lifestyle boxes, mental health, mindfulness, reviews

Review: Cancer Care Parcel

Cancer has affected everyone I know in some way or another.

When I was 18 my paternal grandmother died after a long fight against lung cancer that eventually spread through her whole body to her brain.

It was difficult to see her become weaker and more fragile. Cancer treatments were debilitating and had some pretty terrible side effects.

The people behind Cancer Care Parcel want to help alleviate some of the stress and worry patients and their families are dealing with.

Each package has been tailored with practical and fun items that meet specific needs.

I was kindly sent this Deluxe Box for women to share with you and it’s a fantastic assortment of items.

As well as their incredible boxes, which are available for all genders and children too, the website offers social networks, advice and information for cancer patients, family and friends.


I think that if you’re looking to buy a gift for someone dealing with cancer, one of these boxes could be a really good idea. And the parcels are now on sale too.

fun stuff, happy mail, lifestyle boxes, mental health, mindfulness, reviews

Buddy Box – Summer Sun

The Buddy Box from The Blurt Foundation is designed to help people dealing with mental health issues like depression and anxiety. It’s basically a hug in a box. And this month’s comes with a little summer sun. ­čî×

Fruit seems to be the theme too, with pineapples and watermelon popping up on the box itself and inside. 

Inside are some bright, sunny treats to help you get through July even when inside your brain it’s more like November (that may just be me). 

There is a very cute notebook with a fox on it, I love notebooks and own about a gazillion of them, so this is welcome. 

A pineapple scented air freshener. I don’t have a car but my wardrobe/beauty cupboard will look very snazzy (and smell sweet) with this. 
Fruit Fix Pomegranate & Blueberry face mask. I love a good face mask, deep cleaning all the crap out of my skin so I will  be slapping this on for a Netflix session. 

#365 Days of Selfcare challenge card and post-its. Which you can join in with. #365daysofselfcare on Twitter and Instagram.  
Personal note from the Blurt team on a fun card, which I will be adding to my inspiration wall. 

Finally, I saved the most fun till last. As you may already know, I am a stationery nerd. And I love quirky pens and pencils. This pencil is a superhero. This pencil has a cape. 

While the crappy winter weather definitely batters on my hatches, summer can be just as hard. When the sun’s shining and fun is being planned, we need to still be looking after our mental health. It’s hard to be “on” all the time and it can feel impossible to tell people you’re feeling bad when the sun’s out and you’re supposed to be jolly. 

The Blurt team know that and I am telling you, self-care, whatever form it takes, isn’t selfish. If you need to stay in, wearing your pjs, eating Nutella croissants or a pile of toast or a bowl of mashed potatoes, or whatever your go-to is, watching crappy tv, an old film, reading a good book or even just taking a nap. That’s A-OK. 

happy mail, lifestyle boxes, mental health, mindfulness, reviews

The Blurt Foundation Buddy Box

After a week in which depression kicked my butt (again) I really need this hug in a box from The Blurt Foundation.

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Designed specifically for depression sufferers, each box is filled with things to help you manage your condition and give you something to smile about.

As well as the goodies, there’s also a postcard written by the Blurt team.

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As well as one for you to fill in and leave for someone else to find and pass on that love.

In my box this month are some really sweet things that made me smile while unboxing.

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Clippers Mint Green Tea – I love mint tea, and green tea’s good for you too!

Toucan badge – my favourite Spike Milligan cartoon is the Strawberry Moose one but my second favourite is the One Can Toucan one (google them and grin) so this colourful badge is going on my bag to cheer me up.

Letters To My Future Self – a paper time capsule. This little book has themed envelopes and papers for you to write letters to your future self, so you can look back and see how things have changed.

Six Colour Pen – for writing those letters! I had one of these as a kid and loved changing the colours.

Cooling Panda Eye Pads – sometimes you need to cry it out and these soothing eye pads will reduce puffiness and made you look like a panda too! Pop them in the fridge and then on your face, for instant refreshment.

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This is such a wonderful box of joy, and something I really needed this week.

life, mental health, mindfulness

Why I’m taking a Facebook break

Let’s be honest, the world is full of heartbreakingly sad things, and people arguing about them.

My anxiety levels are through the roof in general at the moment and all the carrying on online is only making it worse. So I removed the app from my home screen, I didn’t delete it because I genuinely don’t know my password and should I ever go back, I’d like to be able to get into my account.

I haven’t used Twitter much recently, and having deleted dozens of random accounts I was following, I’m going to try to use it more, bite sized info that I can handle. I’m also on Instagram. Imaginatively my handle on both is ramblingmads, so do come say hi.

Facebook was overwhelming, too many voices screaming for attention. If I do decide I want back in, I think scaling back groups and “friends” will be a must. I’m starting to think my friend Jack, who does not use any social media, may have a point.

If you need me I’ll be reading a book and painting my nails.

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ramblingmads

lifestyle boxes, mindfulness, reviews, skincare, yoga

Yogi Surprise Box – July

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This little box of fun was sitting on my doorstep earlier.

It contains a variety of items to help you improve your yoga.

Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Green Coconut Chai

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Containing cardomom, ginger, clove and coconut, this tea is Gluten-Free, fair trade and hails from India. I had a quick sniff and it smells delish. 

Aura Cacia Peppermint & Sweet Orange Yoga Mist – multi use essential oil spray. Can be used on your mat, in the room and on your body. It’s quite a heady mix, but as it’s paraben and petroleum free, organic and cruelty free, I might just spritz this everywhere.

Acure Cell Stimulating Facial Mask – I have a lot of face masks floating around, some, like this, are clay based and those aren’t my favourite. But if you’re a clay mask fan this chemical free (I can pronounce all the ingredients) one might be right up your street.

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Gaiam dual grip headband (and yoga gloves) – cotton headband designed to keep your hair (and sweat) out of your face while you get your downward dog on. I also got another pair of the yoga gloves that were in June’s box – must have forgotten I already had some!

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Finally was a jewellery item – a tiger’s eye bracelet with Buddha charm. The Buddha has been co-opted into the modern yoga world in a way that feels a little like appropriation – although meditation is a Buddhist practice, the Buddha’s religious significance is often forgotten in the rush to put his face and image on things from cushions to garden ornaments.
If I wear this bracelet I will have to do so mindfully – I’m not a Buddhist and must be aware of the fact that some might not like my apparent use of their religious leader’s image for decoration.

That aside tiger’s eye blends Earth and Sun together and is supposed to give you clarity.

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*I apologise for the somewhat blurry photos – my camera seems to be having some issues*

ramblingmads

life, mental health, mindfulness

Crazy banter and mental health*

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So, I have been signed off work since late August. Because of the two conditions in the above image. Anxiety and depression. The devils on both shoulders.

There has been a lot of discussion about mental health issues recently, partly because of next week’s elections and concerns about how the outcome will affect the provision of mental health services, and partly because there is still a distinct lack of knowledge and understanding of mental health conditions and what living with them is truly like.

I will never be ‘better’, there is no magic cure. Instead, with a combination of therapy and medication, the aim is to manage my condition so I can lead a relatively ‘normal’ life and go back to work.

I don’t like the word ‘normal’, in fact I spend a lot of time wondering what exactly is normal?

Last summer I tried CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) but it wasn’t for me, I know it has helped a large number of people manage their mh but I don’t have the tools to exchange negative thoughts into positive ones. I may never.

Currently i’m doing a psychotherapy assessment, meeting every other week with a consultant to assess whether psychotherapy is for me.

I also regularly see my GP to monitor the tablets I take and check in.

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Sometimes it feels like I spend my time going round in circles, with good days where I get lots done and feel able to cope with things and then I can’t get out of bed at all, forget to eat and spend too much time sleeping.

Stupid things trigger my anxiety – the phone ringing, a knock at the door when I’m not expecting anything, opening the fridge and not finding anything I want to eat even though there’s plenty of food.

The thought of going back to work makes me feel worse than anything else, but I have to make a decision. 

*lyric from Bitter Ruin’s Child in a Seacave

ramblingmads

beauty boxes, healthy, lifestyle, mindfulness, reviews, skincare, yoga

BuddhiBox – review

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BuddhiBox is a yoga lover’s beauty and lifestyle box from the US.

They don’t currently ship to the UK as a subscription but you can buy the boxes through Etsy. Which doesn’t make a huge amount of sense and costs a lot more than the equivalent on their website, before shipping.

I also had to pay a hefty customs charge, which means until there’s an easier way to order this box, I probably won’t again. Which is a shame because their Instagram is full of lovely things included in their monthly boxes.

Anyway, back to this one.

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It’s not a huge box but it is quite full. I said I didn’t mind which box I got, this is March’s. April’s is curated by a yogi called Jo and contains different items.

I received a small pot of rosewater ghee face & skin cream, which intrigues me as ghee is more commonly used in Indian cooking.

An organic sanitizer spray for use after yoga to kill any bacteria that transfers from the mat to your hands. I recommend giving your yoga mat a spritz of anti-bac every now and then and hanging it outside every now and then to air it so that feet smell doesn’t linger. This will probably end up in my bag, I like to carry hand sanitizer when commuting.

A fancy bottle of nail polish in Namaste, this has no formaldehyde and other not very pleasant chemicals and is a nude shade.

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There was also a small yoga strap, which is used to assist with poses.

A small malas or Buddhist prayer bead bracelet to aid in meditation.

A recipe card for a dish called kitchari, which seems to be a bit like dhal with mung beans and rice.

A yoga pose card – tree pose, which is one of my favourite poses as it’s a big stretch to the sky and you have to focus to maintain your balance.

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The card listing the box’s contents has a great quote on it “you are the sky. Everything else is just weather” – Pema Chodron. 

Loose leaf oolong tea, custom blended for BuddhiBox. It also has a reusable muslin tea bag, which is a clever idea. I don’t drink black tea or coffee, mostly just water and herbal teas so this will come in useful.

There are a couple of business cards from the different companies involved – some with discounts and then the randomest item. A temporary tattoo.

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I don’t really get the need for this item and would have preferred something else. This seems to be a bit of a trend because I’ve had at least one beauty box recently with temporary tattoos in them. I remember they were all the rage the summer I was 9, I think a cereal company were giving them away, but I don’t see many grown women feeling the need.

All in all it’s a bit mixed and not all of the items seem connected to yoga or meditation. As I said at the start this was pretty expensive so I’m a little disappointed at the contents. Hopefully they’ll start shipping internationally through their website soon and the prices will be comparative to the US.

ramblingmads