You might have heard about the ‘Buddy Box’ from the Blurt Foundation, you might have even been lucky enough to receive one. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain.
The Blurt Foundation is a charity “dedicated to helping those affected by depression.” One of the ways they do this is by selling ‘Buddy Boxes.’ These are sent out on a monthly basis and are full of stuff. Initially, I was sceptical about the idea. I thought to myself: do they not realise that a box of crap is not going to help depression. And no, it will not always help but it can sometimes.
The boxes are full of useful things. I’ve been lucky enough to receive two so far. One had a book on mindfulness. I briefly used it and found it helpful, I go back to it now and again and hope to practice with it more. It also contained tea and some cute postcards, chocolate and a ‘build your own polar bear’ kit. This month, I got a lovely note book, some origami dinosaurs, more tea and some seaweed.
The great thing about these boxes is that they are put together with depression in mind, it’s not a bunch of random stuff thrown together. There’s lots of research suggesting that mindfulness is a very useful tool in improving one’s mental health. The things to make are great distractions when you’re feeling crap. Drinking tea can be really relaxing and comforting.
They are products to promote self care, something that is incredibly important with mental health issues like depression. Self care can be really difficult when you feel like utter crap. The last thing I’m thinking about when I haven’t been able to get out of bed for days is treating myself to a nice tea or taking a bath. But these boxes give you a nudge in the right direction.
Depression can feel like a very lonely place. Receiving these boxes is a little reminder that somebody out there cares about you and that you are not as alone as you might feel. It’s a little pick me up on a bad day. It will not fix things, the lovely feeling may be fleeting but amongst all the heavy sad days, it’s a really sweet gesture that can let depression know that it does not have a complete hold on you. It’s a little symbol that someone cares about you when it might seem as though nobody does.
You can subscribe to these boxes for yourself or a friend. If you are unable to afford a subscription then you can just buy them as a one off. They also sell a smaller and cheaper version. You can find out more about the options here. They do not currently ship abroad but hopefully this will change if the organisation keeps growing.
Buddy boxes are not the only thing that Blurt do either: there’s peer support, blog posts and other resources on their website which I highly recommend having a look at. You do not need to have a mental illness to enjoy these boxes either, everyone can use a little pick me up from time to time.