I am a long-term fan of The Blurt Foundation. I love their dedication to self-care and the way they seem to genuinely enjoy brightening people’s days. The Blurt BuddyBox is one of the ways they do that. You can buy them as a one-off or by subscription, and as long as you place your order by the end of the previous month, it turns up in the second week of the month, filled with self-care surprises.
I like self-care, and I like surprises. #Win.
This month’s box is on the theme ‘All at sea’, and it’s a great one. For starters, it includes a book, which is one of my favourite forms of self-care. There’s also a little sewing project for crafty types, a candle for self-care traditionalists, and the monthly Blurt Zine which is a fab little booklet to encourage and inspire self-care.
So are they any good for stressed-out adoptive parents? Should you get one yourself? What sort of stuff is inside? Here’s what I found when I lifted the lid.
Sea Air Yankee Candle
Was it going to smell of seaweed? Fish and chips? Seagull? I popped off the glass lid and wafted it into my nostrils. To me, it smells more of flowers than the sea – I’m thinking the gardens on the seafront at Eastbourne rather than the wild Pembrokeshire coast or the salted and vinegared delights of Whitby. On balance, the flowers might be what more people want to smell in their bathroom. If you want your bathroom to smell of fish and chips, you can always eat fish and chips in the bath. (Why have I not done that before? It sounds fun.)
Conscious Water Serenity Water Enhancer
I admit, a water enhancer is a new one on me. That’s what squash is for, isn’t it? But I’ll try most things once, so gave it a go and added the sachet to my glass of water. It’s basically a cordial, and needs a good stirring in to stop it all sinking to the bottom of the glass as mine did. To start with I didn’t taste anything, and then there was a subtle orangeyness at the end. It might take a bit of getting used to if you usually have more strongly flavoured drinks. For regular water-drinkers though, this makes a nice change to add to the occasional glass of H2O.
Mapology ‘How to Make Better Decisions’ map
If you have teenagers, this would be a great one to put on the wall where everyone in the family can see it. It’s perhaps a bit complicated for younger children, but many of the principles are good life lessons – making lists of pros and cons, working out what your guiding values are before a big decision comes along, asking advice from people you trust.
I’m not so sure that if still undecided after all that I’d want to toss a coin or consult my horoscope for a final decision on something important such as ‘Which school should I choose for my child?’, but other than that, it looks helpful. I also like the look of ‘Let’s Negotiate’, another booklet in the series.
Sew-on fabric badge
I opted to sew it on to a towel for Joanna to take to camp with her – I think it will make her smile.
Stacey Swift Postcard
I think I’m right in saying that Stacey does all of the postcards for Blurt, and she’s consistently great. I love the artwork for this month’s box, which includes rather marvellous seagulls, otters and lighthouses.
Even the tissue paper inside the box has them on – this is another example of the attention to detail that’s great about the Blurt kits.
Highlights of this one include ‘5 ways water soothes the soul’ a short article on the benefits of visits to the seaside, listening to water, watching fish, having a bath, and staying hydrated.
There’s also a great piece on surviving (metaphorical) storms. The Zine is deliberately small and easy to stash in a bag or pocket for a portable pep-talk whenever you need it.
‘I want to be calm’ book by Harriet Griffey
Short version: this is a brilliant little book about stress and self-care. Clear, practical, and easy to read in one sitting.
I was impressed that within a few pages there was a helpful description of the function of the amygdala and how long-term stress can ‘re-set our internal stress thermostat and it takes less and less to set off our red-alert reaction… It begins to feel “normal” to be functioning in a constant state of stress’.
If you’re thinking that this perfectly describes your child, I’m with you. But it may well also apply to you, the adoptive parent who juggles it all. Yes, me too. I enthusiastically recommend this book. it would make a great gift for any other stressed adoptive parents of your acquaintance if you’re buying; if not, then put it on your Christmas wish list.
Details: I want to be calm: How to de-stress by Harriet Griffey, published by Hardie Grant.
I’ve had a few BuddyBoxes now, and this is my favourite by a long way. The book has a lot to do with that (it really is excellent), but I also enjoyed sewing on the badge, because it meant I had to sit still for a few minutes. I liked sniffing the candle (even if there wasn’t the slightest whiff of fish and chips), and reading the zine. I may well be buying a few copies of the book for friends for birthdays and Christmas presents.
So, should you get a BuddyBox? I’d say that if you have a spare £21.50 to spend on your self-care you should certainly give it a try. (Unless you really dislike getting parcels of surprises, in which case, maybe not so much.) I like the way each of the boxes I’ve had has make me try something I wouldn’t have thought of in terms of self-care: I only buy candles at Christmas, I wouldn’t have discovered this book, and our household would not have a towel with an octopus badge on it. So it has definitely added a bit of cheer to the Meadows household as we batten down the hatches for the end of term.
If you’d like to try the next one, place your order on the Blurt Foundation website before the end of the month. August’s theme is ‘Summer Camp Adventure’ and there are woodland animals in the picture so I’m all in.
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