Here we go again…

Lockdown #2 has officially begun and although the schools are staying open, so many other aspects of family life will be affected. Whereas previously we had the delight of warm sunny days and evenings, now days are shorter, the weather distinctly wetter and there’s only so many Zooms you can bear!

The festive season is also going to look a little different this year, but with a bit of creativity and imagination, plus a pinch of honesty about our own wellbeing, we hope we can help you weather ‘No Go November’ with the help of our Top 5 Tips.

No matter how long lockdown lasts, we hope you can enjoy this special time at home and the moments that really matter. There is nothing more important than family – thank you for being such an important part of ours. If you haven’t yet signed up to our newsletter for VIP offers and resources, click the button below.

#1 Fresh air cures all

Whether it’s counting minibeasts, spotting animal tracks or jumping in muddy puddles, the great outdoors brings a smile to most faces, even if getting out there causes a few groans.

Ok, so the weather may be unpredictable, the levels of mud and snacks in the car and your hallway embarrassing, but let’s face it no one’s going to be seeing the inside of your home or car for quite some time. There are plus sides to lockdown after all!

Spending time in nature is proven to not only increase physical wellbeing, but to directly increase the levels of the happy hormone, serotonin, in our brains. By breathing in fresh oxygen, and increasing blood circulation around our bodies, the levels of endorphins are also boosted. Plus after all that fresh air and exercise, a good night’s sleep for the whole family is due. Failing that, there’s always cake, right?!

If you need a carrot to dangle over your little active people, then check out our roundup of top outdoor activities and gifts below.

#2 Snuggle up and get crafty

Evidence for the positive effects of craft on mental health and wellbeing is extensive. Immersing yourself in creative activities, even as an adult and even if it’s a bit messy, is proven to promote relaxation, provide a means of self‐expression, boost the immune system, reduce blood pressure and stress levels. What better way to keep your little active people happy?

What consumes your mind, controls your life.

We have a range of baking, making, creating and colouring activities to keep your craft cupboards, and your Christmas stockings stocked this lockdown. Click the button below to check out our round up of cute crafting activities and gifts.

#3 Get Christmas Done

According to Royal Mail, Christmas shopping may be affected by delivery delays this year, so to avoid disappointment, more than ever, shop small and shop early.

As a small business ourselves, we do a dance every time someone places an order through our website. Your support for our business helps our own families to thrive. So this year, we’ve taken the hard work out of Christmas shopping and stocking fillers by creating Christmas gift edits under £5, £15, £25, £40 and over £50.

Designed to help you budget and curated to bring a smile to the receiver’s face, these gifts are guaranteed to entertain. To find Christmas themed gifts like those in the gallery above, click the red button below.

#4 Take time out for you

It’s true what they say…

“You’re only as happy as your saddest child.”

But what if your child is only as happy as their saddest parent? With Covid affecting so many parts of normal life, it’s almost hard to remember what normal life was like. You may not feel like you have anything to feel sad about, but truth be told, if there’s anything lockdown has done to unite us all, is that it’s tested our resilience and coping strategies to the limit.

If you are feeling anxious or starting to panic, here are some NHS tips to help:

Understand your anxiety
Try keeping a diary of what you are doing and how you feel at different times to help identify what’s affecting you and what you need to take action on.
Make time for worries
If your worry feels overwhelming and takes over your day, setting specific “worry time” to go through your concerns each day can help you to focus on other things.
Face the things you want to avoid
It’s easy to avoid situations, or rely on habits that make us feel safer, but these can keep anxiety going. By slowly building up time in worrying situations, anxious feelings will gradually reduce and you will see these situations are OK.
Challenge your anxious thoughts
Tackling unhelpful thoughts is one of the best things we can do to feel less anxious.
Shift your focus
Some people find relaxation, mindfulness or breathing exercises helpful. They reduce tension and focus our awareness on the present moment.
Get to grips with the problem
When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it can help to use a problem-solving technique to identify some solutions. This can make the challenges you’re facing feel more manageable.
Source: NHS Every Mind Matters

If you know someone who would benefit from some mindfulness gifts or journals, we have curated a practical and nurturing range of products. Just click the button below.

#5 Be the rainbow you want to see…

"Keep searching for the colours, when everything turns grey." 
Christy Ann Martine

Ditch the dark! Did you know that the colours we wear have a distinct effect on our moods and the behaviour of those around us?! Research goes so far as to prove the effect of certain colours on our hormonal balance. When we look at colours, it triggers a neurological response in our brain – the catalyst to our hypothalamus releasing mood affecting hormones.

Warm colours such as red and pink cause the brain to release dopamine – the feel good hormone. Whereas cool colours such as blue, have been linked to the increase in oxytocin, the calming hormone!

Yellow is connected to feelings of optimism and happiness, whilst green is associated with hope and healing. Whatever your tone, give colour a chance this November and see what it provokes in you and those around you.

Looking for some cosy colour this month? Check out our range of clothing for you and your little active people.

If you have a blog topic that you would like us to cover soon, we’d love to hear from you.