Here at Grain Traders, we often talk about feeding people right: this means no processed or frozen food, but taking the time to slow-cook our dishes, in small batches, all with the love and care that usually only comes with homemade meals that we don’t often have the time for, nowadays.

The spirit of doing things right extends to so much more, however. It’s about treating yourself right as well, whether it’s taking that one hour of your lunch break to catch up with friends at a place that you know will deliver quality, consistent, wholesome food, or making time to spend with family, or just yourself. As we enter the new year, consider this our resolution of sorts: to do things better, and to treat ourselves and each other right. Don’t know where to start? From our very humble point of view, here are three things we think you could give a go:

1/ There’s nothing wrong with being alone.

We spend so much time with other people—in meetings, online, over the phone, through social media, gatherings, events—that sometimes it’s wise, and even necessary, to take some time off for yourself. Don’t think of it as anti-social behaviour; think of it as a moment to pause and be with your own thoughts for a while, even if it’s just a 10-minute coffee break or an hour-long lunch. Put your phone away—surely some things can wait—watch the world go by, truly savour each mouthful, and recharge for the rest of the day or week. 

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2/ Write.

You don’t have to be a Literature major or a poet to write. But write what? Anything, and everything. Everyone’s so attuned to the digital world and technology that we’ve most likely forgotten the feel of pen or pencil on paper, and of penning down thoughts that are our own and not imposed upon us by social media feeds or the constant update of news. To start, we find it almost therapeutic to simply write down the day’s events, what we’ve learnt and observed, much like the diaries we used to keep as kids. 

3/ Find something different.

A lot of times we become trapped in the everyday: we tune out of the mundane repetition of commuting to work, getting work done, and simply repeating until we get a chance to go on a holiday. We love travelling because everything seems new and enthralling—different cultures, food, places, people, buildings, sounds, smells—but it’s also possible to find something extraordinary in the ordinary, back home. You don’t have to travel out of town to feel that sense of wonder—all it takes is to keep an open heart and mind, and to constantly tell yourself to notice, and not simply look. Imagine yourself as a tourist in your own country: try something you’ve never eaten before; visit a part of town you’ve never been to; or take a different route to work. Sometimes all we need is a little change of routine to feel awake once again.

These tips might sound ridiculously simple, but oftentimes, the things that work best really are the simplest things. You’ll never know till you give it a go, and since the new year is all about new beginnings, here’s to a fresh start.

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