Love List: 7 Favorites from January

This month has felt like the longest month ever. Has it been the same for you?

I usually try to take some time in January to do some intention setting for the year, but beyond doing a little bit of reflection on the past year, I haven’t really gotten around to doing much of ‘looking forward’ yet. My health has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride, so that’s been foremost on my mind.

My favorites from this month actually sort of reflect that – I found myself seeking a lot of comfort in relaxing hobbies and simple cooking, and at the same time, I realized that for me to fix this persistent feeling of not feeling 100% okay, I do need to make some serious changes in my routine and habits.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful in your own life, no matter whether you managed to rock January all guns blazing or burrowed down and leaned heavily into comforting things.

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1| The Lost Daughter

Based on a book by Elena Ferrante, it’s a bit slow to build up, but so very expertly woven. It follows the story of Leda (Olivia Colman) as she becomes involved in the lives of a mother and daughter pair on a vacation. It forces her to look back at her own life and how she navigated her motherhood journey, fraught with both joys and frustrations.

The performances are brilliantly nuanced, and you can feel the tension ratcheting up as the movie progresses. It’s a somewhat difficult movie to watch – it asks us to revisit our judgments of what a perfect mother looks like as it presents a version of motherhood that is neither exalted perfection nor abject cruelty or indifference.

2| Atomic Habits

I know the book’s been around for a few years now, but I finally got around to reading it in full after three (!!!) previous aborted attempts to do so. I guess sometimes things (in this case, the book) find you only when you are ready to accept the lesson.

I wasn’t a stranger to James Clear’s works though. I used to read his blog and also subscribe to his newsletter (which is brilliant, btw).

Coming to the book – it was everything I expected and more. He breaks down the art and science of habit formation into simplistic language (sometimes a little too simplistic, perhaps!) and puts it all together in a compelling enough package to actually make me want to change certain habits of mine.

There are lots of actionable gems in this easy-to-read book – I am putting together a longer post where I talk about them in some more detail.

3| Fennel Tea

One of my cousins suggested drinking some fennel water every morning (basically, fennel seeds soaked overnight in water) and then I came across this post on Instagram by Kamana Bhaskaran where she talks about having fennel tea after meals for solving digestive issues.

I am not the biggest fan of fennel seeds tbh but I was kinda ready to try anything at this point. I have to admit – this little tea ritual has helped me a lot in the past couple of weeks and I love how soothing it feels on the whole.

(image via Kamana Bhaskaran)

4| Panasonic Rice Cooker

I ended up choosing this one with 16 pre-set programs and it’s seriously made cooking rice such an easy, hands-off experience. After some trial and error, I’ve even figured out how to make khichadi in it, cooked to just the right kind of gooeyness that I prefer.

I tried this recipe too and it turned out fabulous!

5| Fitbit Luxe

My main reason for getting a fitness tracker was to count my steps, keep an occasional eye on my heart rate, and to a lesser extent, track my sleeping habits. I didn’t need anything more complicated, which is why a smartwatch seemed like too much of an overkill. And yes, I know, even our phones are able to track our steps, but I felt like there were too many ‘lost’ steps with just relying on my phone.

The Fitbit Luxe is perfect for my needs – it’s super sleek and does its job well. Wearing it gives me that extra boost to move around a little more than usual, knowing that it will help me hit the star mark on my daily steps count.

6| Wordle

I can’t believe what a hot rage this game has become, and this tweet and then this one totally crack me up!

Which leads me to the most important question now: what’s your best starting word? I can’t say I have cracked the code yet but ‘noise’ and ‘poise’ seem to work best for me.

7| Magic of I Planner

But 2022 might just go down as the year that I finally end up using my physical planner. Admittedly, I am not using my Magic of I planner as an actual planner – it’s become more like a daily gratitude journal. And on days when I am feeling particularly low, each daily entry has enough space for me to record my thoughts/feelings + write down my daily thanks.

It’s a gorgeous little planner (the artwork is truly stunning!) and there are a lot of astrological insights that you can use to make your days better. The paper is just the right amount of thickness and the planner itself feels luxurious. It’s become more of a journal and diary for me though and I probably love it so much more for that!

(image via Magic of I)

So there you have it – a short and sweet list of my favorites from this past month! I’d love to hear what yours have been!

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