Updated: May 10, 2021
So many have talked, blogged, and posted about this topic that we are all going to need a new plant by the time this is over! I get it, we sometimes see a hot topic, and everyone jumps at the chance to share. I have spoken about this previously in a short post on my Instagram, but I figured I would give it some more thought here. If you do not already know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
You will see several virtual events going on to bring awareness to the many ways to get involved with helping yourself, family and friends to know that there are options and to take mental health seriously. This blog is not meant to be a substitution for a therapist. If you or anyone is suffering from anxiety or depression, I will share links of different ways to help cope. I would also advise speaking with a licensed medical professional.
We see and hear so many negative things, we’ve all even gotten ourselves through this pandemic somehow (which is still ongoing by the way!) by thin hairs. I noticed that during what I would say the middle of the pandemic, so many houseplants were emptied from the shelves and prices were shooting way up! It was around that time here in Michigan that we were on full lockdown! You could forget about hiring a landscaper or even going to buy seeds for your own garden. Naturally, houseplants were the next viable option. Before what we all knew to be the virtual world, some of us would go to our therapists’ offices for a good ole sit-down on the couch. I certainly miss her couch, but Zoom will do for now. So how does this tie into “plant therapy?”
Well, the hot topic that was floating around was that plants can heal you. We were all experiencing the effects of the pandemic and longed for something to get us back to normal, or as close to the life we once knew. Ironically, that is when my inbox began to flood. So many people purchased plants with no clue how to care for them. I saw plant pests that I had never seen and yellow and brown leaves that were far beyond the “shedding” stage.
My personal opinion and as someone who believes in traditional therapy, I say that plants are definitely “therapeutic”, but can they really heal you? Now before you throw tomatoes or exit, hear me out. Healing comes from within; we as humans must need to first find out what is holding us back. Our bodies store so much trauma that we were likely experiencing well before the pandemic that we have never addressed. In our search for healing, we went with what we could find that was tangible and there is nothing wrong with that. We must also remember that plants are living things that needs love and healing as well. How can we expect them to give us healing when we cannot reciprocate it? Caring for plants requires patience and a nurturing spirit. Some are naturals while some learn over time. I encourage you to not give up on your journey to find healing. I will share some tips on how I was able to incorporate different healing techniques without compromising my plant babies, that has helped me.
First, as I stated previously, start from within. If you are unable or not ready to take that leap to traditional therapy, try incorporating holistic methods. Holistic medicine was here long before modern medicine and I fully believe in its practices. I enjoy burning incense and white sage also known as Smudging. This is an ancient spiritual ritual established by Native American or tribal cultures.
This is the process of cleansing negative energy from your space. Remember to open your windows so that bad energy leaves. Try incorporating a prayer to your proper deity or positive thoughts and affirmations. It also helps to incorporate crystals. My personal favorites are the Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Tigers Eye, Black Tourmaline and Selenite. I was able to learn more from the seller at my local farmer's market. Etsy have loads of sellers that you can buy white sage, incense and crystals that are from places all over the world!
Second, let's get physical! Exercising is the number one physical activity that helps release negative energy and you get to look great while doing it! While most gyms are closed, have a limited capacity, or if you are not comfortable yet being around a crowd, YouTube has many channels to start you on your physical fitness journey. You could start small by doing some light Yoga or if you are advanced, try full speed intense workouts. I subscribe to the channel Pop Sugar Fitness where I receive notifications of different workout options that caters to my needs. You can also do a search to find the workout best suited for you.
Third, what we take in is what comes out. Start by making small changes in your diet. I gave up dairy and sugary soft drinks many years ago. With the help of Pinterest and some friends, I was able to find two drinks that also helps calm my spirit. Quite simple and easy to make at home and all the ingredients can be found in your local grocery store. The first one is a twist on traditional Lemonade that requires fresh lemons (1-2 depending on the cup size), teaspoon of turmeric powder, tablespoon of honey and room temperature distilled or spring water. This is my favorite for an afternoon drink with my lunch. The other is Golden Milk which to me is best served hot! It requires two cups of oat milk (your favorite brand, I prefer Oatly), one teaspoon of turmeric powder, pinch of black or cayenne pepper and tablespoon of honey. I like this as an evening drink after dinner but before bed. A traditional cup of hot tea would also suffice.
Fourth, filter your timeline. Aside from the pandemic, there are many news stories that we see repeatedly. It is good to be aware of what is going on, but sometimes it can get overwhelming and disturb our spirit. I find that the Medito app (available on Android and iOS 100% free with no ads!) has helped me to learn different meditation techniques that can be utilized in any space anywhere. There is even a section to hear calming rain and nature sounds. This app came recommended to me by my therapist. After learning different meditation techniques, I was able to incorporate my plant babies by sitting with them during a few sessions.
Fifth, connect with the earth. I have found that going for walks whether with my dog or not allows me to appreciate my surroundings. I am sure you will see some beautiful greenery and discover new flowers. Do not be afraid to stop by your local nursery. The staff at my nursery enjoy chatting with me. You will find that most people go there just to clear their head and be one with nature. Ask them about some low maintenance plants. Remember, you want to start small as you begin your plant journey.
Last, but certainly not least, reach out to friends and family to just have a lighthearted conversation. Does not have to be long but remember to check in from time to time. I recently joined a group chat with some amazing plant girls from all over. This was refreshing to see how they have found healing through plants but also their journey for self-care has helped me along the way and I've learned some new techniques. While you cannot join our private group chat, you can certainly follow them on social media (Car, Naj, Taty, Shar, Myr, Yei and Tash) to catch up on some laughs and planty talk!
Please remember that each person’s journey is different. If you have found that plant therapy worked for you, please share your stories down below. If you’ve already or intend to try these tips and recipes, please share how you enjoyed them. This is an inviting space and I want to share that love with you and your plant babies; let us heal together.
Don't forget to like, comment and share!
~ Happy Haute Planting xoH2!