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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

Visualisation!

Now, I know I’ve added this blog post to the category of ‘Mindfulness Techniques’ but this isn’t actually mindfulness, in fact it is, kind-of, the complete opposite, but I wanted to include it as a post, as I use both mindfulness and visualisation in the same way.

Basically, mindfulness is all about focusing and staying in the present moment, whereas visualisation is about taking your mind somewhere else.

Visualisation involves, firstly, thinking of a place where you feel most relaxed, and at peace. It could be a sandy beach, in a forest surrounded by trees, sitting on your favourite bench in the park, anywhere that is special and calming to you.

It’s best to do this initially when you are feeling relaxed, so you can fully picture yourself there in your mind, without distraction.

It’s important to also add to the mental picture, how you’re feeling in that situation, anything you are physically feeling or touching, if there’s a particular smell belonging to that image, and anything you can hear.

Spend a few moments focusing on it, and thinking about how relaxing and calming it is.
The exercise of visualisation is to keep this image locked away in your mind, ready to come back to whenever and wherever you need it, it does take some practice, but it gets easier over time.

You can use the visualisation technique when you’re in a place or situation which may make you anxious, e.g. standing in a queue or sitting in the doctors waiting room.

We Won!! Women In Business

Something exciting happened this week, we won another award!

We won the Jacqueline Gold Women in business award via her Twitter page.

It is known as #WOW, which stands for Women on Wednesday, as that’s when entrepreneurs can enter and the winners are chosen.

Jacqueline Gold is the CEO of Ann Summers, and has a huge following on social media, so to get chosen by her, and retweeted to her followers is a great boost for us.

If you have a business and would like to enter #WOW, you need to be a female entrepreneur, and tweet Jacqueline Gold about your business between 1 – 3pm on a Wednesday, including the all important hashtag #WOW.

After 3pm, Jacqueline goes through all those tweets and businesses, and chooses her top 3, announcing them on her Twitter page.

As a winner, we are given a Women in business badge, which we can use on our website, and in advertising materials, to show that Jacqueline is a fan of our business.

We also gain access to a support group on Facebook, where previous #WOW winners can share business tips and advice with each other.

So, if you qualify, you should definitely give entering a go…

Karen x

May 2017 – Parcel Contents

For this weeks blog post, I’m going to show you another parcel contents, this time for May 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!

Each month there is a different theme, and for May they were all about one of our favourite things…tea!

The theme was ‘Time For Tea’.

May Contents:

Mug –

When we were selecting a mug for this month’s parcel, this one was an easy choice – some days it’s just too difficult to even think about ‘adulting’, let alone doing it!

Coaster –

We loved the quote on this ceramic coaster, and its good advice too – take life one cup at a time. The past is gone, and the future is unknown, so just concentrate on the here and now.

Tea Bags –

We thought we’d go a little bit different with the tea bags, and these are lovely blend of vanilla, cinnamon & ginger. We’ve given you 3 tea bags, so it’s a great excuse to meet with friends or family, or even someone you don’t know well, and have a natter over a cuppa – good things happen over tea!

Wooden Plaque –

This gorgeous hanging wooden plaque was created just for our parcels by Sarah, over at Sarah’s Crafty House.

You can find her on Facebook, please check out her other beautiful makes.

Chocolate Biscuits –

I don’t think we need to say anything about the chocolate digestives, do we? – Hopefully they’re not too small for dunking in your tea! (Please check ingredients for allergens)

Biscuit Tub & Love Heart Sweets –

We selected the biscuit tub as it could come in very useful, when travelling with a snack is a must. We popped some little Love Heart Sweets in there, as we couldn’t give it to you empty, and the digestive packets wouldn’t squeeze in!

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

Become A Tourist – Mental Health Tip

It’s July, and the summer holidays are upon us, which mean lots of you are going on your summer jolly.
This is, of course, very exciting, but can also be a little daunting for some people, the thought of going somewhere unfamiliar, and the stress of packing!

But sometimes, it’s also great to look at what is already around you.

We’ve heard of the stay-cation, but even closer to home than that, there could be, and probably is, amazing things to see right on your doorstep, that maybe you’ve never noticed, or maybe even take for granted.

So, grab your camera, and see what you can find…

Karen x

Mindfulness – Mindful Breathing

This mindfulness exercise is a simple one, but it can be very effective.

This doesn’t involve counting or holding your breath, it’s simply focusing on your breathing, in and out, but actually taking notice, and acknowledging it.

This can be done anywhere, but is best when sitting or lying down comfortably and relaxed.
You can close your eyes, if you’re somewhere relaxing, then take a normal slow breath in, but take note of your chest expanding as you do it, then slowly breathe out, taking notice as the air leaves you.

You can continue repeating this as long as you wish.

It can be useful during an anxiety attack, to help get your breathing back to a normal steady rate, but it can be used at any time, to refocus and help bring you back to the present moment.

Smile Cards – What Are They?

Our Smile Cards are included in every parcel we post, small cards to share a handwritten short quote or positive message.

One card inside the parcel is written by us, for you, and there is a blank card for you to write your own inspirational little message to give to a friend. You can also write a message and leave the card somewhere for a complete stranger to find, to hopefully make their day a little brighter.

Smile Cards are a great way to share a smile, and although, they are a small, easy thing to do, they have the potential to make a huge difference to an unsuspecting person that finds one.

We’d love to get as many Smile Cards left around the country as we can, and with your help, we’re hoping to reach as many counties in the UK as possible – hopefully everywhere!

We need you for this bit. If you’ve written a card, it would be great if you could take a photo, and let us know which county you’ve left it in. Then we can keep a record of how far we’ve reached, and keep an update here on the blog.

You can send your photos to us by email, or via a message on our Facebook page.

Email: karen@thesmileparcel.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheSmileParcel

Thank you, Karen x

April 2017 – Parcel Contents

For this weeks blog post, I’m going to show you another parcel contents, for April 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!

Each month there is a different theme, and for April, it was ‘Growing’.

We chose this theme as it fits perfectly with the beginning of springtime, and also, we are all growing, all the time, in lots of different ways.

April Contents:

Sunflower Seeds & Planting Instructions –

The first items in the parcel this month are some lovely dwarf sunflower seeds, perfect fit for our theme this month of ‘Growing’ – spring is finally here! We’ve also attached some helpful instructions for planting your seeds if needed…but I’m afraid we can’t 100% guarantee they’ll grow, but we have our fingers crossed tightly for you!

A Plant Pot & Chalk –

Well, the plant pot is quite self-explanatory from the items listed above. A piece of chalk is enclosed, so you can decorate your plant pot however creatively (or not) as you desire.

Ceramic Heart –

This pretty ceramic heart has a lovely quote, and is quite at home hanging anywhere there’s a little space.

‘Never Grow Up’ Frame –

Never growing up is definitely something on my to-do list, I really don’t think it should be a necessity! You can, of course, replace the quote, and use the frame for whatever you like.

Wooden Plaque –

As soon as we saw this plaque, we loved it. It fits with this month’s growing theme, and also with the theme of last month – keep growing and aiming high to achieve your dreams & goals…and never, ever, give up!

Compost & Little Paper Sunflower –

Pop the compost into your plant pot, as per instructions. We realised you may have to wait a while to see the efforts of your sunflower growing, so we included a small paper one, to look at, while you’re waiting!

Smile Cards –

These little cards are in all our parcels, one is written by us, and there is a blank one, to write a short inspirational or positive message, and give to someone else, or leave somewhere for a complete stranger to find – (but this is of course optional).

Karen x