Remember, even if you put an address label in your letter, ALWAYS include your return address outside the envelope. I received 2 letters this week with no return address on envelope (only inside with the letter), if for some reason the letter would not have reached me (not enough postage, incorrect address, etc) these letters would never have made it back to you at all. SO PLEASE ALWAYS REMEMBER TO INCLUDE YOUR RETURN ADDRESS LABEL OUTSIDE YOUR LETTER/PACKAGE. THANK YOU.
Thank you for the donations from the following members from May to July 2016. Donations were from stamps, stationery, postcards, stickers.. Thank you for helping PPFL
Jordin N Bennett
Michelle Del Valle
Amanda Faye Meade Bramlett
Listen to musicIf you're feeling overwhelmed by a stressful situation, try taking a break and listening to relaxing music. Playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body, can lower blood pressure, and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress.
We recommend cello master Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach, but if classical really isn’t your thing, try listening to ocean or nature sounds. It may sound cheesy, but they have similar relaxing effects to music.
Call a friend
When you’re feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle, and they’re especially important when you're under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.
Talk yourself through it
Sometimes calling a friend is not an option. If this is the case, talking calmly to yourself can be the next best thing. Don’t worry about seeming crazy — just tell yourself why you're stressed out, what you have to do to complete the task at hand, and most importantly, that everything will be okay.
Stress levels and a proper diet are closely related. When we’re overwhelmed, we often forget to eat well and resort to using sugary, fatty snack foods as a pick-me-up. Try to avoid sugary snacks and plan ahead. Fruits and vegetables are always good, and fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress. A tuna sandwich really is brain food.
Laugh It Off
Laughter releases endorphins that improve mood and decrease levels of the stress-causing hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Laughing tricks your nervous system into making you happy. Our suggestion: watch some classic Monty Python skits like "The Ministry of Silly Walks." Those Brits are so hilarious, you’ll soon be cracking up, rather than cracking up.
A large dose of caffeine causes a short-term spike in blood pressure. It may also cause your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to go into overdrive. Instead of coffee or energy drinks, try green tea. It has less than half the caffeine of coffee and contains healthy antioxidants, as well as theanine, an amino acid that has a calming effect on the nervous system
Most of the tips we’ve suggested provide immediate relief, but there are also many lifestyle changes that can be more effective in the long run. The concept of “mindfulness” is a large part of meditative and somatic approaches to mental health, and has become popular in modern psychotherapy. From yoga and tai chi to meditation and Pilates, these systems of mindfulness incorporate physical and mental exercises that prevent stress from becoming a problem. Try joining a class.
Exercise (even for a minute)
Exercise doesn't necessarily mean power lifting at the gym or training for a marathon. A short walk around the office or simply standing up to stretch during a break at work can offer immediate relief in a stressful situation. Getting your blood moving releases endorphins and can improve your mood almost instantaneously.
Everyone knows stress can cause you to lose sleep. Unfortunately, lack of sleep is also a key cause of stress. This vicious cycle causes the brain and body to get out of whack and only gets worse with time. Make sure to get the doctor-recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. Turn the TV off earlier, dim the lights, and give yourself time to relax before going to bed. It may be the most effective stress buster on our list.
The advice “take a deep breath” may seem like a cliché, but it holds true when it comes to stress. For centuries, Buddhist monks have been conscious of deliberate breathing during meditation. For an easy three- to five-minute exercise, sit up in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and hands on top of your knees. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply, concentrating on your lungs as they expand fully in your chest. While shallow breathing causes stress, deep breathing oxygenates your blood, helps center your body, and clears your mind.
Learn more about stress relief
Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but that doesn't mean you should ignore it. Too much untreated stress can cause potentially serious physical and mental health problems.
The good news is that in many cases, stress is manageable. With some patience and a few useful strategies, you can reduce your stress, whether it's family stress or stress at the workplace.
Do you find difficult writing the first letter to a new penfriend? Some people really enjoy writing first letters, others don't like it at all... I must confess that I belong to the first group! Why? I really find fascinating telling a future friend about myself and don't find it is that difficult or boring. Also, I never found myself wondering what to write in a first letter (the practice along the years might also help). I think there are plenty of stuff to write about in a first letter, lots of details you can describe and tell and not only about yourself...
The first letter is the key when starting a penfriendship. In this first letter you have the chance to present yourself in a way that your future penpal should think you are a person worth to be known. Don't ruin your only possibility of making a very good impression of yourself by writing an uninteresting, awfully boring text or a letter of a very poor quality.So, what should be written in a first letter? Here there are some tips which might help you to write a succesful first letter:-
Present yourself. Tell about your name, age, when is your Birthday... but don't be scarce when writing about these as you might lack the core of your presentation. You have to be chatty and develop it in a way it sounds interesting, not a mere formality.-
Tell about the place you come from, where you were born/grew up, were you live now if you moved, or even the places you lived along the years. At this point you can add some facts: relate why the place you were born, the place(s) you live(d) in are famous for... This way your penpal not only gets to know the name of a city somewhere in the world, but why this place is famous or which features are typical of this area.-
Talk about your family. Your husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, children, parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, cousins... Maybe you have a favourite member of the family whom you share most of your adventures and you trust blindly. Perhaps you would like to tell your pal about this special person in your family. Here you also can write about your pets if you have any. After all they are like family members as well.-
Mention about your studies or your work. Maybe you are into the same field and you are interested in discussing with your pal about it in future letters. You can also tell about the places where you studied/worked, talk about anecdotes of those years, how you are living/lived your times as a student or at work.-
Write about what you like doing, your hobbies and your interests. Even if we don't like the same stuff, it is interesting to share this information with your penfriend. Perhaps you discover a new liking you had never heard about before... I find nice to mention likings in general, but, for instance, if you like music, TV series or movies I recommend you not to write a list of all those singers/bands/TV series/films you like. It is good if you mention about a favourite one and then develop this topic in the next letters. Nevertheless, listings of such stuff are quite boring to read in my opinion.-
Develop some of those likings individually. If you like penpalling, you can write about how you discovered letter writing, how long you have been into it, how you met your first pals, which are your expectations regarding the new penfriendship... If you are interested in music, mention which kind of music you like the most, where you usually listen to music, at which moment of the day, maybe you even play an instrument and your pal does as well... If you are into sports do tell if you practice any, which ones are your favourite to practice and the ones you follow, which sportmen/sportwomen you like lots and are a fan of... If you think a bit you can write every detail about everything you are into. This way your pal will find your letter much more interesting to read, instead getting into listings full of stuff which surely are very boring to go through.-
Name some random stuff you might like, besides your hobbies. Sometimes we discover that another person in the other corner of the world likes rainy days, walking in the woods or your favourite fruit!-
If you feel like it, describe yourself. It is not easy, but probably your future penpal would like to hear about your personality traits and how you think you are.-
Perhaps you would like to advance some of your dreams, ideas, hopes, points of view, opinions or future expectations in your life. Maybe you share some of them and both of you develop these topics in next letter exchanges...Still there are some other topics you might write about in a first letter to a new penfriend. It is not necessary to write a lot about every little characteristic because you have plenty of letters to develop each of those topics in a more detailed way. However, as I said at the beginning, writing too less is as bad as writing too much! Everything should be done in a reasonable manner and remember that writing a meaningful first letter is in your hand!
We have our 6th official Summer Photo Contest!
All you have to do between 7/22/16 and 8/2/16 is send (up to 3) of your favorite photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be posted on PPFL. The photo with the most "likes" will win (10 stationery sheets, 5 sticker sheets and 2 roll of washi tape" Enter now!
PPFl is a penpal group that was created on 04/08/10. Dedicated fully to penpaling.