The Magpie Anthology

(Good) Things to do in January

With the world as it is and many of us working from home and not getting out and about as much as we’d like to, there is still lots that we can do not just for ourselves but for others too this January. Acts of self kindness and kindness towards others are brilliant for making the world seem like a better place – never more so important than now. Here are some ideas to get you started…

Donate: So many charities have suffered during the past year from lack of donations and events being cancelled. Set up a monthly standing order for whatever you can afford and help your favourite charity out – every little helps.

Donate: Keep giving to your local food bank. There are hundreds of thousands of people who are struggling and in food poverty. It doesn’t have to be much – a box of cereal, a tin of beans or a bottle of squash will make a difference.

Recycle: Lots of us were lucky to get books for Christmas – and once you’ve read yours, why not send them on to friends who you think would enjoy them with a little note saying why you did. You could even add a homemade bookmark – even something as simple as a pretty piece of ribbon.

Feed: The birds. Hang up a bird feeder with peanuts and fat balls and watch your feathered friends enjoy them. You’ll be amazed at all of the different species that you’ll attract!

Talk: Many of us have friends or relatives who are home alone because of quarantine, shielding or who are elderly or working from home. Arrange to give them a call and see how they’re doing – you may be the only person they speak to that day so, keep in touch.

Send: A treat to someone you know. It could be a bar of chocolate, a bunch of flowers or something nice for the shower. It’s not about the amount it costs but the unexpected thought that counts.

Unearth: All of those craft projects you never quite got round to finishing and revisit. You know that macrame plant holder will be invaluable come the summer…

Cook: For many, cooking is therapy and it doesn’t have to be fancy schmanchy – make a giant pot of minestrone or a warming slow cooked stew and if you’ve got neighbours who can’t get out, perhaps a portion for them too, left on their step.

Walk: Despite restrictions we are still allowed out for a walk – so take full advantage. If you’re lucky enough to be in the country or beside the sea then you’re covered but even in the most urban areas there are green spaces so get out and make the most of them. You’ll feel better mentally and physically for it.

Plant: Get out the seed catalogues, buy your summer flowering bulbs and get thinking about where you’re going to plant them. Plant a pot of fragrant bulbs up for a friend and they’ll really appreciate the thought.

Feed: Many zoos and animal sanctuaries are run as charities and struggle with a lack of visitors and donations. Find out what your local one needs and donate fresh and tinned food – the animals will really appreciate it and most places have drop off points outside where you can make your donations. Useful also for future gluts of fruits and veg!

Whatever you decide to do for yourself or others, stay safe and look after yourselves.

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