Spring into action by learning something new this April. Focus on your wellbeing, and find happiness in unexpected places…
Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning
by Tom Vanderbilt
When was the last time you learned a new skill? Perhaps you taught yourself to plait hair, or finally mastered the art of wall panelling. An exploration of our brain plasticity and how we learn, Beginners challenges the idea that learning new skills is something only children can do, and will have you juggling all of your new skills in no time.
(Atlantic Books, £16.99)
2. Put on a show
Yoga can be a really great way to switch off your mind, while keeping your body engaged. Why not find a willing family member and teach your own yoga class? Brush up on your technique with a few YouTube videos, and then try to replicate the poses well enough to teach others. Even if the technique isn’t spot on, you’ll all have a laugh trying!
(For inspiration, visit Yoga with Adriene on YouTube)
3. Lend us your ears
Since losing his brother and father in 2013, broadcaster John Offord has been on a mission to raise awareness about mental health issues, and has since begun hosting the ‘Different Minds’ podcast. Chatting to everyone from Chris Packham to Christopher Eccleston about the ways our brains can work, and how they deal with mental struggles, the podcast offers a wonderful insight into the human mind.
(Listen to the podcast on iTunes and Spotify)
The Good News Movement
If you constantly find yourself endlessly scrolling through Instagram, then perhaps it’s time to consider whether the accounts you follow are bringing you joy? The Good News Movement seeks to share only uplifting, sweet, and positive news. This is an account you won’t feel bad for getting distracted by.
(Follow @goodnewsmovement on Instagram)
5. Tech Tip-Offs
Learning a new language can be a great way to exercise your brain, but is often misunderstood as a huge endeavour. Duolingo gives you the choice of 35+ languages you can learn in small intervals, at any time. Using short exercises, and practice conversations, the app can help you progress in any language, from Russian to Japanese!
(Download from the App Store and Google Play)
6. Square eyes
It’s a Sin
Reknowned for his groundbreaking masterpiece Queer as Folk, screenwriter Russell T Davies OBE is back with a flawlessly executed five-part exploration of the Aids crisis. Following five friends living in London during the 1980s, It’s a Sin tells a compelling story of intense love, terror, and uncertainty, in a way that is equally emotional, raw, and funny.
(Catch up on All 4)
7. Out and about
Sometimes the simple things possess the most joy. Why not gather up some family members from your household for a game of frisbee out in the local park? Once you’ve mastered the technique, and have the frisbee moving through the air, try throwing it into the distance and running to catch it. A great, family-friendly way to get the heart pumping!
(Learn about more frisbee games at catchthespirit.co.uk
8. Treat yourself
ECOHOLIC Mother Reusables thermal bottle
As the days get lighter, and spring arrives, there’s nothing better than a long walk with a drink in hand. Reduce plastic waste, and keep your drink warm (or ice cold!), with an Mother Reusables thermal bottle. For every luxury bottle that is sold, a tree is planted, and all shipping is completely carbon neutral, so you can treat yourself and the environment, too!
(£32, shop online at motherreusables.com
9. The conversation
IBS Awareness Month
Irritable bowel syndrome is a common, but often misunderstood, condition thought to affect 7–10% of the population. As a nation, we shy away from talking about gut health, as if it is something to be ashamed of, but IBS Awareness Month aims to get people talking about the daily reality of living with the condition, so that people can get the support they need.
(1 April–30 April, find out more at aboutIBS.org
10. Get going
If you’re in need of a sweaty exercise session to get your endorphins flowing, Zumba will do just that. A high intensity workout to the beat of catchy songs, online Zumba fitness can get the whole family dancing around the room. With classes held almost every night, you’ll always find a time that suits you.
(Class prices start at £4, visit zumbafitnesslondon.co.uk
To connect with a life coach or discuss ways that you can work on your own mental wellbeing, visit lifecoach-directory.org.uk