Try saying that fast! Since today is the 1st of March (and in my opinion the beginning of Spring) I decided to reflect on some of the #littlethings that I enjoyed most last month. This February was longer, stormier and wetter than usual. One look outside and I wanted to stay curled up in a duvet all day, dreaming about sunshine. However, staying grateful for the small positives in every day helped me to weather the gloom and actually enjoy the dark evenings. No pun intended. So, let’s get into the list.
1. The Happy News (£3.99)
This is a newspaper that celebrates the good things happening in the world. Emily Cox, the founder says “we aim to bring a refreshing twist on what we typically know as 'news', reporting on positive changes and truly inspiring people.” We need to be more conscious of what we consume, especially the real-world stories we watch or read about. Much of the media celebrates negative and tragic news which subconsciously encourages a pessimistic outlook on the world. While it is important to be informed, it is equally important to share the inspiring and uplifting things people are up to. The Happy News does just that, and is only £3.99 for a three month subscription. This newspaper is published on a quarterly basis, so I tend to pick it up and read small chunks of it at a time. It also makes perfect wrapping paper once I’ve finished with it.
2. Just Break Up Podcast (Free)
I initially got into this podcast after going through a breakup in June, but it’s so good I haven’t stopped listening! The hosts Sam and Sierra have such a beautiful friendship which shines through every episode. While they don’t claim to be experts in love, they answer relationship questions from their listeners in a thoughtful and emotionally intelligent way, often making me laugh out loud and splutter coffee everywhere. Lots of the language they use comes from years of therapy and has empowered me with new vocabulary and perspective when navigating my own relationships with friends and family. I recommend this podcast to everyone, you do not need to be in a relationship to benefit from it. I listen on Spotify, but you can also tune in on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and via their website.
3. Peanut Butter Stir Fry (£2)
I was inspired by Madeleine Olivia’s recipe here which supposedly costs around £0.90p per portion if you shop at Aldi. The nearest shop to me is the Co-op, which brings the cost up to around £2 per portion, but it’s still very much worth it. I’ve been cooking this dinner at least three times a week throughout February and I’m loving it. Essentially, fry the vegetables below with the spices, add the rest and then serve and devour.
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp chilli flakes (or more if you like it spicy)
¼ bag of frozen peppers
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 cup soy milk
1 packet of noodles (300g)
Good dash of soy sauce
4. Rowena Tsai’s YouTube Channel (Free)
I recently stumbled upon Rowena’s YouTube and became immediately hooked. Her videos are about self improvement, self care and productivity. They are so gentle and calming to watch and leave me feeling inspired to learn more about myself and the world around me. One video I particularly enjoyed is about setting systems rather than goals and creating productive habits. After watching it I bought the book Atomic Habits by James Clear which I’m currently reading and learning a lot from. I’ve linked the video below if you want to check it out.
5. Insight Timer (Free)
This is a meditation app available for iPhone and Android. Insight Timer has a huge, free library of guided meditations, music and talks. Purchasing the premium version unlocks the themed 10 day courses, but I have never felt the need to upgrade as there is already so much choice. The benefits of meditation are well documented and include reduced stress and anxiety, improved sleep, boosted mood and more compassion. I definitely notice a difference in my mental state when I make time for it, and find drifting off to sleep so much easier. I’ve listed a few of my favourite meditations below.
Bodhipaksa - Six Element Meditation (Interconnectedness) I’ve never made it to the end of this one! Bodhipaksa’s voice is so soothing that I’m usually asleep by the third element. A great meditation for grounding yourself into your body and relaxing.
Jennifer Piercy - Healing Darkness for Sleep
This 30 minute meditation helps me let go of the day and ease into a restorative sleep. A great one for unwinding the mind from stress.
Andrew Johnson - Deep Sleep Meditation
Again, Andrew’s voice is so soothing I haven’t made it to the end of this one. There’s something about the Scottish accent that I find incredibly peaceful. Andrew also has a number of bedtime stories including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Wizard of OZ which are excellent.
Let me know if you give any of these February Favourites a go, and tell me what you were loving last month! I am always on the look out for more little things to get excited about.