According to the charity Mind, one in every four people in England will experience a mental health problem at some stage during the year. It can sometimes be difficult to recognise when my mental health is failing and what I can do about it. Anxiety is a problem I face on a daily basis, and it affects everyone at some point in their lives. Denial has a way of creeping up on me and clouding my judgement. This can be interpreted as my mind protecting itself against the impending stress on my body.
When I decided to get some plants for my flat, I intended to empower myself in order to manage my mental health wellbeing. What will I do during the pandemic because I don't have a garden and going to the park is prohibited, I questioned myself. I made the decision to incorporate nature into my living space.
When I ordered two 40 litre all-purpose compost bags from an online store, the delivery driver said, "I wasn't sure I'd got the right address because I typically deliver these to houses with gardens, not flats." I smiled to myself and thanked him for the compost soil bag as well as his compliment.
Simply getting up from bed every morning to water the plant, after drawing the curtains aside to allow the sun's heat to shine on the entire plant, made me feel a sense of responsibility to its development. When I use my five senses, I feel as though I'm in a safe space because of my plants.
Once I touch the leaves, hear the water drops on the soil when spraying the plant, smell the natural scent when sniffing the leaves and flowers, experience the sensation of tasting nature on my tongue and, finally, my eyes see the beautiful sight of the vivid colours nature provides me for free - it just gives me a sense of calm, attachment and responsibility at the end of the day.
Looking out my window, I noticed the road was quiet and there was silence everywhere except for the birds, insects and one or two people out for a run or walk. The quiet and peace transported me to another dimension, and knowing that my plants are safe gives me a sense of security.
Returning my focus to the present moment and not thinking about tomorrow, as well as taking one day at a time, allowed me to stay strong. Captain Sir Tom Moore's words, "Tomorrow will be a better day," come to mind. I remind myself while looking at my plants that the sun will continue to shine and nature will continue to thrive.
As long as I can breathe in oxygen, I'll keep watering and caring for my plants by using my five senses around them, just as I do with my children with special education needs and disabilities. So let me get a cup of tea and get started on my daily routine.
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