Fri 02 Oct 2020
In this three-minute read, we look at ways to keep your body and mind active in October.
1. Plant some bulbs
Bulbs are easy to plant, can go in either the ground or pots, require virtually no looking after and pack a colourful punch. What’s not to like? Plant daffodils, tulips and hyacinths for spring blooms and alliums and lilies for summer flowers.
2. Play conkers
Every October, thousands of people flock to the village of Southwick in Northamptonshire to partake in that most British of pastimes: the thwacking of horse chestnuts. We are, of course, talking about the World Conker Championships which, due to Covid-19, have been cancelled this year. Nevermind, use your time wisely and get training for next year’s event.
3. Find a new nature trail
It’s eight months since the word ‘coronavirus’ entered our lexicon so no wonder we all feel a touch frazzled. Thankfully, walking in nature can have a restorative effect on our mental health and reduce anxiety and depression. There are some lovely parks and woodlands near Runcorn. Go for a walk in one of these beauty spots and feel reinvigorated.
4. Get drawing
The world’s largest drawing event, The Big Draw, takes place throughout October. It’s an initiative designed to encourage people of all ages to enjoy the simplicity of putting pencil (or pen, crayon or pastel) to paper. The theme this year is ‘A Climate of Change’. Let your imagination run free.
5. Start a nature journal
There’s a pretty little corner of the internet dedicated to nature journaling; the process of regularly drawing and writing about what you see in your natural surroundings. It’s a great way (especially for kids) to slow down and observe the changing world around us. Check out this guide from the Natural History Museum on starting a nature journal.
6. Move in a new way
If you spend your days sitting at a desk (or kitchen table) hunched over a laptop, then it’s time to get some of those neglected muscles moving. Discover the joys of doing a downward dog (yoga), mastering table top (Pilates) or getting better acquainted with your yin and yang (Tai Chi). Your body, mind and soul will say namaste (that’s thanks in yoga speak BTW).
7. Wine tasting online
Apparently, some of us have been (ahem) drinking more at home in recent months. If you veer towards the vino, then why not learn more about what it is you’re imbibing. A host of companies now offer online wine tasting sessions. They deliver a few bottles to your door, and then in a Zoom session a wine expert talks you through the finer details of the Cab Sav, or Sav Blanc, that you’re drinking.
8. Bake something from GBBO
Try to execute one of the really tough challenges that Paul and Prue gleefully set for Great British Bake Off contestants. Step out of your kitchen comfort zone and get rough with the puff, tinker with a tarte au citron or attempt to blitz a Schichttorte.
9. Learn a language
Perhaps you learnt a language at secondary school and haven’t used it since. Or maybe you have plans to hotfoot it to an exotic location when we are (eventually) done with Covid-19. Either way, why not use one of the many apps available (most with a free version) to brush up on your language skills.
I know 2020 has been an unusual year, but I’m determined to keep calm, keep active and keep people moving homes successfully.