Category Archives: Gardening for Wellbeing

Invite nature in

For some who get depressed, getting out is difficult but add advice says getting out into the fresh air helps lift your mood.

But what can you do if your body feels like lead, heavy and unmovable?
The thought of going out fills you with fear and there is simply no motivation to get moving?
There is no energy in your battery and the most you can think about coping with is sitting there, just being.

How can we gently invite nature in to help with the healing process?

There are a few things we can do, very small things which may or may not help:

  • Open a window – even if it’s for 5 minutes, sometimes letting fresh air in can bring in a new energy and probably much needed freshness
  • If the sun is shinning, sit in the rays and let them warm you up. It can feel like nature is giving you a hug and you warm up from the inside out
  • Get an air plant – I find these fascinating as they don’t need any soil and get moisture from the air. Extremely low maintenance but some greenery into your room.
  • Get a plant – house plants are nature’s air fresheners, can introduce scent, colour or dynamic shapes and are non judgemental companions
  • Plant something that will give you food – or you can buy a little plant and nurture it. Getting something back is very rewarding plus the taste is amazing! Maybe start out with something simple like a tomato plant on your kitchen window sill?

Of course there are lots more you can do and this is something I will be looking into in more detail in the Head Garden program. Click the image to find out more.

Ray of light in the darkness

When the kids were small, I did struggle with postnatal depression. Things were difficult as I tried to figure out my new identity and ride the wave of stormy hormones and goodness knows what other chemical changes in my brain.

There were small moments though that helped me hold on, showed me there was hope that I even took a photo! 16 years ago taking a photo was not as easy as it is these days with camera phones. I actually had to make an effort to get my camera and take the photo – but then again, as an obsessive photographer and recorder of things, I always had my camera with me. (our first digital camera could capture a whooping 2MB!!)

Having come from Africa, I found the UK weather extremely difficult to cope with and it didn’t help my depression at all. So when the sun shone, the air was fresh, I would try my best to get out. I wasn’t very good at getting out and about like the other Mums would; coffee mornings filled me with anxiety, driving gave me panic attacks, walking hurt me physically…there were so many barriers.

But the back garden was always there. It was a space I could go out and feel grounded, feel warm in the sun and, dare I say it, feel happy and content.

This photo is very special to me because I remember I was having a particular bad period. My son was coming up to 6 or 7 months, the garden was an extra chore I couldn’t cope with (I wasn’t coping with what I had on my plate let alone extras!), my daughter was 3 and hard work…It was all too much.

I took this photo because it was a rare moment of absolute magic. I had been painting the kids’ wendy house with my son in the push chair and a baby bird, learning to fly, went into the pushchair with him! It was such a sweet little thing and my son got so happy. It was magical to feel so close to nature, my heart felt so expansive and it reminded me of what was important.

That moment was a ray of light in the darkness I was in and 16 years on, I remember it fondly.

If you’d like to join me in my Head Garden program where we take time out in nature to help with our mental health, then please click on the image below for more details.