Relax & Recharge

We can forget how important it is, to take time out, to relax and recharge our batteries – in fact it’s not just important, it’s vital!

In the same way that the technology we use every day, needs to be rested and recharged regularly, we, as humans, work just as hard, if not harder, so it’s essential that we do too.

There are so many ways to recharge, some people like to simply chill out in front of a fabulous boxset, and get “lost” for a while, while others may like to participate in hobbies, or activities that they enjoy. Whatever is your choice, we all need to give ourselves a break and some much-deserved downtime.

However, taking time out for ourselves can sometimes feel like we are somehow being “lazy”, or that we should always be on-the-go, after all, it seems that there’s always something that needs doing, but if we don’t give ourselves this time, to simply step back, and take a moment to breathe, we can experience burn-out, and then our overall wellbeing and mental health can be hugely impacted, in a negative way. If we keep going at full speed, constantly, it can be really hard on us, both physically and mentally.

Taking time off gives both our mind, and body, a chance to “switch off” and unwind for a while. Going away on holiday, is an obvious way to take a break, but in reality, that isn’t always an option, so it can be a great idea to plan relaxation times in advance.

It doesn’t matter whether your “thing” is to take part in an activity, such as joining a group, maybe yoga, an art class, or circling in the countryside – it can be something physical, something creative, or simply planning time to do absolutely nothing…it really doesn’t matter, as long as it gives you, time to be, you.

So, whatever you enjoy, make time to do it, go on, you work hard – you deserve it!

Karen x

Stepping Outside

We’re approaching another bank holiday weekend (yay!), and fingers crossed, the weather actually looks like it may be Okay, so it’s a great excuse to get outside!

We all know that sometimes, simply taking a moment to step outside, and take in a deep breath of fresh air, is enough to make us feel a little better. Having anxiety or depression can be crippling, and being outside can be helpful for calming the mind, and allowing us to have a mindful moment.

Sitting outside can also reduce blood pressure, and lower our heart rate, as when we’re outside, our body naturally slows down, and so it can give us a sense of peace.

Being outside, especially around nature, can help reduce our stress levels, boost our mood, and has been proven to increase brain function too.

It also gives us a reason to “unplug” for a while, both physically and mentally – it may be scary to leave technology behind…but it will all still be there waiting for us when we return!

Walking can be brilliant to help increase our focus, for those moments when we feel a little lost – a brief walk, can work wonders to help us regain our ability to focus and find direction. For a significant boost in concentration and creativity, maybe escape to a forest, or a beautiful woodland.

This week was the Chelsea Flower Show, and one lovely garden was designed by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge. Kate wanted to highlight the benefits of the natural world, and inspire children, families and communities to enjoy the great outdoors, and how being active in nature can positively impact our physical and mental health – so it must be true!!

So, find a little time over the long bank holiday weekend, to take advantage of the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Replace technology time spent on electronic devices, with a walk in the local park, or even, maybe, a bike ride…

Karen x

Keep Growing

Springtime is now definitely here, and we are loving it at TSP HQ!

The trees are beginning to turn green, flowers are starting to bloom, and if you’re lucky to live in or near the countryside, you’ll start to see the new Spring lambs arriving in the fields.

Spring is known as being a season of new life and growth, and regardless of how old we are, or what we’ve been through, we are all, also growing, all the time.

Personal growth is an important part of life, it gives us the opportunity to experience new things and learn about ourselves, about others, and the world around us.

We are always evolving as people, life is always changing, and we can choose to stay where we are, or we can continue to grow with it, keep learning, challenge ourselves and have new experiences.

Personal growth can be great for our overall well-being and mental health too, as it can make us more prepared and able to deal with the challenges that life will undoubtedly throw our way, and develop the skills needed to handle our emotions.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to keep fighting on, and know which direction we should be heading, and that’s Okay, but if we want to make the most out of life, we need to learn to push through these obstacles and barriers…keep going, and keep growing.

Karen x

Self-Care Isn’t Selfish…

I know, you don’t often see me blog on a Saturday, but I’ve been thinking about the importance of self-care this week, so I wanted to write a little about it.

Self-care is something we hear mentioned quite a lot, and it can sound somewhat self-indulgent, and ‘fluffy’ – but it certainly isn’t selfish, in fact, it’s essential!

Self-care is a very personal thing, and can be interpreted differently from person to person, basically, it’s the routine of doing something you enjoy, and essentially doing it, for you.

It could be down to simply being kinder to yourself. Our lives have become so busy and hectic, that most of us operate on auto-pilot. We are so consumed with work, household chores, sorting the kids out…and now, technology and social media have been added to that list too, so we forget how important it is, for our own health and well-being, to, just, press pause.

Investing in some well-deserved self-care is important to help prevent burnout, and allows us to take time out to recharge our batteries.

The practice of self-care has lots of great benefits, both physical and mental, it can help boost our self-confidence too, by taking part in activities that we are good at, and enjoy doing.

One excuse for not making time for ourselves, is that we just don’t have the time. But, the best thing about self-care is that it can fit into our routine, and can begin with small little habits implemented each day.

Ideas may include going for a walk and unplugging from technology for an hour, or trying mindfulness, and just, being still. Taking time to laugh, whether socially, or while watching a funny sitcom, or maybe, if you enjoy physical exercise, spending an hour at the gym, listening to your favourite music, or going for a run.

It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it is good for you, and helps you to reconnect with yourself – the key to self-care, is little and often.

Karen x

Every Day Is A New Beginning

This is our first post of 2019, so hopefully it’s not too late to wish you all a very happy new year, and I hope 2019, so far, has been good to you!

We may of started a new year, but we believe that every day is a new beginning, and it’s not just something that we have to wait until a new year for.

Some people set themselves goals, or even targets, that they want to meet, but sometimes that can mean putting too much pressure on ourselves, and we can then feel like we’ve somehow let ourselves down, if we haven’t reached a certain achievement, by a certain date etc.

So instead, treat every day as a fresh start, a brand new day, to begin writing your next chapter.

If you do set yourself goals to achieve during 2019, it can be easier to break them down into smaller, more manageable ‘pieces’, for example, if you have several things on your list, initially choose just one of them, and tackle one thing at a time, rather than trying to do too much at once, which can sometimes feel overwhelming.

Whether you set yourself targets and resolutions, or you don’t, this year is waiting for you, like a brand-new shiny book, full of blank pages, just waiting for the next part of your story, but what the title will be, is down to you!

Karen x

Make Yourself Cosy

Hello, it’s time for another positive mental health tip, and this one is perfect for the colder months that are on the way…

Winter will be fully here very soon, and sometimes it can be difficult to adjust to changing seasons, especially when that change includes shorter days, and lower temperatures.

The dark and gloomy weather can easily make us want to hide away, eat unhealthy foods, and be generally unsociable!

But there are things we can do to try to embrace the winter – rather than trying to avoid it.

It’s a great excuse to make ourselves super cosy, and indulge in a little comfort, whether that be wrapping up in chunky knits, gloves, scarves, woolly bobble hats, and heading outside…
Or, if you’d rather stay indoors, snuggle under a blanket, in fluffy socks, in front of your favourite TV box set, sipping a hot chocolate (covered in marsh mallows and sprinkles)…Ooh sounds perfect!

Making some subtle changes to your home can help make it feel relaxed and cosy, like adding a throw to the sofa, and a few logs beside the fire (even if they are just for decoration!).

Stock up on warming soups and crusty bread, as that never fails to make me feel warm and cosy on the inside!

What would you add to the list…?

Karen x

Explore & Find Adventure!

I wanted to share another positive mental health tip for this blog post, and this one is a perfect fit with our parcel theme last month.

Our theme for August was ‘Hello Holiday’, and the contents of our parcels were all connected to getting outside, exploring, collecting memories, and finding a little adventure!

Travelling is something that lots of people do, and lots of people think about doing, and for some of those people, they want to travel the world, and go far and wide, and for others, they want to stay slightly closer to home, and the good thing is, it doesn’t matter which we do, exploring can be done anywhere.

Travelling allows us to learn new skills – or discover and develop skills that we already have. It enables us to face challenges, to experience different cultures, to learn new languages, and broaden our taste buds.

The key to finding the next (or first) exploring adventure, is to choose something that already interests us, whether that be tasting different foods, walking in the countryside, visiting old buildings, or maybe, photography, and let that begin the journey.

Exploring can be daunting, as it means throwing ourselves into the unknown, but no matter how far we go, exploring encourages us to step outside of our comfort zone, to find new adventures, and to escape to somewhere new – even if it is only for a short amount of time!

Karen x

Start A Hobby

Hello, it’s Monday again! I think it’s time we had another positive mental health tip – this one is all about hobbies!

We all have busy lives, and sometimes, just general day-to-day ‘adulting’ can be stressful. Having a hobby can be one way of de-stressing and taking a little time out from the real world, even if it’s only briefly!

Hobbies take lots of different forms, it could involve being creative, like designing and making, whether it be knitting, stitching, drawing or pottery, or it could be more of a pursuit, such as hiking, cycling…or water sports!

Whatever is your ‘thing’, having a hobby is great for us and has lots of positive benefits. It can give us health benefits, both physical and mental, and allows us to build self-confidence, and learn new skills.

Sometimes, rediscovering our inner-child and doing something we enjoyed as a child, helps us to reconnect with our creativity and passions. An example of this would be colouring, which has become popular for both children and adults – this may not be your first choice of hobby, but it definitely allows us to take a little time out to unwind, while the rest of the world continues around us.

So, what will be your next hobby?!…

Karen x