We won’t lie to you, reader, this week has felt…long. Like wading through treacle, stubbornly and fervently at first, only to give up and feel like taking a long nap shortly afterwards. Or long like those interminable lessons back in school, those never-ending minutes of staring at the clock, internally pleading the hands to just please hurry up and let us get back to the important stuff (read: spice girls routines, flavoured lip glosses and fiercely debating over who was the most snoggable member of Blue – Duncan, by the way, always Duncan). Local lockdowns, tightened restrictions, concerns for ourselves, those we love, our jobs and the world have us all spinning, spinning at the moment. Add to that the nights drawing in and the inability to wash out long evenings in the garden with a glass of wine to distract ourselves and, it’s fair to say, the whole nation is in a mood, perhaps an even worse mood compared to the beginning of lockdown in light of the sobering new financial, political and personal realities we are facing every day.

We, like the rest of us, are trying not to dwell, trying to look for the positives (because personally, we find that, there are always small joys in the bleakest of situations) but, of course, we treasure honesty and transparency above everything. For this reason, instead of our usual Three Beautiful Things of the Week post, we’ve settled for sharing Three Small Joys that are getting us through right now. This feels more appropriate, more sincere and, we hope, more relevant to the situations we are all experiencing right now. Our social media is a wave of friends worried about jobs, our phones a furious flurry of notifications from the News app following with what feels like a new announcement every couple of hours and, would you look at that, we can’t remember the last time we had the attention spam or mental clarity to finish a magazine from cover to cover, let alone a book. Our three small joys are, in all honesty, what feels accessible and enjoyable right now and we hope these encourage you to look for your own and, why not, share them with us:

(Picture via @rose_sgueglia)

The First Hot Chocolate of the Season – While it feels like a surreal phase in all our lives, and the concept of time a long-gone memory, we are still head over heels in love with Autumn and savouring every second. Our soft, light-enough-to-wear-with-a-blazer or coat jumpers have made their debuts, we are on some sort of obsessive neighbourhood-watch-style stalking of all the trees in our local park to make sure we don’t miss out on the leaves changing colour and you can bet that next week will bring the very first hot chocolate of the season. We have our eyes on the Secret Garden Cafe’s one with made with dark chocolate buttons – we’ll report back, rest assured.

(Picture via @secretgardencf)

Keepin’ things moving – With the threat of another lockdown, the days getting shorter and new restrictions being thrown at us continuously, we would all be forgiven for wanting to get under our duvets, having a big nap and not waking up until Boris confirms that 2020 is well and truly over. However, following this honest post from Joe Wicks (another small joy has to be the honest conversations well-known personalities are having around the importance of taking care of our mental health right now!), we vow to exercise regularly, if only for the endorphins. It doesn’t have to be a marathon or a full-on Hiit – even a little yoga, a fun dance class (which you can read about in our last post) or a little walk (to grab the afore-mentioned hot chocolates!) can help break up the tension acquired in the day and give us a new (ish!) perspective.

(If you’re searching for a new dance class you can enjoy at home, you can read our latest post here).

Finding Joy in the Indoors – With talks of another lockdown, we’ve been thinking about compiling a little list of the things we might like to do or haven’t had the chance to do as we’ve eased into our new normality of working again, seeing friends for socially-distanced catch ups and eating out to help out to our heart’s content. Firstly, there’s the books and films – the season simply calls for The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende and our annual re-watch of Practical Magic. Series-wise, we’re escaping to Stars Hollow and re-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Then, in terms of magazines, our all-time favourite, Stylist , is back with a print version we can enjoy from the comfort of our home – no more battered, germ-covered copies from the tube being sneaked into handbags and we couldn’t be happier. We’ve bagged a yearly subscription for £18 and we’re pretty chuffed with this little treat to see us through the winter.

We hope you have a lovely weekend. We will spend hours checking out from socials and the news whenever possible and trying to recharge a little. Why not join us and try to jot down three small joys that are keeping you going right now? As always, take care and keep safe and, if you need an extra hand or support, don’t hesitate to reach out to family, friends, loved ones or utilise mental health resources available to you. We can do this, we’ve got this, let’s look after ourselves and each other.

Big, big hugs,

The Squiggles Team X