4 changes for a productive new term for mothers
September is on the horizon and no matter how many years it’s been since we left school, we still see this as a ‘new term’ – a chance to take stock, set goals, reinstate schedules that have been side lined by school holidays and in short, get back to business. It’s inspiring to see the evolution of flexible career opportunities and in the UK, almost a quarter of mothers choose to go back in to full or part-time work – an increase of one million in two decades. Some of the most successful ventures were set up round the kitchen table (Mumsnet) and the rise of technology means it’s possible to weave in a career without disrupting family dynamics. At Grace, we have long championed mumtrepreneurs and as a new term starts, we’re reminding ourselves of the daily essentials for working effectively while maintaining a positive, productive headspace. Grace itself, has been carefully designed to offer a cool, calm environment to work in. It’s not enough to provide WIFI and strong coffee; when it comes to enhancing your work performance, seamlessly blending wellbeing into your daily routine can make a significant difference.
Four changes to try for a productive new term:
Nutrition is not about fitting a particular dress size; eating well improves cognitive function and productivity, increases energy levels and elevates your mood. Oily fish like salmon is high in omega 3, while eggs are a good source of B6 and B12, folate and choline – both great choices for improving brain health. When energy levels dip, opt for green tea or dark chocolate to increase brain function and regulate mood. No time for food prep? Look for healthy takeaways like Grace to Go; we deliver perfectly balanced meals to homes and offices across Kensington, so breakfast, lunch, dinner and even smoothies and snacks are on hand to provide a serious nutrition hit.
2. Brain Breaks
Goldie Hawn champions this concept in schools and it should be deployed in business too. Taking regular, short breaks to get fresh air and move the body is essential for circulation, oxygenating the brain and keeping creativity flowing. You’ll be surprised by the energising, calming effect even 5 minutes can have. Base yourself somewhere that offers a stimulating alternative when you need to take a break. At Grace, members opt for twenty minutes in a peaceful corner of the salon or even a workout – because research shows short, sharp bursts of exercise can make a difference to fitness, health and waistline (hence our 30-minute personal training sessions).
3. Working out works
On the subject of exercise, it’s been shown that employees who exercise at work are more productive, happy, efficient and calm and Google was one of the first businesses to successfully introduce fitness classes for staff (look out for the Grace team training together too!). Choose a gym that’s convenient and has classes at times that suit your schedule – it’s the only way you’ll feasibly fit a workout in. Lots of members make Grace their base for the day because workouts can seamlessly become a part of the agenda – be it a high intensity class before a breakfast meeting, or a personal training session to boost endorphins when brain fatigue sets in mid-afternoon. Increasing your heart rate – even for a short period, will pump fresh, oxygenated blood into the brain and improve cognitive function.
4. Grow your network
Never underestimate the value of sharing ideas and being inspired by those around you. Each day Grace CEO, Kate Percival, meets with a myriad of practitioners, business women and philanthropists – many of whom are members – or their friends or colleagues. Whenever and wherever you are, be open to meeting new people – they might become your tennis partner or an investor. They might be able to introduce you to buyers or recommend suppliers, provide you with a venue for your venture or introduce you to a book group – further growing your personal network of inspiring friends. It’s why we created social spaces at Grace and host a variety of events, that will attract women from all walks of life. So many women let their guard down and relax in the sanctuary of the Club, which is when honest and open conversations happen, and real relationships are formed. We’ve lost count of the number of collaborative projects that have been borne of members meeting over coffee, at an event or even during changing room chat!