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6 Simple Gift Ideas for A Young Couple

6 Simple Gift Ideas for A Young Couple

One of the trickiest sets of people to go shopping and conjure up gift ideas for! What do you buy a young couple who have more disposable income than they can shake a stick at? No children, no hefty mortgage, just each other, and most likely the majority of materialistic items and little luxuries they could possibly desire – and that’s without contemplating the need for the gift to be unisex!

Of course this is a massive generalization but a predicament that I’m sure most people who have found themselves on this post, after frantically searching Google for a good few hours have experienced.

1. Vouchers

Now this one you really can’t go wrong with. Vouchers are the perfect way to show you have put some thought into the gift and haven’t just opted for the easy option of giving money. However, it also leaves it open enough for the recipient to choose something they really want. There are numerous different voucher options readily available on the market, which can create a bit of a minefield when it comes to choosing which one to get!

The first thing to consider is the person who you are giving to – what are their interests? What are their hobbies? What would they consider a treat?

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Once you’ve established these initial pointers you should have a better idea of where to head first. Something you most certainly can’t go wrong with is a holiday! Who doesn’t like a holiday? Now this doesn’t mean you have to go booking an all-inclusive week in the Mediterranean, you can instead just make a small gesture which will help towards them booking that first getaway together. Holidays are a very personal thing so try to keep it as broad as possible.

A lovely idea is to purchase a voucher towards a stay in a cozy cottage or apartment ideal for two, Cornwall is a perfect example of a location exuding both relaxation and romance! If the couple are more of the quirky kind, then you could instead provide a voucher for a yurt or a glamping pod – a novel take on alternative UK accommodation. A holiday voucher also makes a great opportunity to collaborate with other family members or friends to push up the value of the overall gift.

Another fault-proof voucher idea is of the edible kind! You really can’t go wrong with food. This is also a great way to demonstrate you’ve really given it some thought. Purchase a voucher for their favorite tea room, café, or restaurant so they can indulge on your behalf.

Have your recipients recently moved into their first home? For many young couples, this is either the case, or most definitely on the cards sometime soon. A voucher for a large homeware or department store will allow them to start kitting out their new pad to their own tastes.

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Last but not least, is a simple cinema voucher! Allow the couple to rekindle that first date romance by heading out to watch a film and consume too much popcorn.

2. Hamper

If you are feeling crafty, then this can be a fun project for you. A hamper is a good choice as you can tailor it to the exact requirements of the couple you are making it for. All you need is a large, plain wicker basket and then the content to go inside is completely your choice.

Head to your local charity shop and select some miss-matched vintage china, pair it with some cutlery, add scones, cream, jam, and strawberries and you have yourself a delightful cream tea hamper. If you want to make it that extra bit special, you could also head to your local farm shop and select some other goodies such as crackers, cheese, chutneys, and crisps to turn it into more of an exquisite picnic.

Do the couple you’re buying for, just need an excuse to take a step back from everyday tasks and enjoy a night of relaxation? If this is true, then pack them up their very own ‘movie night in’. Select a few DVDs (classics, rom-coms, and horrors are fairly safe choices), choose some indulgent snacks and refreshments such as popcorn, chocolate, sweets, and a bottle of wine ‒ you could also even add some extra special bubble bath and a few scented candles.

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3. Overnight Baby-sitting

If the couple you are buying for has a young child, then this can seem like the most simple of ideas to you, yet to the recipient it can be the best gift they receive! Get creative on your computer and put together a personalized voucher offering your baby sitting services for one night – providing them with some well-deserved time out to spend how they wish.

4. Experience Day

This is for the more adventurous and fun-loving couple! There are a whole host of websites out there these days offering experience days in just about everything and anything; from high tea at a castle to a hot air balloon ride ‒ you think of it, they can probably provide it. Now this makes your job very easy, have a scroll through a website such as Virgin Experience Days, filtering the features to ‘gifts for couples’ and select an experience you think they would both love. A truly unique idea and something anyone would love to receive.

5. Illustration of Their House

Notonthehighstreet is a fantastic place to start when faced with a difficult gift buying scenario. They offer wonderfully unique products from all spectrum of the market allowing you to choose something that little bit different. A lot of young couples will have just moved into their first house together, so why not get a hold of a photo of said house and have it created into a perfectly posed illustration for them to proudly hang on their wall.

6. Travel-Related Items

Does the couple you’re buying for, love to travel? Do they have a serious case of wanderlust? Then why not cater to this with your gift-giving. Either have a quick scour online where you will be able to pick up a large world map, then all you need to do is buy a frame large enough to comfortably and securely accommodate the map. When putting the map inside the frame you want to, however, ensure you remove the pane of glass. Wrap the framed map up with a little bag of drawing pins and small note instructing them to place a pin whenever they travel to a new location.

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Alternatively, you can assist with their travel planning. There are endless amount of fun books for people yearning to travel and explore new places such as 36 Hours 125 Weekends in Europe, so why not choose a few and wrap them up together to give them some inspiration and help send them on their way.

Featured photo credit: Gopix Database via gopixdatabase.com

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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