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Time To Talk Day 2018

Tomorrow (Thursday 1st February 2018) is Time to Talk Day. It’s a chance for all of us to be more open, to talk, to listen, to change lives. The more conversations we have, the better life is for all of us, and the closer we get towards ending the silence surrounding mental health.

It’s easy to think there’s no right place to talk about mental health. That means many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, worthless and ashamed.

You might be at home, at work…up the top of the mountain! Wherever you are on 1st February, it’s the right place to talk about mental health.

The Smile Parcel has signed up to show our support, and will be opening our Facebook page messages inbox, to anyone who’d like to start a conversation 💚

If you’d like to find out more about what you can do to get involved, take a look at the Time to Change website. You can also share where you’re having your conversation using #timetotalk.

If you’d like any tips for getting your conversation started, you can visit: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/time-talk-day-2018

Karen x

Choose Just One Thing – Mental Health Tip

Hello! For our first blog post of 2018, I thought we’d start off with a positive mental health tip.

It’s the start of a brand new shiny year, and lots of people are discussing their new year’s resolutions, and the goals and targets they are setting themselves.

There’s so many things that we think could make our lives happier, or simpler, and it can be overwhelming and stressful.

So, instead, choose just one of those things you’d like to change, or improve at, and concentrate on that one thing, think about how you could make it better.

Tackling things one at a time is much more manageable, and we often find we can do them more efficiently because we are giving them all our attention.

Then, once you’ve conquered that, move on to the next…

Karen x

 

Last Blog Post Of 2017!

Okay, I have an apology… shockingly my last blog post was on 16th November! I’m not sure how that happened, other than, like everyone else, the lead up to Christmas and getting everything done in time has taken over, and so the blog has taken the hit!

I want to say a huge thank you to every single one of you who has supported us this year, and purchased our parcels. The Smile Parcel began, as a bit of a day dream, less than a year ago, and the response from you has been amazing, so we’re hoping to grow & grow next year, and send out many more Smile Parcels to anyone who could do with receiving a ‘pick-me-up’ and a smile, in the post.

I’m looking forward to gathering further ideas for posts to add on here to, that may help you through tough times, even if just a little, with tips, mindfulness exercises, and techniques that help me through too.

I haven’t decided yet whether to update the blog monthly or fortnightly next year, so I’ll wait and see how it goes. If you have any ideas that you’d like discussed than please do let me know.

Finally, I wish you a very merry and happy Christmas, and if it is a difficult time of year for you, remember it is just a day-and a bit, and 2018 will be a brand-new beginning, a new start, with everything else left behind – if 2017 hasn’t worked out to be the best for you, it’s time to turn the page, and start writing from a fresh.

Karen x

July 2017 – Parcel Contents

For this blog post, I’m going to show you another parcel contents, this time for July 2017 – I’m catching up, slowly!

The contents of our parcels are kept secret until they are all received by our customers, so we don’t ruin the surprise of the un-boxing experience!

Each month there is a different theme, and for July, it was ‘…And Relax’.

The contents for July were chosen to encourage you to take a little time out for yourself, and relax. The weather is lovely, so take advantage of it, find a nice comfy spot to sit, and enjoy…

July Contents:

 Mason Drinking Jar & Straw

The first item this month is a bright pink Original Mason drinking jar. We love the retro style, (and the stripy straw!) Summer is here, and so it’s as important as ever to keep hydrated, and drink those summer shakes. After the summer is over, remove the lid, and your jar could then also make a great vase standing on a window sill!

Patchwork Cushion –

This cute patchwork cushion is a lovely design, and perfect to help make a small space nice and cosy.

Colouring Book –

Adult colouring books are very fashionable at the moment, but they are also a great way to relax and unwind at the end of the day, sitting outside on a nice evening, or even while watching TV.

Colouring Pencils & Kit Kat –

Colouring pencils are included to help you get started on your colouring book –  feel free to share your masterpieces on our Facebook page! We wanted to include a little snack to enjoy while you’re busy relaxing, and as the Kit Kat moto says, they were the only option!

‘Live In The Now’ –

When you’ve found your place to have a quiet few moments with your summer drink and your colouring, it’s the perfect chance to refocus and maybe try a little mindfulness. We have a mindfulness category on our blog on the website, which we will be adding more exercises to, so take a look if you’d like some ideas.

Smile Cards

As always, there should be a couple of these little cards in your parcel, I’ve written one for you, and the blank one, is for you to write a short inspirational or positive message, and give to someone you know, or leave somewhere for a complete stranger to find – but this is of course optional, there’s absolutely no pressure to do this if you don’t want to*.

Karen x

Christmas Shopping Can Begin!

This blog post is going to be a little different, as now we have officially opened for our December Christmas parcel orders, I wanted to explain a little about them.

The website opened for orders on 1st November, and will close on 30th November 2017. This is so that we can get them all wrapped and packed, ready for posting during the first week of December, and beat the Christmas posting rush!

This parcel will be beautifully festive, and will contain, gifts, decorations, treats to eat, and something to keep you, or the recipient, busy on Christmas day.

As with all our parcels, they take 3-5 working days for delivery, so should reach you by the second week of December, although our couriers are usually very speedy, so they will probably arrive before then.

We can post to any address within the UK, so we can send them to you, or to a friend or family member, or whoever you want to send a Smile Parcel to!

I know lots of you will be giving the Christmas parcels as gifts, so, just for December, we won’t show the content photos in our emails, or on Facebook in the middle of the month as usual, and instead will wait until a couple of days after Christmas, so we don’t spoil the surprise of opening them on the day.

If you let us know in plenty of time before we start wrapping them, we can even add a note inside from you too.

Let me know if you have any questions before ordering, you can message us on our Facebook page, or pop us an email.

Karen x

Sing & Dance – Mental Health Tip

This has to be one of my favourite positive mental health tips (and I’m rubbish at them!).

Singing & dancing naturally releases our feel-good chemicals, and, well, makes us feel happy.

Being good is definitely not an important aspect of this tip – so wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, put on the radio, and sing at the top of your voice, and try some dance moves at the same time – but be careful, don’t go causing yourself an injury!

Dancing has even been shown to improve brain function, and singing increases oxygenation in our blood, which is good for our heart, and can reduce stress.

So, give it a go, there’s nothing to lose, and, no one is watching anyway…

Karen x

June 2017 – Parcel Contents

For this blog post, I’m going to show you another parcel contents, this time for June 2017.

The contents of our parcels are kept secret until they are all received by our customers, so we don’t ruin the surprise of the un-boxing experience!

As you know, each month there is a different theme, and for June the theme was ‘Step Outside’.

The contents were all about helping you to make the best of your outside space, however big or small it is, to encourage you to make the most of it, and just ‘step outside, and breathe’ – especially when the weather is starting to get better in June.

June Contents:

Garden ‘Odds & Ends’ Tray

The first item this month is a lovely wooden tray. Very handy to keep those bits & bobs in – those that keep getting misplaced! If, like me, your fingers aren’t green – I’m pretty sure that biscuits also count as ‘odds & ends’!

Bee Happy –

This small hanging plaque is very cute, and perfect, as we love bees.

Hessian Bunting –

As you know, this month the theme is ‘Step Outside’, so we wanted to include products to make your outside space look beautiful, however big or small it is. Bunting makes anywhere look happy and inviting, so pop it up in your garden or yard, or even in a porch, or on your door.

Tea Light & Holder –

When the weather is nice, it’s lovely to sit outside, and this tea light is the perfect little centre piece on a patio table. The tea light scent is ‘Cool Cotton’, and it has been made by Caroline over at ‘The Madhouse’ – you can find her on Facebook to see her lovely products. (As with all candles, take care & read the safety guidelines inside the holder)

Step Outside & Breathe –

Sometimes, we need to just take a moment, and breathe. The amount of Serotonin we have, is affected by the amount of oxygen we inhale, and Serotonin can significantly lighten our mood and promote a sense of happiness and well-being, so that’s a great excuse to breathe in some fresh air.

Smile Cards

There should be a couple of these little cards in your parcel, I’ve written one for you, and the blank one, is for you to write a short inspirational or positive message, and give to someone you know, or leave somewhere for a complete stranger to find – but this is of course optional, there’s absolutely no pressure to do this if you don’t want to*.

Karen x

Get Organised! – Mental Health Tip

We’re now well into September, and back into the full swing of work and the school routine.

When we have lots to do, and busy lives, it helps to be as organised as we can, and plan ahead where possible, this way we know what we’re doing, when we’re doing it, and what we need.

 

Being organised can help make us efficient too, and reduce any last-minute panics, as well as increasing confidence, and, importantly, ensuring we are ready for anything!

Karen x