Spread a Little Happiness

Stifyn ParriCulture, Wellbeing

It’s here! Spring has sprung! My favourite time of year! This last winter seemed like an age, curled up indoors waiting for the world to wake up. I feel like a hedgehog, and now my nose has burst out of my hiding hole and I’m ready for life again. Let’s get ready to rumble. Let’s shake off the lockdown lull and step into the light.

My garden literally fills me to the brim with joy, more than I would have ever imagined. I think I fell into an even deeper love with her during the first lockdown, when suddenly everything in my life was cancelled, but Mother Nature came centre stage and the sun shone, and unlike everything else in the world, my garden thrived. Since then, not a day has gone by without something on my little patch of land making me beam with happiness, and even laugh out loud with joy. Catching a blue tit enter my nest best for the first time, meeting a hedgehog on my path, finding the first egg of the season from my hens, or even being startled by a family of squirrels having their daily race. A year in my garden is a three-act play: spring, summer and autumn, then a long interlude until the next production.

So, winter is very much behind us and the summer is ahead, to come and kiss our skin, warm out hearts and brighten our heads. but now we are slap-bang in the middle of the season of surprises and positive spirit. Flowers appear from bulbs you forgot you’d planted, and gradually the scent of blossom hits you on the nose.

I took to Instagram from the beginning of the first lockdown and posted a daily picture of a ‘moment of joy’ fresh from my garden, to combat the onslaught of negative and miserable posts from others. Posting a close-up of beautiful flower, a tree trunk or a view through my kitchen window literally give me a little thrill every morning, but what I didn’t expect was the amount of joy my posts were bringing others. I am amazed by the number of direct messages I received from people who follow me, thanking me for brightening their day too! I still post daily, and love to spread a little happiness.

Spring, to me, is like a natural medicine, to help blow away the cobwebs. Breathe it in, slowly and deeply. Breathing properly is key. I learned about breathing properly when I studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and it is an important part of my teaching as a confidence mentor and coach. Most of us take short snatches of breath, which makes the brain think we are in panic mode, and can create or enhance that anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach. Breathing properly can be a lifesaver during difficult times, I know this from experience. So, slow your breathing down, hold your breath a little, before breathing slowly out again. Within a short while your heart rate will come down, your anxiety will wane, and your mood will lift, and it’s free! Just like nature! Now there’s positive.

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