After most of us were forced into a gentler, slower pace of life due to COVID-19 restrictions, the idea that we’re hard up against a cult of busyness isn’t lost on many. Why has busyness become such a badge of honour and what does it mean to your wellbeing? To unpack this topic, psychologist Claudia Hammond draws on ground-breaking research – ‘The Rest Test’ – the biggest global survey into rest ever undertaken. Rest (distinct from sleep) is how we unwind, calm our minds and recharge our bodies. Rest isn’t an indulgence; it’s a critical part of a well lived life. We need to start taking rest seriously as a method of self-care and this book outlines how. It explains why rest matters, examines the science behind the results to establish what really works and offers an accessible roadmap for a more restful and balanced life.
A&U Canongate RRP $29.99
Virtual challenges and real life medals
Is having a fridge within arm’s reach during months of lockdown making your clothes inexplicably shrink? Are you feeling bereft having lost the chance to travel to far-flung destinations in the foreseeable future? The Conqueror Virtual Challenge combines fitness with virtual travel by guiding you along virtual challenges of famous routes around the world. Ever fancy walking the Inca Trail or swimming the English Channel? Now you can, virtually, and with your real-life exercise contributing towards your achievement.
You choose a challenge, and then your everyday exercise (everything counts: walking, running, swimming, cycling, yoga, CrossFit, gym workouts etc) is applied against the route. As you exercise, you can see yourself advance along a map. As an example, the Great Ocean Road challenge takes you 240km along this spectacular route in Victoria. Each time you complete your exercise you advance along the Great Ocean Road. The challenges are a clever tool for maintaining focus and motivation, whether you’re training for an event or just want to have fun while keeping fit.
- Either sync with your favourite fitness tracker (such as a Fitbit or Apple watch) or log distances manually via the web or mobile app.
- Check out your virtual surrounds on Google Street View. See yourself and others on the map and directly on Google Street View.
- Each challenge can be completed over three, six, nine or 12 months. Choose a timeframe to suit your fitness level.
- Team up with mates or go it alone.
- For the competitive among us: view weekly, monthly and all-time leaderboards.
- You even receive a fancy medal when you finish!
Clever kitchen hacks
Store cut herbs like a bunch of flowers
Here’s a tip for making cut herbs last. Place them upright in 5cm of water just as you would a bunch of flowers in a vase. Change the water regularly and keep them out of direct sunlight.
Microwave lemons to release more juice
A lemon will release more of its juice if you microwave it whole and on high for 20 seconds before juicing it.
Easy peasy tomato peeling
Making a pasta sauce or salsa for tacos? It’ll be silkier without the tough tomato skin, but peeling a tomato can be fiddly. Using a sharp knife, score an X at the stem end of the tomato and then drop it into boiling water for 20 seconds, remove and transfer straight into iced water until cool enough to handle. Presto – the skin strips will easily pull away.