If we haven’t mentioned it before on this blog, R.R.Memorandum is an autistic owned brand. As such, it isn’t simply a case of being able to run the brand non-stop. Although we are nearly always busy at the moment with preparations for the future of R.R.M, it is so important for us to take time to recuperate from long working hours. However, switching off from the daily responsibilities of owning a business is much easier said than done, especially when the mind is likely to obsess over the littlest details.
Earlier this summer, we made a video to celebrate Autism Pride Day, in which our designer Katherine talked a little bit about her life as an autistic business owner. The messages included in this video are so important to remember for everyone, neurodivergent or not: looking after your mind and taking time for you is as important as or even more important than working hard.
At R.R. Memorandum, and especially this summer whilst we have been so busy with our shop updates, events and preparing for our premier collections, we have tried schedule self-care into our lives as much as possible. Being lifestyle lolitas really helps with this: we always have a diary full of things to look forward to.
Meeting up with other frilly friends for a casual bubble tea, sushi and chats is a perfect way to unwind at the end of a busy week – however, even socialising can get super tiring. Especially if you're also the one planning the meetups. Likewise, being constantly plugged in to online socialising can be draining in so many ways!
Luckily, we try our best to put our self-care high on our priority list - and we have made a list of some of our most favourite ways we have been being mindful and finding joy and peace this summer!
1) Gardening/Gathering Homegrown Produce/Wildlife Watching
One of our favourite things to do in our downtime is gardening - especially growing herbs, vegetables and functional plants and flowers that you can do a lot with. Our designer, Kath, has her own garden, where she grows vegetables, fruits and a myriad of flowers, all of which she uses to make jam, preserves and baked goods. Even if you have a simple allotment, a window box, or a few succulents in your home, taking care of plants is a wonderful activity that takes your mind off the business of the outside world for a while.
We have also been very into wildlife spotting! A visiting hedgehog family has been the highlight of this summer for us, personally!
2) Listening to your favourite music (stupid dancing optional)
A good friend of mine enjoys lying in their bedroom in the dark with a calming red light and candles burning while they listen to classical music (they actually call this space their "womb-like environment"). For us, this sounds like heaven. But also, so does listening to Kate Bush and Adam Ant, doing stupid dances and forgetting all about our responsibilities for a while. Being able to let loose to some music is key when adulting gets stressful - and it's the perfect way to exercise for those perhaps not so inclined to going to the gym.
3) Going for a walk (frills optional, but encouraged) or exercising generally
We have found getting out on daily walked with Rolo (the R.R.M mascot) this summer the perfect way to unwind after a busy day of work. However, even if you don't have a furry companion to walk with, going for a walk alone or with a friend is perfect - getting out into nature will do wonders for your mental health, especially if you are stuck in an office or studio all day!
Frills are definitely optional if you, like Katherine, like to box! Yep, you read that right, box! Boxing is great for stress relief for Kath, in the same way as it turns out as J-Dancing is for me! J-dancing is super fun in and out of frills (though it can be a bit more sweaty while wearing EGL). We recently also went wild swimming in the sea, which was super fun and refreshing!
4) Crafting/making something JUST for the heck of it!
Adding the caveat "for the heck of it" comes from the fact that we know from experience that many frilly people have creative hobbies that they monetise. "For the heck of it" MEANS LITERALLY THAT. Just making something for your own personal wellbeing rather than pressurising your creativity for financial compensation for once (although that is always, always tempting if you are a fellow side-hustler). Bake yourself some bread or a cake. Make yourself a cute necklace. Paint in the park. Make something physical to express your feelings!
5) Kicking back and playing your favourite video game
As weird as it sounds, Kath and I have been really into playing Dead or Alive on XBox lately. In the same vein as Katherine playing her boxing game, Dead or Alive is a way to relieve tension in a safe and controlled environment through simulated fights between avatar characters. Plus, we both get a weird shot of nostalgia from the game, as we have both played it before when we were younger. If you like calmer games, we also highly recommend the likes of Animal Crossing. It appeals to all of the self-care things we have mentioned in this article, all rolled into one game, after all!
Of course, let's not forget the unlimited cups of tea you can make yourself, the baths you can have, the good food you can treat yourself to, the great books there are to read out there. Just try to appreciate the little things in life. We know we do!