5.17.2017

WHY PLANTS PLAY A PART IN MY WELLBEING

 Do you have a place, an activity or hobby that makes your heart leap? Something that fills you with joy or gives you some hope after an awful day/week/month? For as long as I can remember, looking at well designed interiors and surrounding myself with greenery has been that thing for me.
When living with my parents, I remember driving to Homesense in my lunch break just to be surrounded by a mish mash of oddly designed furniture and household goods - most of which I would never need or want. The strange thing is, I never went with the intention of buying anything. Oh no. I quite literally just wanted to be in there. To this day, whenever I visit my parents, I try to make a trip to see what other weird and wonderful things have made it into that store. I can't really explain it, but being in that environment makes my heart leap with joy.

I also get this same feeling when I go to a park, garden centre, or any green space of outstanding beauty. There's something about being surrounded by greenery that makes me feel calm, serene and connected to a world outside of myself. So when I moved to the concrete capital of London last year, I went on a mission to make my living space a place that could be my own mini retreat in the middle of the chaos.  

As the months went past, my husband and I had so much fun gradually filling our flat with things we found in ikea or local charity shops. I didn't realise it at the time, but the care we took in doing so was something that would make a difference to the days I would spend working from home. For anyone who works from home - it's so unbelievably rewarding, but boy, it can be hard. The discipline, solitude, and not having anyone to bounce ideas off can be difficult to deal with. But during those long hours of working inside, having a plant here and there has made working and living in this big city that extra bit pleasant. Why, you ask? Because it represents something familiar. It allows me to be with nature when I can't physically be outside. For me, it's about bringing aspects of simple things I enjoy and surrounding myself with them.

Now don't get me wrong, this isn't about buying yourself lots 'stuff' in hopes to fill a void. And I think it's fairly obvious that a cactus or sitting in H&M Home won't solve the dark, sensitive, or unexplainable issues we all face on a daily basis, by any means.
It's more about paying attention to what inspires you. I never really knew why being in a home store made me feel so excited, but when I began to think about it, I realised that it's all about the possibility and the potential of the items in there. Even if I were to never buy one of those items, I could go in and dream about a place I'd like to live in one day. Or simply just enjoy something that has been created by someone else. 

As for plants, being around nature has always reminded me that there is a world outside of my problems. That life isn't always straight forward or smooth, but the world doesn't stop with me. The fact that there are so many quirky plants reminds me how beautiful the natural world is - something you can easily forget during our messy political climate. As a creative person, I've come to realise that looking at things that have been created - natural or not - fills me with a lot of excitement. And that's why I want to make sure I do it on a daily basis.
You may be aware that it was mental health awareness week not long ago. Mental health is something that affects us all or someone we know at some point during our life time - whether it be depression, anxiety or another disorder. As someone who has experienced depression and grown up around various mental health disorders, finding joy in very simplest things during the hardest of times has always been important to me.

I've learnt that making small differences to my environment can have a positive affect on my wellbeing. Whether that's sitting down in a freshly tidied room, putting on a candle, or sleeping on fresh bed sheets - I'm all about celebrating the simple joys in life. Again, these things don't solve life's problems by any means. But an extra self-care touch, hobby, or activity can act as a release or a bit of hope during life's whirlwinds.
Plus, who doesn't like a bunch of flowers now and again?

So what makes your heart leap?

x



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