Week 3 (wb 20th April)
Welcome to Week 3 of ideas to keep you entertained, positive and stress-free during the current restrictions. Maybe you heard a mention of this newsletter and ideas on Radio Cumbria on Saturday!
Please do share with anyone who you think might find the ideas helpful. As always, we’d love feedback or ideas and thanks to those who have been in touch. It’s much appreciated. Just drop Marion or Brenda a line.
As before, two of these ideas require no technology at all, so no need to use the internet.
The Importance of TOUCH
As the Lockdown continues, those of us living alone may of course be feeling the loss of touch and affection. Whether from parent to child or grandchild, or vice versa, we can never underestimate the need for physical affection. Human touch is a basic human need, just as much as food and water; without it we simply cannot thrive. How can we compensate for this so that it does not damage our well-being, now or in the future?
If you have animals, petting them is a great help. But if you do not have family or animals around, you need to keep at least your sensory and kinesthetic 'muscles' alive. Do this daily, by touching things with texture! Most of us locally are in the fortunate position of being close to nature, so make the most of it by feeling and smelling the leaves, the flowers, the tree bark, as well as observing it. On a nice day, take off your shoes and feel the grass under your feet. Curl up under a warm fleecy or stand a bit longer under the shower, paying attention to the feel of the water on your skin.
If you're feeling a bit down, rub your palms together until they are warm and then place the balls of your hands on your closed eyelids. The warm touch will bring a sense of comfort and release. And of course you could give yourself a head massage, since we might be missing regular visits to the hairdresser! Doing these simple things will bring you back into your body and keep your senses alive.
Swap recipes with Friends, Neighbours and Family
This is a great way to keep in touch and expand your recipe list. You can have fun comparing results and tips afterwards. Many of us are getting fruit and vegetable boxes delivered by wonderful local suppliers. Often these include items we might not normally choose. Here is a recipe kindly shared by Carol McNeil for creative uses for spare courgettes. Short enough to talk through on the phone!
45Ogm courgettes (approx. 2)
450 ml chicken stock (or substitute vegetable stock)
250gm full fat cream cheese (Philadelphia), c. 180gm tub.
Tsp curry powder (or substitute garam masala)
Chop courgettes into big chunks, boil for 5 mins in stock. Liquidise/mash, stir in cheese and curry powder and serve immediately.
Thanks Carol, and if anyone wants to share a recipe drop us a line. You never know we might have a recipe book in the making!
Ted talks are a great way to listen to experts on subjects you are interested in. There are also of varying lengths if, like many, you are finding it hard to concentrate at the moment! You can sign up to have particular subjects emailed to you as recommendations based on your interests.
Check out www.ted.com
A Postcard from Paddington Bear
UNICEF, whose mission statement is 'For every child in danger' , is a worthy cause to donate to, especially at this time. If you sign up for a monthly direct debit of £8 (which can be cancelled at any time) UNICEF will send your child or grandchild, every month, a personalised postcard and lovely resources to, 'teach your little adventurer about how other families live around the world. There's a child's story, stickers, activities and much more to keep children, aged around 4-10, learning in a fun way even when out of school! They do note that, due to coronavirus there are slightly longer delivery times at the moment. But this could be something really fun to talk about with them on Skype or Facetime when their gift arrives.
Check out www.unicef.org.uk .
We hope you have time to try out at least one idea this week.
With the continued amazing weather, the bluebells are unfolding in a blue haze in our woods. I know not everyone get out to visit the woods at present, so I thought I’d share a bluebell poem – with credit and thanks to Felix Dennis. (www.felixdennis.com)
The Bluebell Wood
We walked within an ancient wood
Beside the Heart-of-England Way
Where oak and beach and hazel stood,
Their leaves the pale shades of May.
By bole and bough, still black with rain,
The sunlight filtered where it would
Across a glowing, radiant stain—
We stood within a bluebell wood!
And stood and stood, both lost for words,
As all around the woodland rang
And echoed with the cries of birds
Who sang and sang and sang and sang…
Marion and Brenda