What We’re Loving This Month (July Edition)

by Caroline Leal | July 7, 2023
Article Tags:
Background media:

Welcome to the first installment of What We're Loving This Month ! From coast to coast to coast, summer is in full swing in Canada and so we thought it'd be a great time to start asking our Oxfam colleagues to share what is bringing them joy during their time off. This month, discover the magic of seeing the moon rise, read why productivity life hacks may be - gasp! -  a waste of time and hear from a self-proclaimed plant mom.

Almost30 Podcast

I started listening to the Almost30 Podcast in the pandemic and haven’t stopped since. This is my go to pod during my morning walks. Hosts Krista and Lindsey have hilarious, raw and impactful conversations around modern spirituality, health and wellness. They will make you laugh! You can find them on Spotify or anywhere you listen to your podcast.

Sara Hyder, Fund Development officer, Digital Marketing

Stand-Up Paddleboard

Photo: Lesya Kikh/Pexels

This summer, I have decided I’m a Stand-Up Paddleboard person. I have this vision for myself - water is calm and I’m paddling on the river watching the sunset. It always looks so easy and peaceful watching others. However, I am notoriously uncoordinated in activities that require balance. Over the summer months, I’ve decided to change that narrative, or at least give it my best shot. While, I’m yet to be the graceful paddler I imagined, my sights are set on a relaxing end of summer sunset paddle. My hope is that I will be confidently standing, and if not, I’ll enjoy toasting my efforts with a sundowner on my board. 

Jess Hum, manager, International Programs Operations

Four Thousand Weeks

I’m currently listening to an audiobook of ‘Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals’ by Oliver Burkeman.  It offers very little in terms of productivity tips lol but instead brings attention to how soberingly limited our time on Earth is (only 4000 weeks if you live to 80). The case made is that we’re better off making peace with the fact that we won’t get around to everything we hope to do, so that the things we do spend time on can be more meaningful.  Tall task I know … but it seems like sound advice.  If you’re mortal and like your self help books not so self help-y, this might be for you.

Matt Lee, manager, Monthly Donor Acquisitions

Stepping into self-care

Nirvana's son watches the moonlight by the water. Photo: Nirvana Mujtaba

Amidst the harsh realities of life, I figured that I lost myself years ago. I was so engaged in fulfilling my responsibilities as a mother, daughter and friend to my loved ones that I forgot how to make time for myself. Something that I like to do! Last year, I took a step back to reflect and reenergize. Guess what? My kids, family and friends still love me the way they used to! So, what did I do? The first question I asked myself was, “what do I really enjoy?” Nature, walks and road trips!

Last summer, we made 4 stops in 7 days driving more than 1200 kms around Ontario and Quebec. We went for walks and discovered beautiful sunsets and breathtaking water views. Baby steps I took to create everlasting memories with my two minions. Through this experience, I learnt that taking a step back to find myself was the best decision I have ever made. Highly recommended!  Now, my kids look forward to these walks where we enjoy immersing into nature.

Nirvana Mujtaba, Women's Rights Policy & Advocacy specialist

It's Not Racquet Science

Maria also enjoys tennis during her travels. Photo: Maria Aramayo

I think it’s important to keep ourselves physically active as much as we can. Particularly outdoors activities are great ways of enjoying the summer and get good dosage of vitamin D at the same time. There are many ways to do this, my favorite is playing tennis.

When I play tennis, I just feel that I’m totally immersed in the game, forget about everything else, release stress, use all the muscles in my body and share a nice moment with friends and tennis pals. After the game, there is always opportunity for a nice chat and maybe getting something to drink. In the Ottawa area, there are several clubs like the Rideau Sports Centre, Rockcliffe Lawn Tennis Club and the Ottawa New Edinburgh Club. There are plenty of public courts too if you want to play only occasionally at no cost.

Maria Aramayo, financial accountant

I'm not like a regular mom, I'm a plant mom

During the pandemic, I developed an interest that turned into obsession with indoor plants. I was pretty sure this was a phase and once lockdown restrictions were to be lifted and I'd be out and about again, these plants would've been forgotten, would've withered and died. Well ... it's been three years and the collection grew from a mere four to forty plus and the obsession stands strong. Some tips and tricks I have learned from my mom about healthy plant maintenance - she swears by steeped banana water and repurposing steeped tea leaves as natural plant fertilizers. I feel like I've definitely seen benefits. I highly recommend! 

Adiba Sheraj, funding officer, Program Development


Caroline Leal is a communications officer at Oxfam Canada.

Share this page: