I’ve been having a bit of a tough time recently. Whilst I won’t go into detail, I do think it’s important for those of us that have influence to be somewhat open about mental health, because looking after our minds should be treated with the same validity and importance as looking after our bodies. Ain’t nobody got time for stigmas here, and my brain has needed a little more looking after in recent times.
This month some kind anonymous soul (who I assume is a friend who knows what’s going on) sent me a buddy box out of the blue. I’ve actually known about these monthly buddy boxes for a while, but I’ve never gotten one or chatted about them with anyone else, so whoever sent this to me is a complete MYSTERY. Despite asking around I can’t figure out their identity, however I did decide I wanted to tell you guys about The Blurt Foundation, the guys behind this box, and the work they do with mental health in the UK.
The Blurt Foundation are a charity dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of depression. They raise awareness, provide tools and knowledge to help proactive recovery and challenge the stigma that surrounds depression. They work closely with medical practitioners, employers, schools and companies to help them understand depression and how they can support those affected by it, as well as encouraging peer support – connecting those who have been through depression with those who are currently struggling to provide reassurance and comfort.
‘Blurt exists to make a difference to anyone affected by depression. Being diagnosed can be overwhelming – there’s a lot to learn and plenty of prejudice to battle. Telling people is tough, and not everyone will understand. That’s why we’re here for you, whenever you need us, for anything at all.
We’ll help you understand depression and what it means for you. We’ll support you, listen to you and introduce you to people who’ve been where you are. We’ll help you break down barriers and broach the subject with those closest to you. We’ll help you help yourself, with a little knowing nod.’
And one of the other things Blurt provides is their buddy box. Also known as a hug in a box, this is a monthly subscription box designed to counter the pressures of the modern world. Each box contains at least five, hand picked thoughtful treats to lift your spirits; to bring comfort and delight, to remind us that we’re cared for, and to practice self care for ourselves. The contents of each box varies from month to month and remains top secret until delivery, though the theme is released in advance the surprise is all part of the experience. All the items included in the box are inclusive, gender neutral and ageless, and are intended to make you feel good: helping you de-stress, find calm, feel pampered, relax, get creative, or have fun. And, while Blurt aims to help those with depression, the box is for anyone who could benefit from a boost or a bit of self care, and can be bought for yourself or for someone else.
On their website Blurt write:
‘they inspire you to take time out for self-care – which is essential for maintaining wellbeing and balance. They also introduce you to new products, past-times and experiences that may be enriching for you… And as for the love bit? Well, receiving a BuddyBox reminds you that you matter. That someone cares. That good things – lovely things – DO happen, and they can happen for you.’
And honestly, I really did feel this when this buddy box arrived on my doorstep. Because it was completely out of the blue I was almost in tears when I realised what I’d been sent, but I think you’d still feel this way if you ordered for yourself too. The moment it arrives is such a fun discovery, like having a mini christmas each month!
A few important things to note – buddy boxes aren’t zero waste, though the box itself is card some of their items can be wrapped in plastic, and they also can’t guarantee that their products are always vegan, though cosmetics they include tend to be handmade and natural. You could, however, always get together with a group of friends and make regular, zero waste/vegan care packages for each other, meaning that you could have your own version of this, whilst also getting to be creative yourself, something that is definitely linked to improved mental health.
That being said, I do think the buddy box is a good way to improve conscious consumerism when it comes to self care. So many times in the past when I felt sad I would turn to mindless consumption, equating self care with a new piece of fast fashion or consumerism with a buzz that would fade fairly quickly. The buddy box is great at encouraging a more mindful (and wallet friendly) approach to what we own and how we practice self care, because instead of randomly buying according to your mood, you know you have a little dose that comes every month, which is consciously crafted and curated just for you, without drowning you in stuff. And if you’re a minimalist and find something in there that doesn’t quite work for you, why not pass it on to someone else as a gift?
Essentially, I’m just really grateful to whoever sent this box to me, and to Blurt for reminding me to make self care a priority.
Until next time, stay magic y’all.