If there’s one thing you know how to do, you know how to accomplish a lot. Every day you have a long list of tasks that you check off one by one. You get the meals prepped, you make the vacation plans, you get the chores done, you show up for your family and your boss and your friends and you are constantly doing. While it can overwhelm you sometimes, you also get an intense joy from accomplishing these tasks. You feel productive and calm when you can feel the Tetris pieces of your life falling into place. You may just be doing a small thing like cleaning the windowsills or sending a birthday card, but you do it all with intention and care.
And while you keep accomplishing things on your to-do list, you also know that it’s a never-ending list. That’s because it’s not a list, it’s a cycle. There will always be more to be done because there is a cycle of things to do, and cycles continue. So while you’re in the cycle of the day to day rise and grind, you might as well make it a little more beautiful. This is what we call handcrafting your life.
At KIM+ONO, we definitely have a soft spot for the handcrafted process. After all, our floral kimono robes are handcrafted by the same family of artisans our family has partnered with for decades in China’s Silk Village. And it was those artisan workspaces where founders, sisters Tiffany and Renee Tam, fell in love with the process of crafting traditional Japanese kimono. From that inspiration sprung their modern collection of floral kimono robes, plus size kimono dusters, and even men’s kimono robes and wraps. We know a thing or two about the value of handcrafted processes. So this week in the journal, we’re exploring how to handcraft the elements of your days to make for a beautiful and intentional life. Here’s how to craft an intentional daily routine:
The first act of your day can be a creative one. Making breakfast for yourself is a delightful and nourishing way to make a beautiful and intentional moment for yourself. Instead of grabbing for a breakfast bar, grab your kettle and put some water on for coffee or tea. You don’t even have to get out of your beautiful floral black kimono robe just yet. Stay wrapped up in silk as you craft an easy, filling breakfast for yourself. Even just cracking a few eggs with buttered toast does so much for your psyche (not to mention your blood sugar levels!). It’s a way to start your day with intention and focus your hands on a task.
Everyone needs breaks during the day. You can mindlessly scroll the internet, or craft a space that allows you to really take a break and reset. Whether you’re working from home and need a little off-computer time, or you’re mentally checking out of childcare tasks so you can come back full force, creating a breathwork space is a great way to craft a moment for yourself. You can keep it simple by slipping into your green kimono robe, finding a quiet corner, and doing some box breathing (4 counts inhale - 4 counts hold - 4 counts exhale - 4 counts hold). It’s as simple as that! When you wrap up in your plus size kimono duster, you’re telling your body it’s okay and important to slow down. And when you take some deep breaths, you slow your body down as well. Craft a break by getting in touch with your senses and your breath.
Bringing intentional and beauty to your work space can be an incredibly nurturing feeling. Since it’s where you may spend the majority of your week, handcrafting the space to be just what you need is an act of self care. Clear off your desk and declutter your space to relax your eyesight. Play music that makes you feel calm and productive. Write with a pen that you love to use in a journal or appointment book that makes you feel organized and together. Bring your best floral kimono robe to the Zoom meeting and then let yourself be wrapped in silk all day long. Crafting your focused work area can help you feel the beauty in every moment.
Another beautiful way to craft your day is to create rituals at different moments of the day. When you finish your work day, whether you’re commuting from downtown or your home office, give yourself a chance to really end the day. Get changed into your floral kimono robe, light a candle, and make a pot of tea. Do a closing ritual to your day to really finish it (even if you check emails later — which we hope you do not!). This ritual will help your brain detach from the work of the day and reattach to the moment itself.
Everybody deserves a support system. So while you’re running around and supporting everyone else, make sure you’re also supporting yourself. Getting a team of healthcare professionals, a counselor, or even just a meditation practice can go a long way to making every part of your day more beautiful. While we know that the small everyday acts like wearing your green kimono robe can make you feel better in an instant, it’s also the long term care from a therapist, advisor, or practice that allows you to feel as good as you can every single day.
How do you handcraft your day from start to finish? Do you meditate in the morning? Do a morning beginning of the workday ritual instead of a closing end of day ritual? All of these choices are just more ways you can craft a routine and daily schedule that feels like you. And before you know it, those days will add up to a beautiful life.