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Jo’s Journal – February 2022

Posted: by Jo Tuesday, 25 January 2022 @ 14:21

2022 is now well underway...

...and the Covid news is all very positive, with restrictions lifting and hospitalisations decreasing. It really has been a Happy start to the New Year! Long may it continue.

And I am thrilled to report that I had a wonderful Christmas, doing exactly as I had hoped. A peaceful and quiet festive period in the Lake District, with my step-mum-in-law coming for a few days over Christmas itself, and then a quiet New Year with just my husband and I cooking a lovely meal for ourselves.

And sharing the week with a Greater Spotted Woodpecker on our bird-feeder – a beautiful bird that I have never seen in real life before, but saw every day over the week. As one of my Christmas presents was a pair of high spec binoculars for my new bird-watching passion, you can guess how excited I was!

Along with much of the population, I have been doing my own version of Dry January – starting a little later in the month than most, as I have a 12th Night celebratory tradition with my sister and her family – but not drinking since then.  

I have to admit that I love a glass or two of wine, so it is normally pretty challenging to give it up completely for a period of time. But I have found it remarkably easy this time around. I think my mindset has been firmly fixed on health and wellness so far this year, so a few weeks of abstinence seems like a small price to pay for a healthier liver!


The National Running Show

At Mantra, we have had a strong start to the new year, with an excellent live event at the NEC in Birmingham, the National Running Show. It was our first event in almost 2 years, because of Covid, and we loved every moment of it.

Anna and Jo at the National Running Show

A running show might at first seem like an unlikely event to take Mantra to. After all, we don’t make running shoes, training kit, or sports nutrition – we make jewellery! But, if you know Mantra well and you know our story, you’ll know that much of the thinking behind the brand came about when I trained for, and ran in, the London Marathon back in 2016.  

I realised quickly during training that you run a marathon with your mind, even more than your body. That insidious, nagging, negative voice in your head that tells you that you can stop all this pain by just slowing down to a walk... That’s the enemy that you have to fight against, when your legs start aching and your chest is exploding and you can’t seem to locate that second wind…

Blog - Mantras for Running

So, I learnt 26 mantras, one for each mile, to keep my mind distracted and to shut that voice up. It worked!

And, of course, many runners use mantras, so the audience at the event totally ‘got’ Mantra, instinctively understanding the power of words to transform your mood and mindset.  

Jo Stroud and Susie Chan

It was also just great to be back out at an event, meeting new people. Like many of you, the team and I have been confined to the office or our homes for the last 18 months, with all of our relationships with you – our wonderful customers – being purely digital, so it was truly fantastic to be back at an event with real people, IRL, again! Hearing your stories of challenge with mood, mindset, mojo, and motivation, and looking to running as a way to get out of your head and back to yourself.


Something new...

Our new stock has also just arrived in the office, which is always a time of real excitement here. Our new All-seeing Eye ‘myMantra’ necklace is a particular favourite, and has come out beautifully. It is always thrilling to see a design come to life, and this one is no exception.

Also this month, we are very excited about a new collaboration with the incredible Sharon Luca-Chatha.  

Sharon owns an eco-friendly clothing brand called LK Eco Style, making T-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts in organic cotton and recycled materials. She is going to be collaborating with us on a range of Mantra clothing, with each of our six bestselling mantras being available on a T-shirt, hoodie or sweatshirt.

Mantra collaboration with Sharon Luca-Chatha.

The first one to launch will be ‘Always, I rise’, from our bestselling Phoenix Necklace, with another one launched each month. Look out on Sharon’s website for the launch in early February - https://lkecostyle.com/


The Luca Foundation

Sharon is also the Founder of a charity called the Luca Foundation, in memory of her stillborn son, Luca. The charity aims to raise funds to buy ‘cuddle cots’ for hospitals, which allow parents to spend more time with a stillborn child. At such a devastating time in someone's life, this is one small way of helping. 

 A cuddle cot is a cooling mattress that stop a baby's body deteriorating, and can be placed in a cot or even a pram. It allows parents to spend time with their babies and bond with them, as it slows down the natural changes in the baby’s body after death. Having the chance to see and hold their baby, take photographs or hand and footprints, and spend more time with them can make an enormous difference at a time of inconceivable grief and overwhelming sadness.

We will be launching a Mantra necklace in partnership with the Luca Foundation in March, with 25% of the funds going to the charity. I’ll tell you more about it in next month’s journal, along with some preview images of the design.  


Valentine's Day

February also sees both Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s Day. We all know about Valentine’s – but you may not be so familiar with Galentine’s.

While it is, for sure, a ‘made up’ event, it is now widely celebrated the day before Valentine's Day, and is a day to show love and appreciation to your girlfriends. Created more than 10 years ago, it has become an unofficial celebration of female friendship - the time to thank your gal pals for all their love and support.

Why not choose a mantra to show your best friend what she means to you? Here are our selection of ideal mantras for your bestie, on this day or any day!

Blog - Gifts for your Galentine

Mantras for Galentine's Day

I know I mentioned last month that I was hoping to get some books for Christmas, so I could do some reading – one of my favourite pastimes.

I was thrilled to receive ‘Wanderers – a History of Women Walking’ by Kerri Andrews, from my sister; and ‘Artists – Their Lives and Works’ by Graham Dixon, from Paul – hill-walking and art being two passions of mine.

But even before I read these, I downloaded an excellent audiobook, recommended by a friend of mine, called ‘Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?’ by Dr Julie Smith. It’s an absolutely brilliant handbook for staying resilient in life.  

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?’ by Dr Julie Smith

Dr Smith is a clinical psychologist with over a decade of professional experience, who started using social media to reach a wider audience, wanting to make an understanding of how our brains and our emotions work more accessible. I would highly recommend this book to everyone, but especially if you are going through a period of low mood, grief, anxiety or confusion. For me, it is perfect as a toolkit for thriving in life when things are good, and learning coping strategies ready for when life challenges you.

Well, that’s all for this month. I really hope you all have an amazing February, and I look forward to catching up next month, when we can officially say, it’s Spring!

Jo xxx

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