Pets have a way of making life even more wonderful! A new pet not only brings a shift in our focus and priorities, but also a boost in happiness. That’s why, when someone close to you has adopted a pet, it means a lot when you acknowledge and celebrate its arrival and their excitement.

There are so many ways to share their new-pet joy. Here are a few ideas.

Give them a “doggie” (or kitty, guinea pig, hamster, etc.) bag.” Fill a fun gift bag with appropriate treats, pet store gift card, toy and/or accessory for the newcomer.


Send them a card – it can be a “congratulations” or even blank card – and write a short note. You can say something like, “Congrats on the arrival of ______ ! I know how excited you are, and I’m thrilled for you!” Or you can write your own thoughts. There’s no right or wrong here, as long as you express your delight.


Pay them a new-pet visit! Be enthusiastic about its cuteness…and encouraging if they’re in the process of training it.


If you’re so inclined, offer to pet-sit when they’re ready.


Be there to support them, because having a new pet isn’t always easy. Whimpering puppies, for instance, are known to create sleepless nights. And then there’s training, adjusting to a new schedule, financial responsibilities (paying for that dog walker and vet bills). So consider stopping by to check in and hang out with them if they’re feeling overwhelmed at first. They’re sure to feel grateful and relieved, just knowing you care and you’re there.

If we have a loved one who is suffering with depression, we want to let them know we care and help them cope in ways that encourage their recovery. But knowing what to say or do isn’t always easy.

Here, Dr. Debra Kissen, chair of the public education committee for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, shares her tips for what is, and isn’t, helpful.


Don’t try to give advice

“People don’t want advice as much as love and support,” says Kissen, who is also the clinical director of Chicago’s Light on Anxiety Treatment Center.

It’s tempting to offer suggestions for what you think might help. Maybe they really would benefit from changing their diet, exercising, meditating, finding a therapist and other tools you’ve read about. But depression steals the energy and willpower to reach for any of those things that could have a healing effect.

“Think of it as having mono and someone telling you to go run a marathon when you literally don’t have the resources within you to push forward,” says Kissen. “At the end of the day, as much as we want to fix our loved ones and take away their suffering, we can’t.”


Validate their feelings

We may think trying to cheer someone up is helpful. But saying “It’s OK” or “It’s going to be OK” dismisses the severity of depression.

Other trivializing phrases — including “Just focus on happy thoughts,” “Snap out of it,” “Find something to keep you busy” — can make your loved one feel misunderstood, guilty and more alone than they already do.

So can pointing out all they seem to have going for them — a successful career, loving relationships, prominent status or any other stereotypical markers of happiness.

“When you see someone with a broken leg, you know it’s broken because they’re walking more slowly with a cast. Depression is an invisible illness,” Kissen says. “It’s harder for others to appreciate how someone may be feeling this way when they can’t see the wounds.

“But the signal you want to send is that what they’re feeling is valid and you believe in them and their ability to handle something even though it’s really hard.”


Show up

“The most helpful thing that you can do for a person who’s feeling depressed is to be there with them,” Kissen says. “Instead of asking, ‘Is there anything I can do?’ just show up.”

While that can mean sitting beside them on a couch, she advocates sharing an activity together.

“One of the most effective treatments is behavioral activation. That means getting someone moving about and engaging in activities the brain has found pleasurable in the past but they aren’t feeling motivated to do currently,” says Kissen. “Instead of just telling them to do something, say, ‘Let’s go for a walk. Let’s go paint some pottery.’”

Similarly, don’t ask if they’d like to hang out; instead give them a time when you’ll pick them up.

“You can’t utterly control the choices one is going to make,” says Kissen, “but trying to generally be there without judgement and with support is the most we can do for each other. And it’s powerful.”


Don’t shy away from talk of suicide

While engaging in such conversation might feel scary and uncomfortable, it’s important to create the space to talk if someone mentions death, suicide or other thoughts of harming themselves. It’s also OK to ask if they’re having suicidal thoughts.

“There’s a tendency to think if I talk to them about it, it might make it more likely that it’s going to happen, but that’s not the case,” says Kissen. “If someone mentions it, try to be brave and find out what they mean by that: Do you have a plan? Do you have the means? Is this something you’ve tried before? The most important thing is to try to be matter-of-fact.

“The more judgy and terrified you sound, the less likely they’re going to answer.”

Knowing specifics makes it easier to intervene and prevent a loved one from hurting themselves.

“If it sounds like there’s a specific plan, you can say, ‘I love you too much to let you do something you might later regret,’” Kissen says.

Then, have your friend or family member call their therapist if they are seeing one, a suicide hotline, such as 1-800-273-8255, or 911 to speak to a crisis intervention team. You can also accompany them to a walk-in clinic or hospital emergency room.


Remain hopeful

If your loved one is not being treated for depression, encourage them to seek professional assistance. Simply saying “You need help” isn’t likely to inspire action.

You may have to get them to that first appointment, whether it’s by helping them find a psychiatrist or psychologist, being with them as they make the call or driving them there.

Repeatedly showing up with that kind of support and acceptance helps to minimize the shame that often accompanies depression.

“It’s hard to keep feeling shame when you’re no longer hiding what you’re going through,” says Kissen. “When someone has a safe place to not be OK, that heals a lot.”

“This is not the new normal where forever more they will be in this deep, dark, hopeless tunnel,” she adds. “There are certainly combinations of medication and cognitive behavioral therapy that are quite efficacious at creating change and lifting depression. There is much to be hopeful about.”


For more on Dr. Debra Kissen, visit lightonanxiety.com. To learn more about the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, click here.


Send sweet vacation vibes to your favorite people by texting them one of our four digital stickers created especially for a proper send-off! Designed with bright, heartwarming artwork and cheerful, inspiring, genuine words of joy, support and celebration, our sticker pack includes 100 digital stickers to text your most heartfelt sentiments to the ones you love.

Click here to download on the App Store | Click here to download on Google Play


As we’ve been looking back on our founder Kathy Davis’ vibrant career, we love hearing her stories of what inspires her — then and now. And we especially love the ways she stays connected to nature and her mom through the beautiful art she creates for her greeting card designs.

Every day our studio team comes to work inspired to create beautiful art and heartfelt messages that celebrate the joy and love in our lives. And a large part of what inspires us is the story of our founder and CEO Kathy Davis. Kathy was a single mom raising two kids when she set up a drawing table in the corner of her bedroom, determined to pursue her dream of becoming an artist and creating a life she could love. She never imagined her home-based business would one day grow into one of the top independent greeting card brands in the country. Her vision and determination are reminders for all of us that anything is possible when you chase your dreams with a joyful heart.


Who doesn’t love positive vibes? They just give you the feels, right? And that’s what our summer collection of cards does with its feel-good art and lettering and sunny color palette. The original art featured here comes from the collection, and its uplifting message was hand-lettered by one of our awesome studio artists.


We all need a little encouragement now and then, a kind word that lets us know we’re not alone in our challenges. This artwork was created for a beautiful new collection of cards pairing imaginative abstract art with soulful words of inspiration and celebration.


“Speak from the heart and the world will listen.” – Dr. Randy J. Harvey


Find beauty in the moment and let it inspire you.

Looking for some fireworks in your life? Why not start something new? July is the perfect time to begin anything you’ve been putting off…a DIY project, a new job search, a short story, a painting, a poem, even a new recipe. And just imagine how amazing that can be! Feeling stuck in inertia? One way to get moving is to declare and own your intention. Begin by saying aloud to someone close to you: “I’m going to ………..”  There’s something about verbally committing that can be just the jumpstart we need to take that first step. We hope this month’s free wallpaper inspires you to envision the possibilities and get started!



Click any of the links below to download the size that works best for you. Once the image pops up in a new window, simply right click and save.

Desktop wallpaper with calendar:

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iPhone wallpaper:

iPhone 5 | iPhone 6, 8 | iPhone 6+, 7, 7+, 8+

Android wallpaper:

Moto G, X – Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, Z3 Compact | Google Pixel – HTC One M8, M9, X10 – LG G2 – Moto X (2nd Gen) – Samsung Galaxy S5, S8, S7+ – Nexus 5, 5x | Google Pixel 2 – HTC U11 – LG G3, G5 – Samsung Galaxy S4, S6, S7, S7 Edge – Nexus 6, 6p – Sony Xperia C4, Z Ultra, Z2, Z3, XZ1 | LG G6, G6+, V30, V30+ | Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+

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