At home with Amanda Jones
Our ongoing ‘JA At Home Series’ aims to unite women during this difficult and isolating time. It’s a way to share on our experiences, provide insights into our current lives and ways in which we are all managing, in the hopes that as a collective, we can stay connected from our homes and help one another through this. Share your experience
Amanda Jones is one half of the incredible creative studio, The Honest Jones that she founded with her husband Kristian. From their beautiful seaside home on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Amanda shares how she is staying positive whilst navigating her way through this unprecedented time.
How are you?I am well. I am in task mode, I have been getting stuff done all morning and it’s giving me energy.
Tell us where you are and what you can see? I’m at my desk, in my home studio. I am surrounded by books that I’m using for a very exciting new project and a cup of tea I just made myself. Kristian (my husband) is cooking us lunch in the kitchen, which is a perk of this lockdown and him working from home. Got to enjoy the perks amongst all the change and confusion.
What are you reading? Ironically I started a very old book by Dale Carnegie called “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” a week before the virus started actually having a real effect on our lives. Apt timing.
What are you listening to? Nothing super consistently at the moment, but I do love Donald Miller’s StoryBrand podcast, Pru Chapman’s One Wild Ride and a podcast called “No such thing as a fish” which is both brilliant and hilarious.
What are you watching? I am currently (re)watching episodes of the only show that I watch when my world is in crisis…Parks and Recreation. Amy Poehler is a genius. There is a scene from Parks for every moment in life. Season 2 Episode 23 the government goes into lockdown and Amy’s character Leslie can’t comprehend it. It’s actually the whole world’s vibe right now, wrapped up into one scene. Pure gold.
What are you wearing day to day? An oversized blouse from the 90s, it’s made of silk, white Deiji pyjama shorts and black velcro sandals by Teva. I like to describe my style as “Bizlesiure”…the more blurry the line between pyjamas and office attire the better.
Have you implemented some structure to your day? Or are you taking it a day at a time? Both! Maybe I like my lines blurry, because I love both structure and listening to my flow. I’m lucky to have worked from home full time for the last 6 years, so you kinda have to get good at this. The biggest difference at the moment is that my husband is also working from home, which is taking some getting used to! We are working on a new rhythm. It’s tricky, we are very different thinkers.
How are you keeping busy? Actually it’s been quite an abundantly busy time, I had to work on slowing down this week! My immediate response to the lockdown was to jump on the socials and help people! Even if it’s just by making them laugh so they feel a little less worried about it all. I started making silly films giving people tips on staying home well. I also held an IG LIVE breaking down our audio and film recording process so brands get can their biz online. Plus I’ve been FaceTiming all my friends and family every day. HA! So I literally had to start spacing out my deadlines and taking deep breaths.
Are you doing any at-home workouts? Barre Body Online! They are a client of ours and they have a great online portal of their classes, I’ve been using it for about a year. Kat-Lee is my go-to girl!
How are you staying positive? When I start to feel sad or overwhelmed, firstly I let myself cry. It’s a relief. Once I get that out of the way I find something nice to distract myself, maybe go outside and look up at the sky. Have you ever done that? It only takes about 2 minutes for your problems to start feeling smaller. Talking about it is helpful but I think you need to thoughtfully decide on the words you use. I find I can kind of grow hope in my heart by saying things like “You know what, it’s all going to be fine” and choosing to believe it. PS — it’s only taken me 32 years to learn this! I’m not a naturally positive thinker, I’ve had to learn.
How are you practicing self care? What are you doing to look after your mental health? The other night I was so overwhelmed I drew scribbles over about 50 pages of paper. Last night I baked brownies (from scratch because the pack mixes were all sold out). About three weeks ago I stopped reading the news and asked Kristian to let me know the important things. Which is not something I’m recommending for everyone but it is what my brain (and heart) needs right now.
What are you most grateful for right now? I am grateful for the big picture. I am grateful that I am used to big ebbs and flows of different seasons and that I don’t expect every season to be the same as the other. I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for FaceTime. I am reallllly grateful for my home. That it is safe and spacious and has a view of the ocean and being in lockdown here is actually quite lovely.
What are you most hopeful for? I’m really hoping people use this time to create. To work on a project the’ve been dreaming of but never had the time.
What has been the most unexpected blessing that has come out of this for you? All the people, like yourself, who have reached out to me with new things they are creating. There seems to be a lot of necessary creativity going around and I love seeing new things emerge.
Are there any goals you have set yourself? Hmm not really, I started to draw up a schedule for this time and I ended up scrunching it up into a big ball and taping it to the wall — as a reminder to live in the moment.
What are you most looking forward to in the future? To being able to travel again, to seeing my friends on the Gold Coast, London and LA.