as we have two new sites (Hammersmith and Fitzrovia) opening in January, so there's a LOT of prep to do. I'm lucky though in that I LOVE my work and we have an awesome team, so to be honest, aside from wanting to spend more time with the kids, I wouldn't really want to do anything else!
Lauren: I value down time so much after a busy year of being switched on and productive. Over the holidays I love journaling about my biggest successes and milestones from the year gone by and dedicating some time to read and plan for the year ahead. I’m a big believer in writing down goals and visions to cement them in my mind… and research actually shows you’re more likely to act on them if they’re penned to paper!
Polly: We try to get organised before Christmas so that we know what we need to do to service customers and keep our messaging relevant during the Christmas period. But once Christmas starts its relatively quiet and important for everyone to switch off. I can’t help but keep an eye in, but I’ve become better at not letting that compromise important family time.
Q What does the holiday period entail for you?
A Pip: The Christmas period has changed massively over the past 3 years with the arrival of Phin and Romy. What used to be about time and and resetting (and an occasional few party nights) is now about fun times with the family. Activities have turned from adult-friendly ones, to kid-friendly, which is actually so great as it really brings the joy back into Christmas - going to buy the Christmas tree and decorating it, wrapping presents for stockings, heading to the Christingle service are now all really fun again. PS this is all exhausting with 2 kids, so generally i'm dreaming of bed within minutes of getting them down!
Lauren: It means rest, relaxation, creative thinking, and lots of family love. My family are all in Australia but my boyfriend’s family are here in England. So Christmas will be a cosy winter affair with lots of good food, gifting, catching up and reflecting on the year gone by. Then we’re bound for sunshine to bring in the New Year in the southern hemisphere. It’ll be early morning beach swims, late night BBQ’s and time spent in between hiking and catching up with our loved ones.
Polly: Lots of time with family including mainly big meals! No doubt our daughter will be the centre of attention, and it’s always fun to have time to play games and relax together.
Q On your journey down wellbeing street which house are you unlocking this festive season?
A Pip: SLEEP... I have 2 young children - Phineus (3) and Romilly (5 months). Both just love to wake up throughout the night for feeds, to kick me in the head, or sometimes (lucky me) just for bants... Yep, the struggle is real, especially when work is so full on. I'm pretty good at getting by on zero sleep, something that I perfected in the early days of Frame when I would be there 7 days a week 6.30am - 10pm, but sometimes I do wonder how much more productive (and chirpy) I'd be if I got just 1 more hour sleep every night... So if you could sort that for me, I will love you forever.
Lauren: Definitely the House of Calm. It has been such an energy-filled, buzzing year of building, learning and growing – so I’m ready for a slow, snuggly, relaxing Christmas break with plenty of time to celebrate and reflect!
Polly:I’ll be unlocking he House of Energy – as the days get darker and chillier, it’s great to have an energy boost to keep momentum through to a busy Christmas. It’s a lovely time to see friends, relax with family, cook, eat, celebrate – so you want enough energy to enjoy it.
Q Which of the below best describes what you’ll be hoping for this Christmas? A restful Christmas. A relaxed Christmas. A merry Christmas. A energised Christmas.
A Pip: I'm looking for a Merry Christmas. With 2 kids restful and relaxed are non-starters, and actually I believe the most important parts of the Christmas period are the laughter and smiles and spending fun times with your loved ones. Plus last Christmas I was pregnant, so this year I'm looking forward to a glass (or two) of bubbles whilst watching the kids open their presents!
Lauren: A relaxed Christmas. I’m picturing lie-ins, slow walks, cosy fireside chats, long meals and plenty of R&R
Polly: A merry Christmas! It will lovely to have a few days to enjoy being together with family and friends, and enjoy some festive sparkle! I’m excited to decorate the house, cook some good food, and have fun spending time with my daughter who will be nearly 2 so just about old enough to enjoy Christmas festivities!
Q What NEOM products will you be using to make this your home this Christmas?
A Pip: The Tranquillity Scented Candle and Perfect Night's Sleep Pillow Mist. And Great Day Body & Hand Wash. If everyone washes their hands before dinner and is forced to use this, think of the positive vibes over the turkey!!
Lauren: I can’t wait to light the Perfect Peace scented candle in its gorgeous decorative cover… and slide into a warm bath to soak in the De-Stress Bath & Shower Drops. Anything lavender…. Ahhh!
Polly: I LOVE scented candles! So, lighting the Feel Refreshed candle will immediately lift the mood. Plus, when going out and about, or going from work to an event a quick spritz of the On the Go Mist will bring a little burst of energy to enjoy the evening ahead.
Q Our wellbeing mantra is Small Steps Big Difference. What does this mean to you?
A Pip: This is also something we preach at Frame too - it's so much more realistic to make small steps that are easy to fit into your daily routine, rather than aiming too high, failing, and then feeling down on yourself and ending up not making any change at all. So this is why I'm just asking for 1 hours extra sleep a night, because asking for more is unrealistic and actually just this will make such a big difference to how I feel. Same with exercise; choose something that you enjoy. Do something that makes you feel good. Make it your aim to 'move your body' every day, whether this is a 10 minute walk to the tube station, a full on HIIT class or a nice long stretch in front on the tv before bed. All these things will contribute to your wellbeing, and all together across the week will make a huge difference.
Lauren: It’s spot on. One of my favourite books is The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. In it, he talks about how to create powerful results from the simple daily choices and activities of your life… and it’s an approach that always works for me. It’s the difference between being stuck in a feeling of total overwhelm, and taking small daily steps towards your goals. I am a big believer in dreaming big and then taking consistent action to turn dreams into reality.
Polly: To me this is about patience and resilience. If you look only at the big goal, it’s hard to know where to start, and knock backs along the way can be demoralising. If you break things down into smaller goals and steps, it’s easier to stay motivated and pick yourself and carry on, and surpass the challenges on your way.
Q What NEOM goodie makes the best gift?
A Pip: Perfect Night's Sleep Pillow Mist! I know so many new mums - we all need HELP!
Lauren: The beautiful Christmas Wish Home Collection, but shhh…. Don’t tell. I love the idea of a gift of wellbeing; so anything that makes my family smile and feel nourished is a winner!
Polly: The Sleep Pillow Mist is lovely. How luxurious to fall asleep on a scented pillow!
Q Top tips that work for you, to keep it all together?
A Pip: - Get outside and get some fresh air - a family cooped up in a house all day is never going to be a good thing.
- Move your Frame - choose a form of exercise you enjoy and try to fit in around your schedule. The feel good endorphins will make a massive difference.
- Keep the kids bedtimes in check - it's easy to let them stay up late when there is so much fun stuff going on, but tired kids are not happy kids, which means not happy parents!!
- Allow yourself to over-indulge a little. A mince pie or an extra glass of wine isn't going to kill you. If you choose to have another, don't beat yourself up but embrace it and allow yourself to enjoy it!
- Put on good music and have a random dance.
Lauren: Well, I’m by no means perfect at this, but the things that work for me are simple daily habits: not starting the morning in a rush but instead carving out time to have a good breakfast, do some reading/writing, think about my plans for the day and then head out the door. I try and exercise regularly and practice meditation – but I’m also pretty easy on myself when I don’t get that done! The things I value are time with loved ones, reading personal development & business books, supporting my team, and working with incredible clients day-to-day.
Polly: It’s not realistic to never be stressed in today’s world. I like having days that are high energy and when you feel you achieve a lot, and I’m naturally an ambitious person. So, I like to have that feeling of momentum and progress! When it tips over to an unhealthy level is when you need to keep it in check. I’ve found that a few things have helped: getting into regular exercise, spending time with my daughter is a natural de-stress and an amazing change of pace that is very healthy, talking issues through with my husband, friends and family, and then – as you’ve said – breaking it down into small steps so that getting through a stressful period seems more manageable. Not to mention – taking some time to do some mindfulness (headspace app) with a beautiful scented candle!
To find out more about our 3 busy women, visit Move Your Frame, Well To Do and The Fold.