Are we the only ones who are wondering where did 2021 go? This year has flown by incredibly fast. Despite the pandemic still monitoring our lives, 2021 has been a wonderful year for the Mira team: not only have we seen our social enterprise come to life, but we’ve witnessed our team grow, taken part in cultural events, and we’ve wrapped countless gift boxes for every occasion. Most importantly, we have been able to have a real social impact in the communities of rural Afghanistan, amidst the political situation and its repercussions on the population.
Now that the festive season is upon us, we would like to share a few tips with you on how to navigate smoothly through the family gatherings (even those you would rather avoid, because of your annoying grand aunt or your politically incorrect cousin), and enter the new year with a renewed serenity:
1. Embrace the act of giving
You don’t need to see medical studies to know that giving feels good. If you have ever given time, money or other resources without awaiting anything in return, you will have already experienced it. But research can shed light on the science behind the helper's high — and the long-term physical and psychological benefits that may follow it.
For the physiology part, a study on charitable donation in which researchers performed functional MRI scans on the donor’s brains (scans used to detect neurological activity) revealed that after the people donated, the part of their brains that ‘lit up’, or became active, was the mesolimbic system. This part of the brain controls feelings of reward and pleasure. It is also activated by food, drugs and intimacy.
Biology apart, a growing body of research links different types of giving and potential health benefits:
- Greater self-esteem
- Lower risk of depression
- Better physical health
- A longer life
Remember: whether it is giving a gift, time or money, the health benefits will be countless. It is the ideal ultimate technique to survive the family gatherings you have no desire to attend: consider you are donating your time for a good cause!
2. Consider gifting with a purpose
Raise your hand if you don’t mind joining gatherings during the holiday season empty-handed! I can guarantee that, apart from some rare individuals, none of you have even considered it as an option.
At Mira HQ, there is even an unspoken competition going on between coworkers - who will show up with the prettiest, most innovative, socially and ethically responsible gift to our get-togethers? I won’t reveal the winner - because it is always this one person who hasn't had the time to shop, or forgot about the gathering all together, and ends up bringing… A Mira gift box, filled with dried fruits and nuts. What to say, are we biased? Perhaps, but Mira has launched these new, very elegant gift boxes for the festive season, and we just can’t get enough of them!
Chocolates, sweets, dried fruits, nuts, and other snacks are indeed the ideal treat to share with company. And, much better if it comes in beautiful packaging that will become the statement piece of your home. To add to the well-being sensations of giving, choosing to buy your gifts from a social enterprise, such as Mira, is truly gifting with a purpose. Your purchase will have a direct impact on the lives of the producers, and you will have the added satisfaction of knowing that your beautiful gift is also strongly ethical, and that you’ve helped spread hope around you.
3. Slow down, relax and reflect
After living a speedy life for most part of the year, slow down as the calendar marks the last days of the Gregorian year. The weather is a delight at the moment in the United Arab Emirates. Enjoy going on a stroll, walking barefoot on the beach, feeling the sand in between your toes, taking deep salted breaths, listening to the calm melody of the waves crashing against the shore, and relax. Spend time with your loved ones, and alone. Reflect on this year, and count your blessings. Take the time to recharge and be ready to enter 2022 with serenity.
And if you’re still feeling stressed by your last minute shopping for your family gathering, remember that most places deliver nowadays, like Mira: within just a few clicks, you can order your meaningful gift boxes online in Dubai or in Abu Dhabi, and have them delivered straight to your doorstep. We will take care of everything, just relax and enjoy spending time in the best company.