by Jade Fothergill
Right, we’re going to be honest with you – we’ve been coping fairly well with the current lock down up until now, and the positivity on our social media from you lovely lot has helped, but we have had a few wobbly days lately and have felt much in need of a dose of cheeriness.
Here’s some ideas for easy, cheap or free ways to make yourself feel a bit better:
Revamp an old t-shirt or bleach a pair of jeans
Lots of people have been taking scissors and bleach to old clothes to revamp them as a new piece. It’s environmentally friendly, kind to the wallet and creative – what’s not to like? Tie dye is definitely in, and you don’t even need to be able to thread a needle: No sew ways to update clothes.
Paint your nails/toe-nails/someone else’s nails
An instant pick-me-up is bright, colourful nails – whether it’s on your hands or feet. Take a look at our blog for the latest trends if you’re feeling creative or just pick your prettiest pink and slick on a coat: It doesn’t have to be salon-perfect. Or for family fun, paint your partner’s nails or let your children paint your toe-nails in whatever colours they choose!
Watch wholesome content on TikTok
If you’ve never been on TikTok perhaps now is the time to get acquainted. As with any social media platform there are lots of weird and wonderful accounts to follow, but we’ve found watching a wholesome video or two can really bring us out of a funk – have you seen Quaren-Tina Turner himself, @austyn_farrell for example? Or the gorgeous mukbang videos of @hungry_fam? Guaranteed to make you smile.
Do one little task that you’ve been putting off (just one, and nothing too time-consuming)
Delete five email subscriptions you don’t need or want. Send that thank you note (even if it’s late). Go through your statements and cancel any old direct debits. Shred that pile of old paperwork. Iron that tricky blouse you love but you’ve been putting off wearing because it’s so wrinkled. Cut your dog’s claws. Weed one flowerbed. It doesn’t matter what it is, but if it’s been on your list for ages and you finally do it, you’ll immediately feel a weight off your shoulders!
Join Postcrossing and send someone a lovely postcard
Easy to sign up, free and a lovely way of feeling connected to the world, check out Postcrossing. With almost 800,000 members all over the world it’s perfect for those who love to get ‘real’ mail, but doesn’t involve the time investment a pen pal would entail. We sent our first card last week and had a truly lovely response from the recipient. Absolutely a ‘made my day’ moment for so little effort.
Cook, create or bake something that fills the house with fragrance
Smell is often the forgotten sense when it comes to feeling happy, but it can be a dramatic mood-changer. Think about your favourite smells and create, cook or bake something that evokes them – perhaps it’s the fresh tang of citrus in a fruity marmalade , the light, relaxing fragrance of lavender in an old-fashioned pomander or the warmth of cinnamon and nutmeg in a rice pudding dessert?
Grow some cress or mustard
Growing cress or mustard seeds requires no more than some kitchen paper and a few sprinkles of water every day. Kids find it fascinating and there’s something strangely fulfilling about checking on them every day, until they are ready to ‘harvest’ with the kitchen scissors and add into a yummy egg mayo!
Reread your favourite childhood book
What was your favourite book as a child? Mine was, hands down, The Secret Garden: The romance and sadness of it all, the joy of the children discovering themselves, the ultimate happy ending… (SIGH). Too lovely for words. Rereading it as an adult was a nostalgic, thought-provoking and comforting experience. Whether you loved the Mallory Towers series, binged on Roald Dahl or couldn’t get enough of Charlotte’s Web, you’re never too old to relive your love of a good book.
Clear out the bits and bobs drawer/cutlery drawer/your handbag!
We’ve all got that one drawer that has endless loose batteries, bits of string, keys that open goodness-knows-what and manuals to appliances we no longer own. Go through it and be merciless! If you don’t have one of those drawers (are you even human?!), then tidy your cutlery drawer or empty out your handbag of the receipts, toffees and lipsticks it’s accumulated. You just KNOW you’ll feel better afterwards.
Go to the Apples & Pears website and browse
Add your favourite item to your birthday or Christmas list. (Or even, if money allows, buy yourself that dress you’ve had your eye on!) There’s nothing more fun than a bit of window-shopping. We know times are tight, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead for future gift ideas when you’re next asked what you’d like for your birthday! (But with prices starting from just £7, you may find there is a dress or two you can justify treating yourself to right now!)
Let us know how you’re staying cheery – we love to hear from you.