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8 Top Tips To Help You Stay Connected

Due to current events, many of us are spending a lot more time at home. We know it can be difficult at times without friends and family around, so here are our 8 top tips to help you stay connected!
Title: Tip #1 Pick up your phone!
Image: Person's hand holding a note out in front of them saying "phone a friend"
Let’s be honest, we spend a lot of time on our phones scrolling through social media, but when was the last time you called a friend? Instead of going to visit somebody, make time to sit down and call someone - even just for a few minutes. Checking in with those around you is a good reminder that you're not alone and a great way to keep others company.  Perhaps you could even make a nice plan of what you'll do together when this is all over! 
Title: Tip #2 Write a Letter
Image: Brown envelope with a white sheet of writing paper
There’s nothing better than receiving a personally hand-written letter through the door. Especially when it's from a loved one. The time and thought that goes into letters makes them so special - they can even be a keepsake for years to come!  Dig out the writing paper and jot down a message for a friend or family member. You can guarantee it’ll put a smile on their face.
Title: Tip #3 Send a surprise gift to a loved one!
Image: Gift wrapped up in parcel paper with a string bow and gift card.
    There are so many amazing online stores who are still working during this time, (including ours!) You can find all kinds of different gifts online from letterbox flowers and chocolates to care packages and food parcels! Online orders also eliminate any social contact as you can ship the gift straight to the recipient. 
    Take a look at some of our gifts below. 

    ARK Skincare's Uplifting Care Package

      Product Image: ARK Skincare's Uplift Care Package including: ARK Skincare Travel bag, Mini Hydrating Beauty Mist, Vitality Body Wash & Hand and Nail Cream

      Includes: 

      • ARK Skincare Travel bag
      • Mini Hydrating Beauty Mist
      • Vitality Body Wash 
      • Nourishing Hand and Nail Cream

      Facial Massage Set

        Product Image: ARK Skincare's Facial Massage Set Including: Hydration Injection Masque & Jade Tool with a velvet pouch.

        Includes: 

        •  Hydration Injection Masque
        • Jade Tool & Velvet Pouch

        You can find lots of our thoughtful gifts here.

        Title: Tip #4 Get Creative!Image: Apple mac book on an oak table next to a coffee and notepad

          We know it can be hard to find things to talk about now everyone is spending so much more time at home; so it’s time to think outside the box! Why not plan a virtual pub quiz evening with friends and family, or perhaps watch a film together via zoom? There are still ways of keeping things light-hearted and fun! 

          Title: Tip #5 Have a virtual dinner date!
          Image: Bowl of pasta in a restaurant setting

            If you want some company at dinner time, why not schedule a ‘dinner date’ with a friend or family member? (A fun idea for couples too!) Spend some getting ready, choose a nice outfit like you would if you were going out, then prepare a yummy meal before calling your date! They can still be at the opposite end of the table, even if they are a little further away...  Don’t forget dessert!

            Title: Tip #6 Go to an online workout class with a friend!
            Image: Woman practicing stretches in front of her laptop, watching a live workout

              While we can’t go to the gym, why not sign up to an online workout class with a friend? It will give you something to commit to and you can encourage each other to stay motivated. It’s a great way to keep active, and you can catch up afterwards about how you found it! 

              Title: Tip #7 Join an online community!Image: Laptop on a desk with a notebook and pen

              If you're looking for something to keep you occupied, why not find an online community to join? There are so many online groups for all sorts of different things from blogging and baking to fitness and beauty. 

              Search for a hashtag online and find like-minded people who share your interests. You can find recipes, DIY's and tutorials for all kinds of things. You can guarantee to find something that will keep you busy!

              Title: Remember to take time for yourself, too.
              Image: Girl resting her reading book and cup of tea on her lap.
              We know how important it is to keep in touch with our loved ones and make sure they’re keeping well and coping okay, but remember you’re entitled to some time for yourself too.
              We’re living in a very strange time at the moment - it's almost as if we’ve come to a grounding halt. Although, while life has slowed down a lot for many of us, it can be a great opportunity to do the things that we might not usually have time for. 
               Most importantly, we have to do what we can to keep ourselves and each other safe, help those who need us, and stay home to save lives and support the NHS.
              Take care & stay safe! x

              How To Lift Your Mood

              8 TOP TIPS

              Image of a flat lay on a cosy duvet with a cup of tea, book and a candle

              We all have our days where we don't feel so good and need a little bit of comfort. So, this week, we thought we'd share some of our top tips to help lift and boost your mood, for when you're in need of a pick me up. Remember you can always chat with us on socials too, we love hearing from you! @ARKskincare
              Title: 8 ways to uplift your mood
              Tip one: Reflect
              Sometimes it can feel easier to push negative emotions away, rather than actually dealing with them. However, ignoring the way you’re really feeling and bottling things up can often do more damage than good.
              Be kind to yourself. Take some time out and reflect on what it is that might be making you feel down. Perhaps sharing your feelings with a friend or family member might help. Or, if you don’t feel like talking, allow yourself some time to accept how you feel. Sometimes a good cry to a sad film can relieve a lot of built-up tension and make you feel a lot better!
              Tip 2: Talk with others
              Image of a girl holding her iphone, scrolling through her messages on social media
              Chatting with friends or family members can always help to boost your mood. While we all know face to face interaction is limited right now, why not call or facetime someone you haven’t caught up with for a while? Start a virtual hangout and have your own ‘pub’ quiz with your best friends and favorite drinks, or get creative with an online game of Pictionary!
              Tip Three: Get stuck into something fun!

              Do you ever find yourself so submerged with something, then you look at the clock and hours have gone by? Find something you enjoy doing and allow yourself some time to have fun! There’s plenty of things to keep you occupied - a funny film or tv show, writing/drawing, puzzles, online quizzes, or even virtual games you can play online with friends! 

              While they're a lot less chatty, if you have a pet, spend some time with them too! Animals can bring us so much joy with the little things they do and can be a great company when you're feeling low. 

              Image of a cute fluffy puppy lying on a bed

              Tip Four: Bake something yummy!

              Image: Chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack next to a mug of milk

              “The way to someone's heart is through their stomach!” - A tasty treat is always a great way to put a smile on someone's face. There are plenty of free recipes online, so why not have a go at trying one yourself? Baking can be a really therapeutic way of keeping busy for a few hours and as a bonus, you'll have an afternoon treat to go with a cup of tea! 

              If you're in need of some inspiration, take a look at these yummy looking recipes!

              Indulgent Chocolate Cookies

              Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle Loaf

              Brilliant Banana Loaf

              Tip Five:  Do a good deed

              Image of a laptop screen with a 'be kind' screen saver, on a desk with coffee and a plant

               Offering an act of kindness to others is always a nice thing to do. It can make somebody’s day and you’ll feel great seeing their reaction, knowing you’ve done lovely something for them. Ideas could be offering some help to somebody who is struggling, treating a loved one to a home-cooked meal or even showing a smile to a stranger. 

              Tip 6:  Listen to music or podcasts

              Image of a brown acoustic guitar leaning on a while pillow on a desk chair


              Having something positive to listen to is always a good way to lift the mood. Put together a playlist of all your favorite songs to put on or find something interesting to listen to. 
              There are plenty of podcasts online where people talk about all kinds of different topics. 

              For an all-round feel-good podcast, The Mental Makeover Podcast has lots of episodes on how to live a happier lifestyle, including topics such as the law of attraction, boosting your mood and improving your self-confidence. Definitely worth a listen!

              Tip Seven: Get some sunshine!

              Image of lots of pretty sunflowers in a sunny field

              Although we all know the importance of staying inside at the moment, we can still get our dose of vitamin D! Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain's release of a hormone called serotonin, known as the happy hormone. Even going for a short walk or standing outside for 5-10 minutes can help. Just don't forget your SPF!

              Tip Eight: Pamper Yourself!

              Image of a bath tray on a bathtub with candles, flowers and books

              Taking some time out to practice self-care is so important for good mental health. Run a bath, pop a face mask on, grab some of your favourite body products and treat yourself to a few hours to yourself to relax and unwind. An early night now and again helps too - a rested mind makes anyone feel better!

              Subheading: ARK Skincare's Uplift Care Package

              If you really want to treat yourself, take a look at ARK Skincare's new Uplifting Care package! The perfect gift to treat yourself or a friend to. 

              Was £92, now £45!

               Includes:

              • Vitality Hand & Body Wash
              • Nourishing Body Lotion
              • Hydrating Beauty Mist 
              • ARK Washbag 
              Mood board of the Uplift Care Package artwork with products and an image of a girl stretching as she gets out of bed. Title:  Energise your morning routine.

                   You can find more of our other care packages and gifts here.

                  References: 

                  NHS - How To Be Happy 

                  Psychology Today - 10 Simple Ways To Improve Your Mood 

                  Very Well Mind - How to Instantly Lift Your Mood

                  Healthline - What Are The Benefits Of Sunlight?

                   

                  How To Keep Active Indoors

                  Header banner with text: 7 tips to stay active indoors
                  We hope you’re all doing well and are keeping healthy going into the third week of lockdown. Despite being a few weeks in now, we know it can still seem strange and feel tricky to deal with sometimes. During this time, we hope our content can help to uplift and inspire, or even just take things off your mind for five minutes!
                  As lots of us are staying at home and are unable to be able to go to the gym or get as much exercise in, we thought we would suggest some ideas on how to keep active indoors. So, if you’re feeling a little bit stuck for something to do, this could be the post for you!

                   

                  1. Online Workout VideosImage of a woman sat cross legged on a exercise mat with dumbbells and smoothie

                  There are thousands of workout classes on YouTube which are fab as they are free to access and you can search for exactly what you want. Whether that be cardio, strength, high/low intensity or even just some stretches, there is so much content to choose from.
                  The channel SELF has some great cardio workouts, or, if you’re looking for something low-intensity, Lucy Wyndham-Read has a channel full of great “walking workouts” which are a great way to get you moving!

                  2. Live Workouts 

                  Image of Instagram app on an iphone

                  Lots of celebrities and online influencers are using their platform positively by live-streaming with their personal trainers and inviting their following to join in too! A great way to feel part of something and get a real sense of community, while getting some exercise in too! Here are some ideas for people to follow...

                  @thebodycoach

                  @zannavandijk

                  @nobsguides

                  3. Fitness Apps

                  Image of a woman practicing yoga at home on a workout mat
                  Don’t forget about fitness apps! Why not have a break from scrolling through socials and find a workout to do on your phone?
                  Chris Hemsworth has recently announced he is offering a 6-month free subscription of his fitness app Centre which you can find out more about here
                  Fiit is another app where you can link your phone to your tv screen. You can wear a tracking belt during your workout and see your stats on the screen while you do your exercise. You can also invite friends to workout with you and compete for the most 'fiit points' which is lots of fun and a great way to increase your motivation!

                  4. Yoga & Pilates

                  If you fancy the idea of learning a new skill, why not give yoga or pilates a go? It has lots of different benefits such as increasing your flexibility, strength and posture. It can help to relax and calm the mind. One of our favourites is Karen Eccles @pilatesfromwithin, who is hosting live workout classes. A nice therapeutic way to start or end the day!

                  Image of staircase in house

                  5. Get Creative!

                  You don’t need to commit to a whole workout to stay active, it's just about finding ways to keep yourself moving. Do some star jumps in the garden, have a dance in the kitchen while you cook dinner or even just walk up and down the stairs a few times - that'll get your heart rate up! Improvise with what you have available. Who needs dumbbells? Grab a bottle of water or a few cans of beans!

                  6. Walking/Running/Cycling

                  Image of a person wearing trainers walking on the grass

                  We all know it’s very important to stay at home as much as possible at the moment. However, we are still allowed our hours of exercise per day which is worth taking advantage of! While keeping a distance from others who may be out and about, why not take a walk, run or cycle? Fresh air is still as important as ever to keep brain fog away!

                  7. Take your chair away!

                  Image of a wooden desk with an apple macbook

                  Is sitting at a desk or on the sofa all day is making you feel sluggish? Sitting down for long periods of time is thought to slow the metabolism and make us feel tired.

                  Why not create a standing desk to work at instead? Some say it can even improve productivity and focus as it keeps you more alert! 

                  Wrapping Up With A Gentle Reminder...

                  While keeping active is great for both the body and the mind, please don’t pressure yourself. Lots of online content is all about being productive 24/7 at the moment and while that might be great for some, we must remember this time isn’t about becoming a fitness guru, eating kale for every meal or working 10 hour days. It's a strange time for everyone and the most important thing we can do is take each day as it comes and do what feels right for us. Whether that be going for a run or having a PJ day, all are important. Take care of yourself. 

                    Sources: 

                  https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/why-sitting-too-much-is-bad-for-us/

                  https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/uk/health/health-advice/a31697332/staying-fit-healthy-self-isolating/

                  http://theconversation.com/how-to-stay-fit-and-active-at-home-during-the-coronavirus-self-isolation-134044