For many people, the need to stay close to home and various stages of lockdown resulted in having the chance to slow down, rethink routines, enjoy more time spent at home and in making some deliberate choices about lifestyle – silver linings, if you like. As we get ready to enter a new year and say goodbye to one of the most trying years in recent history, it’s the perfect time to find ways to make the coming year a happy, healthy one with some beneficial New Year’s resolutions that you might actually keep 🙂
For those of us living in Grey County, this one’s a no-brainer. Take a walk down a county road, hike a portion of the Bruce Trail, plant a veggie garden – studies show that just about any outdoor activity you can think of will give your brain a chance to reset, refresh and re-energize. The important part is getting outside. During harsh winter weather this can seem less appealing but I’ve found that if you take the dogs for a walk, strap on the snowshoes or visit a local cross-country ski trail, you’ll soon appreciate your surroundings and forget about cold temperatures.
Government projections show that the average family of 4 will spend $1400 more for groceries in 2021. $1400!! And the items expected to see the highest level of price increases are red meat and poultry. While more people are moving towards a plant-based diet these days for health and ethical reasons, cost is maybe the most motivational reason of all to think about increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables in your family’s diet. If you’re like us and plant a good-sized veggie garden each spring (that would tick off 2 resolutions in one fell swoop!), with a little work and a lot of luck you’ll have a bounty of fresh produce in your own back yard to choose from throughout the summer months. And don’t forget, fruit and veggies can be preserved or frozen to last throughout the colder months. We have black currant jam, spinach, kale, rhubarb and beans in the freezer plus ground tomatoes and peppers perfect for whipping up a batch of home made tomato sauce or salsa.
One of the things I have missed due to Covid-19 is my gym membership at the Durham Fitness Centre. While the gym is open for business with Covid restrictions in place, we have chosen to get our workouts in outside or at home. There are all kinds of workout options available online these days, most of us have some kind of home gym equipment gathering dust in the basement that could be put to good use and there are other options such as renting fitness equipment from local facilities and/or personal trainers. We’re really enjoying using the water rower we just rented from Candie McCowan at Reviresco Fitness in Feversham. Living in Grey County means there’s no shortage of outdoor exercise options as well. Cross-country and down hill skiing are right on our doorstep, there are outdoor ice skating rinks in a few of the villages (Stothart Hall in Priceville has a great one), snowshoeing is a great way to see the fields and pathways in a new light and there’s no excuse for not making use of some of the wonderful branches of the Bruce Trail!
While many of us have been spending more time at home, one of the housekeeping chores that it seems many people are undertaking is decluttering and purging unnecessary items. We accumulate a lot of stuff over the years and from time to time it’s necessary to get rid of some of it. Kids outgrow clothes and toys, hobby equipment languishes in the basement or garage and kitchen drawers overflow with gadgets and doodads that looked like a good idea when they were purchased but now all they do is take up space. It’s hard to keep things neat, tidy and serene when there just isn’t enough space to contain it all and that can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety but often the things we want to get rid of are too good to throw out, which is why we haven’t already found something to do with them. Do a little bit of research before you start purging and locate organizations in your community that would be happy to accept your hand-me-downs.
Donate clothing, toys, books and smaller household items in support of Centre Grey Health Services and the Markdale hospital at the Penny Wise shop run by the Markdale hospital Auxiliary.
Donation bins for various charities are located at Esso gas station and the Munshaw House parking lot, both on Hwy 10 in Flesherton. These bins are primarily looking for clothing and soft household goods.
Support the ReStore / Habitat For Humanity Grey Bruce with donations of household goods, clothing, furniture, building supplies, tools, garden items.
The Grey Highlands Public Libraries in Flesherton, Markdale and Kimberley are still able to accept donations of books they can use to stock their shelves or sell in future fundraisers. Storage space may be limited though, so you’re best to contact someone at the library to make sure your donations are welcome.
Coivd has required that we give some thought to whether or not it’s actually necessary to leave home to restock our shelves and to our shopping habits in general. Restrictions and shut downs may have helped to keep us safe but they have been unfairly hard on small businesses. One of the things many of us love about living in Grey County is a wonderful sense of small town community and in many of the small towns, hamlets and villages, it’s small local businesses that contribute to the charm and character of the area. Those independently run shops and businesses need our support if they are to survive stresses such as Covid-19 and the influx of big box stores. The next time you need to run out to get a lightbulb, a gift item or a tasty dessert consider supporting a small business and shop local.