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Mindfulness and Gratitude Amidst the Frenzied Thanksgiving Shopping Season

Thanksgivingbrandingideas-thanksgiving-2016 is nearly here, and right after we’ll be observing a cluster of related events—many of which are consumer-focused, some of which are oriented towards social good: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at this moment, trying to figure out where you should be focusing your attention, don’t feel bad. A lot of people are! Here at branding ideas℠, we’re here to help you make sense of the dizzying area of events that are coming up so you can figure out which ones to participate in, as well as how to stay balanced and centered amidst the holiday frenzy.


Black Friday. This annual shopping megathon has become rather notorious for its focus on hyper-consumerism, and each year people get really worked up and stressed out trying to find deals on products they want to buy. It doesn’t have to be this way, however. You can use this post-Thanksgiving period to instead engage in mindfulness and emotionally prepare for the holiday season so that the hustle and bustle doesn’t define your experience. 

Small Business Saturday. If you are a small business, then it may be worth your while to participate in the yearly #ShopSmall campaign that encourages consumers to patronize their local businesses, thereby stimulating the local economy rather than sending their hard-earned money off to giant big box retailers. Small Business Saturday has a special appeal in that it fosters a sense of local community, which can be beneficial to everyone’s well-being.


Cyber Monday. The online counterpart to traditionally brick-and-mortar Black Friday, Cyber Monday is another massive shopping event. Some major chains are even unveiling their coveted deals a few days in advance, heightening the anticipation around the day. However, as with Black Friday, it’s wise to consider indulging yourself in a different way—with a mindful approach to spending that curbs unnecessary purchases. That way you can be sure that the items you buy will truly add meaning and joy to your life and others’ lives.

Giving Tuesday. Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, and Giving Tuesday aims to put that sentiment into action. You can help others by donating your time (as a volunteer), donations, or even goods to a social justice cause of your choice. Here at branding ideas℠, we have a related tradition (going on 10 years strong now!) in which we pick three or four charities each year and ask our clients to vote on the ones they’d like us to donate to. We then donate our charitable giving budget based on the breakdown of the vote tally.


Whatever your business or focus in work, this is a perfect time of year to take a brief pause and experience the gratitude of the season, then take mindful steps to express it to others with charitable giving or thoughtfully selected gifts. We at branding ideas℠ are your consultative partners, ready to make the process of choosing corporate holiday gifts smooth and even enjoyable.


Are you wondering how your company, nonprofit, school, association, or other organization can reward and acknowledge your staff, colleagues, business partners, clients, or honorees with the right gift this holiday season? Let us help you choose appropriate items for your organization that will thoughtfully express your gratitude and appreciation. Check out our holiday board on Pinterest, reach out to us on Twitter and Facebook, or call us at 877-881-6845. We’ll be glad to advise on ways you can make a positive impression through well selected gifts.

4 Ways to Boost Your Social Wellness

photo credit: Help via photopin (license)

photo credit: Help via photopin (license)

What does wellness mean to you? Often, we think about it in terms of physical health—getting enough exercise, proper nutrition, and of course a good night’s sleep. But there’s a lot more to wellness and even happiness than just those key ingredients. July is Social Wellness Month: an opportunity to focus on social relationships and how they make a difference in the way we enjoy our lives. Our connectedness with others plays a huge role in our health and productivity, so it’s worth taking some steps to better promote that closeness.

In honor of Social Wellness Month, here are some ideas for enjoying better social wellbeing:

  • Really listen to your friends. One of the best ways to show a friend or loved one we care is to listen, really listen, to what they are saying—whether it’s something that they’re excited about or something that’s bothering them. It’s an act of kindness that draws people closer together.
  • Spend quality time with a pet. As avid pet parents know, pets can bring a lot of joy into our lives. In fact, pet parents typically experience less stress than folks who do not have pets in their home. If you have a dog, taking him or her for a walk is also a great way to meet some other people who share a common interest—fellow pet parents. Or, if you have a brick-and-mortar business, you can be more pet-friendly to the community by putting out a pet bowl full of water or give out pet goodies to the friendly dogs that wander by. Their humans will surely appreciate it and remember your thoughtfulness!
  • Join a local community group. If you’re feeling disconnected from others, one way to bridge the gap is by joining a local group where you can meet people who share your interests and values. This could be anything from a volunteer organization through which you tutor kids to a community historical association. People feel a sense of harmony when working together toward a common goal. If you pitch in, you’ll likely feel a sense of connectedness and accomplishment.
  • Join an exercise group. This one offers twice the usual wellness benefits: by joining a running group, for example, you can meet some great new friends (or even business networking contacts—that’s always a possibility as well) while taking care of your body and enjoying the thrill of a good run (don’t forget your sunscreen and exercise accessories!).

Are you thinking of offering a campaign or giveaway that focuses on wellness or social wellbeing? There are a lot of ways branded promotional items can play a strong supporting role. Get in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on exceptional promotional products that can represent your brand with style and grace.

It’s National Sun Safety Week!

Summer is right around the corner, with beaches and pools getting ready to welcome sun worshipers and vacationers alike. We’re also looking forward to soaking up some rays, but safely—that’s why we’re paying special attention to National Sun Safety Week, which is this week (June 5-June 11). Here are 5 tips on how to make the most of the summer months while protecting yourself from harmful UV rays and sun damage that can lead to skin cancer.

5 summer sun safety tips*:

  1. Don’t skimp on the sunscreen. When heading out for some summer fun, make sure to load up on sunscreen first—SPF 30 or higher with both UVA and UVB protection is best. Re-apply sunscreen after you’ve been out for two hours or after you’ve been swimming. Also check the expiration date to make it’s still effective; otherwise it may not give you the full protection you need.
  2. Wear protective clothing. To protect your skin from exposure to the sun, consider wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves or long pant legs. A good hat is also a smart idea, as it guards your scalp from sun exposure. A hat with a wide brim is an especially good choice since it gives your face, neck, and ears full coverage. If you prefer to wear a ballcap instead, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to those areas.
  3. When going out, try to avoid peak hours. The sun is at is most potent between the hours of 10am-4pm, so if you can, try to avoid standing outside in the direct sunlight during those hours. If you must be out then, seek the shade.
  4. Stay cool in the shade. Not only is it often more comfortable sitting in the shade than it is sitting out directly in the beating sun, but it’s better for you, keeping you safe from harmful sun damage. When resting and relaxing, seek a shady spot under an umbrella (particularly a UV umbrella, which can give you extra protection) or a tree. This applies even on cool or cloudy days, too.
  5. D46E92C3-D211-48F2-9D46-FFE8F6434A55Keep your sun safety accessories handy. Do you like to head out on your bike at a moment’s notice? Then make your life easier by having all your accessories, including sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, and a hat ready to go in a bag. A sun kit is another convenient way to keep everything you know on hand.

Planning a summer gathering? We have protective branded items for summer corporate outings, summer camps, company retreats and picnics. Looking for some ideas for promotional products that might be a good fit for your business this summer? Check out our Fun Promotional Summer Gifts board on Pinterest! Or get in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll be glad to advise you on exceptional promotional products that can represent your brand with style and grace.

* These tips were sourced from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They do not constitute professional medical advice. For guidance specific to your own personal health needs, be sure to consult your medical care provider.