In the midst of this fall season comes all things cozy, warm and comforting. But as a student, fall also means prime-time stress due to an increase in assignment load, mid-semester exams and endless group project meetings in an attempt to get as much done before Thanksgiving break. Not to mention internship and job shifts on top of all of that. Fall can be a tough time to be a student.
However, I think it’s the people you care about and surround yourself with that have a lot to do with how you deal with the stresses in life. Little pick-me-ups, whether a phone call, encouraging text message or even something sent via snail mail mean the most in times of distress. It’s nice to feel cared about, right?
What shows your affection for someone more than a care package? Although I believe that any time is a great time to remind someone that you care, I think fall (for all the reasons I listed above) is a perfect time for making care packages. Assembling a box that emanates affection in the form of letters, pictures, candy and survival tips can potentially rescue someone from a stressful mental breakdown. Another reason for fall care-package-making is that the arts and crafts stores are prepared for the amount of holiday season crafting, so you’ll have no problem finding bits and bobs to make a care package unique to the person you are making it for.
I recently made a care package for my cousin Valerie. I felt she was in need of a care package for of a lot of reasons, but mostly because she is currently in the midst of her first year in medical school all the way in Chicago. We try to make time every other week to have a catch-up phone call and I could tell that the stress was building on her end of the line this past month. So, I decided to send a little love her way with this small box of goodies 🙂 Here’s how I put it together:
THE BOX: I used a photo box from Michael’s Arts & Crafts store. This box in particular attracted me because I thought the quotes were fitting. I also added the personal touch of labeling the box “it’s a twin thing” to play on the fact that we look so much alike and we are always on the same page when it comes to how we feel
coffee mug with handmade mug cozy–Val and I love our coffee and teas so I thought that a simple mug would be a thoughtful nod toward the necessity of caffeine during this time of the year. As for the crocheted mug cozy in the likeness of a dog? I was browsing Pinterest and saw a similar mug cozy, but with a fox. I wish I could say that I made it myself, but I recruited the crocheting skills of my roommate Megan to get it done. I provided her with the supplies, drew the dog’s face and she was happy to put it together for me. I tried to make it in the likeness Val’s dog, Kona because it’s for a coffee mug…coffee…Kona is a kind of coffee…get it? 😛 Regardless of the puns, I think it turned out really cute!
green tea–What’s more stress relieving than a hot cup of tea? Especially if it’s Tazo’s Zen green tea 🙂 Paired with honey, I think this tea is soothing yet has enough caffeine in it to keep the study marathon sessions going. Everyone could use a little more zen in their lives, especially medical school students!
handwritten letter–You can’t go wrong with a handwritten letter. I think handwritten messages show your personality and definitely displays how much you care for it’s recipient because it’s rare to receive physical letters these days. I was always that kid who got way too excited when I got something in the mail (I still get excited over mail, but nowadays it’s just bills, junk mail or some bank trying to convince me to open a credit card with them). Whenever I can hand write a message, I try to. It gives it a personal touch.
Artsy notebook–I love things like this! I grew up writing in journals, making lists about anything and everything and the kind of book I wrote in was half the fun! I thought this notebook with a diagram of a skull from Typo was a funny and cute way to acknowledge Val’s medical school studies. I know she typically writes notes on her laptop or tablet, but I still think that anyone can use a notebook. Cute, novelty notebooks make writing grocery lists and to-do lists a tad bit fun. Like I said, the little things do matter!
aromatherapy hand sanitizer–You can’t go wrong with things that smell good and keep you clean! A future doctor understands the need for sterilization and stress relief, so I thought this little bottle of hand sanitizer from Bath & Body Works covered both of those necessities. The combination scent of eucalyptus and mint is suppose to be therapeutic and relaxing.
personalized photo frame–Photos are always a great reminder of the presence of someone in your life. I thought that it would be an interesting idea to not just print out a picture of the two of us, but to include quotes that I feel are inspiring and describe our relationship with each other. I bought this shadowbox frame from Target, where I also professionally printed the photo.
THE PACKAGING: Nothing special here. I just bought paper shavings that you usually find in Easter baskets, filling every empty space of the box with it and wrapped the mug in some paper I found around my apartment. Lastly, I used a Modcloth box my roommate had in her room from a recent purchase she made. It worked out perfectly!
and…that’s it! I sent the care package to Val as a surprise. She received it the morning of a very important exam and said that it definitely lifted her spirits and made her day, which of course, made my day to hear that.
I hope this inspires you to tell someone in your life how important they are to you or may this serve as a reminder to you that even through the most stressful of times, someone out there cares about you!
Now it’s your turn to make a care package 🙂 Christmas is around the corner and a care package would be a great gift idea for someone you won’t be seeing this holiday season. Tweet me and/or Instagram your creations using #ArtAndCraftWithMez.
Have fun crafting!