February 2, 2021

Let Mother Nature sustain you on life’s roller coaster

Over the past year, (Gosh that even sounds odd saying that!), I've noticed my mood and how I'm feeling about the world has been a bit like riding a big dipper!

I know I’m not alone but one day I’ve been riding the crest of the wave and feeling fine, the next - well, I've felt completely rock bottom. 

Initially I couldn’t work it out. From a business perspective, we have been lucky. We have been able to work throughout the chaos and lockdowns. Personally, we’ve remained healthy. 

So what on earth was wrong with me? 

A diary of discovery

I decided to keep a diary to see if I could work it out and when I did, I discovered something quite amazing.

Running CJs means that I spend most of my time in the fresh air. For me, talking to people about their outside spaces and how to make the best of them, is a dream come true. But even though I knew I loved my business and felt honoured to be part of the process of creating dream gardens, I don’t think I fully appreciated the power of the great outdoors until now.

After a few weeks of keeping my diary, I took a look back to see if there was a pattern. It didn’t take long to spot it. On the mornings that I’d taken Ruby for a good long walk first thing, using the time to really take in my surroundings and all that nature had to offer, my mood was markedly better throughout the rest of the day. It was easy to spot this as, like many of you, I use an app that records the distance and pace of my walk and I am in the habit of adding notes about how the walk was. 

Anyway, I digress. 

Getting off the beaten path

Ruby and I love to go off track on our walks - they’re like mini adventures! And because it’s been so quiet I’ve been able to immerse myself in my surroundings. I now know what a beautiful song Robins sing - and boy, do they sing!

By making the effort to be fully present during my walks - as opposed to just going through the motions to get the steps done and wear Ruby out - I’ve stopped, listened and really looked around me. It’s been wonderful!

Autumn saw Ruby and I embracing our inner-child as we crunched and kicked our way through the dry and crispy leaves. So much fun!

The crisp frosty grass - even walking through puddles - it’s all had a certain appeal. Ruby loves it too!

Hope springs eternal

Now, as we head into February my attention has turned to the tree branches I can see at eye level, the buds are starting to show. I’ve seen the first daffodils out and even a camellia flower. Watching and noticing the changing of the season from winter to spring is a great reminder that everything - good or bad - is just a moment in time. 

So, if you’re feeling a bit down, take some advice from someone who’s also been riding that rollercoaster. Put your coat on, grab some gloves, a hat or a good pair of boots (depending on the weather) and get outside. Disconnect from technology and really take in all that nature is showing you.

Spring is definitely coming. The days are already a little longer and the lighter evenings will soon be with us.