2020’s World Mental Health Day comes at a time when our daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the pandemic. As you know, here at Insideout we had to close the shop and find other ways to reach our customers - such as our live shop tours. But our challenges were nothing in comparison to others; for health-care workers, for students (including our own son with his A-level results and entry to university), grandparents isolated from their support networks, home schooling, and many livelihoods threatened. For people with mental health conditions, the social isolation was incredibly harmful and the threat of it happening again is not making things any easier.
So we thought we should come up with some ways and things that could help promote a sense of wellbeing as you go about building your lives in the ‘new normal’.
- PUZZLING! One of the very popular items we launched as a result of the pandemic was our puzzles! Nicky, the owner of Insideout was determined NOT to like puzzles. But lockdown saw her get enthusiastic and after a long search she has found the most beautiful collection for the shops and online store. Did you know that puzzling reduces stress by occupying and engaging the mind to create a sense of calm and serenity. As a puzzle is pieced together, external worries and stress decreases as the mind focuses on an activity that is both meditative and satisfying. A recent study by The National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) declares that solving jigsaw puzzles is a “low-cost, intrinsically motivating, cognitive leisure activity”. The beauty of a jigsaw is that it can be an excellent solo activity but can also bring people together and combat loneliness when solved with in a group. Mind UK reports that loneliness and mental health are intrinsically linked, as having a mental health problem increases your chance of feeling lonely and feeling lonely can have a negative impact on your mental health (Mind.org, 2018).
AROMATHERAPY: If you’ve ever used wax melts infused with the most glorious scents, then you’ll know how that warm smell can make you feel - it’s the benefits of aromatherapy. Known for its mood enhancing powers, aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of naturally extracted aromatic essences to promote psychological well-being. Upon being heated, wax melts release fragrance molecules from fragranced oils that can have a positive effect on our well being. For example, in one study done by Japan’s Kyoto University, 498 healthy volunteers were sent on two 15-minute forest strolls once a day. Researchers found that participants who went on a walk through pine forests reported lower depression and stress levels! While most of us don’t have access to pine forests on a daily basis, you could experience the scent of them with the Vanilla Sage & Cedarwood Eco Soya Wax Melts Pack. Or you can choose from many other scents in the range.
SELF-CARE. A good bath might be seen as a little luxury now and then, but beyond some essential self-care, it actually has scientifically proven benefits for your mental health. Throughout history, bathing has always been about more than just personal hygiene. Cleanliness was seen as a symbol of power and beauty in ancient times, and baths were taken publicly as a way to socialise and build communities. Nowadays of course, a hot bubble bath is associated with solitude andself-care, a little luxury that many of us look forward to after a stressful day, or a tough workout. So why not try our Bath Tea Bags? Sourced directly from the Dead Sea, known for its healing properties, these salts are simply mixed with pure essentials (each with their own unique healing properties) to create a bath to help sooth minds and leave the skin soft and moisturised.
HAVE A CUPPA Tea and Talk is a special event as part of World Mental Health Day. It’s a great way of coming together for a (virtual?) cuppa with family or friends and to raise money and awareness of the Mental Health Foundation. What could be more suitable than this mug! It reads: I like to party. And by party, I mean drink tea in my pyjamas!
SHUN THE CLUTTER CULTURE So many of us have been doing some tidying and decluttering during lockdown. But did you know that it’s also great for our mental health? These days, the average household is practically groaning under the weight of ‘stuff’ and often, even the tidiest person is living a cluttered life – to great detriment. Researchers at UCLA’s Centre on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) identifieda direct link between the stress hormone cortisol and clutter (or “a high density of household objects”) and suggest that people with messy homes are 77% more likely to have weight issues due to the negative interior monologue that living amidst disarray perpetuates. So our final solve are these jumbo bags. They are made from recycled plastic, are strong, durable and stylish - and will definitely help you to store away all those things that you don’t want to get rid of - but need out of sight!