Overwhelmed by bad news? We've gathered together some feel-good stories, highlighting the weird and the wonderful
1. You can now gift a tree, and even watch it grow
We’re all trying to be a bit more aware of the world around us, and the ways that we’re able to make a difference to tackle global climate change. That said, so often we adopt different habits to try to help out, but we’re not always sure of the effect that these actions could be having – until now.
With the aim of helping people understand how they can help the world around them, Treedom is a platform where you can buy a tree remotely, watch it grow from a sapling to a fully-grown tree, and see how much CO2 has been
off-set by your contribution.
Supporters are able to pick their own tree variety – choosing from native varieties as well as fruit trees, from mango to avocado, coffee and banana. The journey is then documented with images and geo-tags, that allow supporters to watch while their contribution flourishes.
And the programme is making a real difference, with 1.5 million trees planted across 17 different countries so far. Beyond that, by working closely with local NGOs and smallholder farmers, Treedom’s trees bring both environmental and social benefits, leading them to estimate that they have changed the lives of more than 88,000 farmers.
Kindness doesn’t just grow on trees, but with a little bit of imagination, and a dollop of determination, projects like this are changing the world, one act at a time.
Find out more by visiting treedom.net
2. A helping hand for homeless people
Miley Porritt, a former rough sleeper, is making innovative blankets for homeless people by ironing together used crisp packets. The foil blankets help to preserve heat in sleeping bags, protecting those facing the harsh winter outside.
3. Gen Z are shunning fad diets
Gone are the days when a Pot Noodle and a beer classed as dinner, as new research says that Generation Z – the generation born between 1997 and 2010 – is more likely to be taking care of their health, prioritising sleep, and turning their backs on fad diets.
New research commissioned by global wellness brand Swisse Me revealed that a huge 95% of 18- to 24-year-olds are dedicated to taking vitamins, with 76% shunning fad diets in favour of healthy, sustainable practices.
Following a generation that has a party reputation (the 90s is known for its rave culture), Gen Zs are breaking with tradition. Results reveal that 73% of survey participants think diet and mental health has a direct impact on health and wellness.
And the days of sleepless nights and living on a few hours’ kip are firmly behind us. Half of Gen Z report mastering the art of getting eight hours’ sleep each night.
With a look to the future, Gen Zs confidently believe that they are far healthier than previous generations. Growing up in an era of social media and with toxic information at their fingertips, the latest research is welcome news, as we see a collective shift in our mindsets towards positively rebuffing diet culture, and redefining what good health means.
4. Nervous about needles?
We have good news. A recent study in the journal Emotion suggests smiling or grimacing could reduce pain when receiving an injection. While the two expressions might seem like polar opposites, the facial muscles involved are similar. Those with genuine smiles (wrinkles around the eyes and the corners of the mouth rising) and people grimacing experienced 40% less needle pain, than those with neutral expressions. It seems it’s worth showing how you feel, even when facing your fears.
5. Could working from bed benefit our mental health?
It’s something that many might have flirted with in lockdown, and a skill students have been honing for a while, but did you ever stop to think about how working from your bed could affect your psyche?
In light of the survey by uSwitch that found that 25% of Brits had tried working from their bed, mattress brand OTTY Sleep has been investigating whether ‘WFB’ (work from bed) is really as bad for us as we’ve been warned, and reached out to counsellor Kerry Quigley for more insight.
“Working from the comfort of your bed can feel like a safe calming space, particularly when anxiety is an issue,” says Kerry. “It can eliminate stressors such as commuting, distractions, and workplace politics. The removal of these stressors enables better time management, increasing productivity and job satisfaction.”
Of course, it’s important to set boundaries between your home and work-life, and your bed might not have the same ergonomic qualities as your desk chair – so make sure you avoid slouching. But for those who find the comfort of being in familiar surroundings soothing for their mental health, be assured that there’s nothing wrong with swapping corporate for cosy every now and then.
6. Walk it off
It’s well-known that nature can do wonders for our wellbeing but, more specifically, the Mental Health Foundation found that 62% of UK adults believe taking a walk reduced stress caused by Covid-19. Almost half of respondents also said that spending time in green spaces helped them to cope with anxiety related to the pandemic. Time to lace up?
Want to make a change? Search for a life coach using lifecoach-directory.org.uk