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How gardening and floristry can help you feel happier and calmer

Its 2020 and i'm switching things up a little.  I thought it would be a good idea to go back to the beginning and explain a little about why i think gardening and floristry are such a great tool for busy women to use as a way to relax.  But first a little bit about why I do what I do.

My mission with Adventures with Flowers is to encourage busy women to feel able to give themselves a break more often.  Even 20 minutes a day can help you to begin to feel calmer and happier within a few days.

The reason I care so deeply about this is because after overloading myself both at work and home for most of my adult life, I developed anxiety and was on the cusp of burnout and if I can do anything to prevent you from going through that too, then I’m going to.

I feel passionate about changing this ‘societal norm’ of women doing everything for everyone and putting ourselves last on the list not only for us, but for our daughters too.  Undoubtedly the best way for us to do this is to show them that we take time for ourselves every day to unwind, grow and put ourselves first for 10 out of the 1,440 minutes in a day.

A wonderful tool that I have found to help me begin to take small amounts of time for myself every day is growing and arranging my own cut flowers and in my blogs I hope to share some of the benefits, methods and reasons for doing so.

One reason I think they are so useful is that gardening and floristry are a form of active rest.  This is when you do light activity that is enough to keep you mind and body moving but not to the point that its stressful.

This form of relaxation is perfect if like me you find it hard to sit and do nothing when you’re supposed to be relaxing.  If I try and do that I just spend the whole time thinking about things I should be doing and feeling guilty for not doing them.

Many gardening and floristry activities are repetitive, sowing seeds, weeding, conditioning your flowers and it is this repetitiveness that allows you to switch off your ever running brain and begin to unwind.

Being outside in the fresh air for just 20-30 minutes lowers your levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) by about 10%, so whilst you’re outside mindfully weeding your flowerbeds you are actively reducing your stress levels.  Studies have also shown that being in a green environment boosts our self-esteem and mood and a sure fire way to have a greener environment outside your back door is to grow some more plants!

If you have something to get done but its 2pm and you’re feeling that afternoon lull, some time outdoors can reduce your mental fatigue and improve your ability to focus making you more efficient afterwards.

Once you have completed your activity, whether that is weeding a flower bed, creating an arrangement for your house or sowing a tray full of seeds it gives you an opportunity to sit back and admire what you have achieved. 

I think as busy women we don’t celebrate our achievements enough and often find ourselves dwelling on the things we haven’t completed. 

Celebrating your achievements boosts your sense of pride and by association your self-esteem.

So just a short 20 minutes in the garden, growing or arranging your own cut flowers can leave you feeling calmer and happier than you did before.

Before I go, I just want to tell you about my Mind in Bloom 12 month membership programme which is launching at the end of January.  It will help you to begin to learn to take time for yourself and not feel guilty about it, learn to grow your own flowers whilst growing yourself through articles on topics inspired by plants and nature such as ‘What’s your purpose? and ‘Asking for help’ as well as journaling prompts to help you recognise your achievements both in the garden and in life and most crucially process your feelings about situations that life throws at you and allow you to feel greater happiness.   The waitlist is now open so please pop your name on it here so you are the first to know when it goes on sale.

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