Finding joy in the small things can make hard times a little easier.
The past year has not been easy for anyone. Health is at the forefront of our minds but many of us have also suffered with financial worries and employment problems as well as being isolated from our family and friends.
My own personal battle with illness has thrown me backwards. My eyesight has been seriously impaired and I haven’t been able to read or use the computer without it causing discomfort and pain. I have had to keep myself busy in other ways, put the laptop and mobile phone to one side and try to maintain good mental health and stay positive.
I thought I would share a few things that bring me joy in these tricky times.
FEEDING THE BIRDS
This became one of my ‘little joys’ during the first lockdown in March 2020. I found a cheap bird feeder and stuck it onto my bedroom window. I moved house last October, I now have a feeder on my kitchen window and keep it topped up. There have been a few quiet spells, but a wide variety of birds gather to feed from the four different feeders I have on my balcony. Now is a great time to start, the winter months are harsh for our feathered friends and they must build their body weight to survive until spring. Keep the feeder clean with regular washing and try to provide a good variety of seeds and fats. It is possible to make your own bird food or cake but may stores have a good, cheap selection of pre made treats. Try this if you have time-
I have previously mentioned my love of a good loaf, but now I am trying my best to cook as much as I can from scratch. This can be time consuming but I also find it enjoyable and a lot healthier than relying on pre packaged foods or overly processed convenience goods. Living in the countryside, two miles from the nearest shop and six miles from a town, I can no longer ‘pop out’ for a cheeky lockdown takeaway. I have started to experiment with my favourites, Indian and Thai curries, Chinese stir fries and even the occasional pizza. I’m no Nigella, but I’m now enjoying the meditative process of cooking something as well as eating the results.
I have been a fan of audio books for almost ten years, but this type of entertainment has been a godsend in the past four months. Without reading, I am lost. I live alone, so listening to an audiobook has been company in my little flat. There are huge varieties of books available, apart from bestselling novels there are short stories, non fiction or even plays. You don’t even have to subscribe to a company like ‘audible’, there are lots available from your local library in the UK, check this link for details –
Marie Kondo has a lot to answer for! When I moved house I began to really question the amount of stuff I needed. I have a tendency to hold on to clothes for the nostalgic value rather than the possibility of ever fitting into them again. I got rid of all my excess goods and de-cluttered all areas of my life. If it doesn’t ‘spark joy’, let it go! It is a work in progress, but it’s very cathartic and makes living in a small space a little easier. Try the KonMari method with a binge worthy TV show on Netflix or this –
CALLING FRIENDS AND RELATIVES
Such a simple thing, given all the technology that we have at our fingertips these days and yet, when was the last time you called your Aunt/Grandpa/distant cousin? Don’t forget that many people are alone during lockdown and a quick call could really lift someone’s spirits and make their day. It is lovely to hear from an old friend or catch up with a pal you can’t visit during this period of restricted movement. Making someone else smile will make you happier too.
Please drop a line in the comment box and let me know how you keep busy during your down time.
Take care and stay safe xx