Rachael, how did Distraction Box come about?
I have a background in corporate marketing and worked within an organisation which saw me primarily office-based. I began to suffer from a severe health problem and had to undergo spinal surgery, which sadly left me with nerve damage and a huge life change.
The physical issues this brought, especially as I couldn’t control it, contributed to problems with my overall health and wellbeing, and I started struggling to deal with the emotions of my new life post surgery.
I realised I needed to work on controlling my emotions more so I started seeing a counsellor. I learnt that my head had to be strong whilst I was suffering from physical pain, and by talking, I felt that the weight of stress lifted off me and I began to cope with my new life limitations, and pain, better.
Why do you think there’s still a taboo around mental health and stress?
Many people still think that because you can’t see an illness, it doesn’t exist. But in fact, mental health is just as important as any physical ailment, injury or illness. It stops people from truly being themselves and performing at their full potential.
Luckily, with social media campaigns taking off like #ItsOkToTalk, and stress and mental health becoming such a talked-about topic this year, we’re slowly removing the stigma and making it easier for people to seek help without feeling ashamed or embarrassed.
It’s also important to understand that talking and/or working on keeping a strong mind, does not make a person ‘weak’ or mean they have a mental illness.
I gained a great deal from talking out my emotions during an intensely stressful time. I believe we should all start working on our minds more – even on a daily basis.
What does Distraction Box aim to do?
I founded Distraction Box with my business partner Samantha Birch, who’s a Doctor of physiology. She understands better than most that some forms of depression can be passed down through genetics which is why not all people who suffer from it (or similar mental health issues) find a solution in medication – particularly in the long-term.
We both strongly believe in the power of talking therapies, and finding tools which can help us manage our mental wellbeing more effectively and naturally.
There are currently plenty of postal subscription boxes for mother and baby, through to beauty and gadgets, but there isn’t currently one focused on helping people cope and manage the stresses and strains of everyday life – and that’s what we wanted to change.
Distraction Box is aimed at anyone looking to positively and proactively look after their mental health and wellness. They’ll receive hand-selected goodies each month through the post, specifically designed to encourage us to just stop, and take a short break from the hustle and bustle that has become our lives.
For anyone who might wish to explore Distraction Box, the official launch is 1st October 2016 and more information can be found on the website distractionbox.co.uk or you can find us on facebook or instagram.