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Keep (Moderately) Calm & Carry On

These days life can be confusing and stressful. “Why can’t we go outside? Why can’t we see our friends? Why can’t I have cookies for breakfast today?!”….And that’s just the grown ups complaining!

Given it is #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, it’s important to remind ourselves that we are all trying to get by during a global pandemic. Be kind to yourselves (and 'kindness' is this years theme). This is uncharted territory for us all. And this may be the only time in our lives we get to spend this much time with our partners or children. While some of us may yearn for a return to normality, we think it’s a great time to try and find some silver linings among all the confusion.

For us Filskit ladies we are probably chatting more each week. Normally this would mean lots of car or train journeys and HOURS of travel as we all live miles apart. So happily, we are being much more eco-friendly! Lockdown is certainly giving the environment a chance to recover and breathe!

Thanks to good old Zoom - which no one had heard of and we now can’t imagine life without - we are meeting new people every week through our Filskit Tea and Chats. Do get in touch via social media if you ever fancy a quick chat over a cuppa with us ladies to talk all things creative.

There’s a sudden hyper awareness of online content. Which can be amazing but also quite overwhelming. Children are being taught online. You can watch theatre, participate in live workshops, tour galleries, find hilarious memes…

Or you can take a break from the screens and seek out some quiet.

This might not always be possible, but it’s important to try and take a moment each day just to breathe. It’s free, totally natural and we guarantee your body will thank you for it, regardless of your age. Filskit’s Victoria swears by the simple app iBreathe as well as Headspace (the basic version is free and they are offering Headspace Plus for a year for free to those who are currently unemployed) and Calm. Or for young ones there’s an endearing Puffa Fish you can inhale and exhale along with to help regulate breathing.

At Filskit we are all big lovers of NATURE. Katy loves a countryside walk, Victoria’s Happy Place is in the garden (with a mug of tea) and Sarah loves a walk by the sea. Visual evidence below!

So, our mission for you – whether you’re by yourself or with your family, is to go for a walk outside if you can. And make yourself notice NATURE. Even if you are in a city.

Can you see a pigeon? Can you feel the breeze in your hair? Is the sun warm on your face?

This can be great fun for kids too! What can they hear? What can they smell? What can they see?

Take a moment to really notice the ground beneath your feet. Wiggle your toes. Are there rocks? Leaves? Shut your eyes. Feel the breeze and listen out for bird song.

Speaking of birds, this is a great time of year to spot swallows and swifts as they return from Africa! How cool is that?

Here’s an interesting video on migration TED-Ed Bird Migration as well as an animated short to show all the amazing places they travel: A Swallow's Migration (good geography lesson too!)

Curious about some of the birdsong you’ve heard? This video may help you identify some of our feathered friends: Birdsong For Beginners

With fewer cars on the road and fewer airplanes in the sky at present, it’s been a great time to listen out more birdsong. You can spot everything from magpies to robins to seagulls.

What birds have you seen recently? Can your child draw a picture of them? We'd love to see!

We will be putting together more projects over the next couple of months that help us think about birds, nature and the importance looking after your mental health. In the meantime, stay safe and keep smiling.

Love from The Filskit Ladies,

Sarah, Katy & Vic x

Mental Health

Awareness Week

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 18-24 May 2020. The theme is kindness:

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