While your to-do list must be addled with Diwali shopping, meet-and-greets, and some non-fun work-related reminders, let’s bring you our to-do list for you this month.
1. Participate in the NaNoWriMo
With the beginning of November comes the internet-based National Novel Writing Month, with its singular crazy goal of encouraging participants to write a grand number of 50,000 words at the end of the month. It’s obviously excellent for the writer types, but I think it works very well for anybody who wants to give writing a go and has always been either too discouraged or too busy. What works best for NaNo is actually the discipline it creates. You return day after day to write a gruelling 1667 words. But it’s a task you set, independently. For yourself. So it’s also liberating while giving you a sense of community writing, otherwise never really provided.
The most exciting part? You never know what may happen! Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, along with many others, are NaNoWriMo novels!)
2. Grow some ‘tache
Now believe it or not, but there is actually more to Movember than your viewing pleasure, ladies. The first Movember (moustache-November) took place in 2003 in Melbourne, where founder members decided to grow facial hair in order to raise awareness and money for men’s health, focusing on prostate and testicular cancer. And now there’s an entire foundation built around it. You lads can do your bit by starting clean shaven on the 1st and growing and grooming your moustache for the rest of the days of November. For happier and healthier men around us, we can fund-raise and create awareness. The view doesn’t hurt either. Not one tiny bit.
3. Treat yourself to Frey’s Dark Lemon and Pepper
It certainly isn’t for all tastes, but Frey’s achieved an excellent balance here with dark chocolate, little morsels of lemon and acerbic pepper. After the bite of the bitter chocolate and pepper, the zesty flavour of lemon is like a surprise and makes for a lovely aftertaste. It’s not something many people would pick regularly, and this is why I recommend it. Think of it as baby steps – you’re doing something you normally wouldn’t, but also it’s chocolate, so how wrong could it be? Frey’s has a lovely Caramel & Pecan as well, which I heartily recommend. You could also try Ritter Sport’s Cornflake Bar if you like crunch and feel like something else other than the regular fruit and nut combinations.
What better time than Diwali to spread the love? It could be to your building’s lift-man, or to the children standing at traffic lights. It doesn’t matter where, and it doesn’t matter how many. And it doesn’t even matter what. Clothes, books, sweets, blankets or even cash – anything works. The point is to just help brighten the festivities for those who are less fortunate. The best part? You end up brightening up your own. Nothing feels better than giving.
Colouring for adults is now in vogue, and for damn good reasons. Colouring is an activity that requires repetitive motions, but is nonetheless a simple task. So while it is occupying our hands, the simple repetitive motions help calm the mind. Many people who find meditation difficult use colouring as an alternative, because concentrating this way is easier. That’s not to say colouring is akin to meditation. It’s not, but it is a creative endeavour that helps people find a space they can be comfortable in with their own thoughts. Because you’re occupied without being occupied, people find it easier to deal with negativity and their own feelings.
So while it may not be therapy, it still is therapeutic, and in my book, that’s good enough. There are apps for both iOS and Android – Colorfy is a good one. Also, if you think you’re a muggle! There’s a Harry Potter Colouring Book for Adults, which is out on the 5th of this month.
6. Listen to Adele’s Hello
Adele’s songs have a very every-woman feel to them while being shamelessly personal, and it’s this quality that serves Hello as well. It starts slow, almost tentatively, but builds up compellingly. The lyrics are trademark Adele, hinting at love and loss with a serving of wit. If you’re looking for novelty, this is probably not the right track, but it has her smoky voice and a lot of heart and heartache. And for that alone, it’s worth a listen.