Hi everyone, I’m giving away five copies of Leaf Your Troubles Behind this holiday season. To refresh your memory, this is my nonfiction book about how plants can help our mental health. With climate change, war, inflation, and all else, life can seem daunting and stressful. But the way to de-stress is often in plants. They’re simple, beautiful, and always there for us. What’s more, they’re free!
The book is divided into three parts: personal stories, scientific research, and fun activities. The personal stories are either from my life or from someone I know. They illustrate the experiences of how plants have improved people’s lives and made them feel better psychologically. The research section explains why and how plants do that, drawing on a rich body of scientific evidence from around the world. Lastly, the activities, nestled throughout the book, offer ways to relax, engage with, immerse yourself in, or even play with plants. Plus, decorative ideas! In the end, it’s really all about getting stress relief through plants.
Thanks, and happy holidays!
It’s no secret spending time with nature can lower stress and lead to a happier life. But sometimes people don’t know where to start. They feel overwhelmed by all the choices and unsure what to do. What’s more, a lot of folks have hardly spent time with nature. Maybe this is you. If so, there’s good news. You can discover your green personality regardless. All it takes is a little self-exploration.
Exploring Your History With Nature
Let’s start with my Green Personality exercise from Leaf Your Troubles Behind. The first step is to get a piece of lined paper and a pen. Then answer this question: what is your first memory related to plants or a natural landscape? How old were you? Where were you? Now write for as long as you can about that experience. If another more powerful experience pops in your head, follow that image and write in detail about it. Try to remember who you were with, the time of day, the sounds and smells around you. Make it vivid.
If this doesn’t jog your memory, try this: make a list of your favorite people from your childhood. Did you ever enjoy a nature-related activity with that person? If so, what was it? And why did you like it?
If there are no joyful memories, is there a sad one? What did it feel like? Describe that in as much detail as you can. Then, when you’ve got it all down on paper, start a new paragraph. How can you reclaim that experience and turn it into a good one? What can you do differently? You have the power to change your life for the better.
Maybe you’re still in need of ideas, so here’s another prompt: if money and time weren’t an issue, what natural experience would you like to do? Would you hike in Hawaii? Camp in a forest? Grow exotic houseplants? Or just have a beautiful little garden in which to sit? You’re only bound by your imagination.
Making Sense of the Memories
Now, from all that you’ve written, circle the words describing positive feelings. Like “enjoyed” or “peaceful” or “fun” or “accepted,” etc. Then circle the activities that appeal to you. Maybe it’s kayaking on a placid lake. It could be riding a bike down a country road. Maybe it’s shopping at a plant nursery or puttering among tomato plants.
Next, put those feelings and activities together and see if you can create a mission statement. Like I want to [nature activity] so I can feel [positive emotions]. This is what will guide you going forward.
This may seem like a lot of work but discovering your green personality is key. You need to know how you’d like to spend time in nature in a way that’s right for you! And once you have your mission statement, you’ll never be confused. You’ll have a north star to guide you on your journey toward stress relief and a green wellness practice.
If you want more information on that practice, you can buy Leaf Your Troubles Behind, or watch my upcoming webinar, available in April, 2023.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you need a way to sort out all the stuff on your to-do list. A long list is useful but what’s really the priority? I’ve noticed if you keep a log for three days, you’ll figure out priorities super quickly. It shows you what you really think is important.
Recently, I did my Sifting Your Time Soil activity from Leaf Your Troubles Behind again. I designed it so readers could sort out the stuff that overwhelmed them and manage it all better. I nicked the strategy from business consultant David Allen and modified it for busy women and moms. It’s amazing what you discover.
What I Learned
First, categorizing things forces you to make tough but spirit-lifting decisions. For instance, when you decide vacuuming the car, which you may have thought of as a Must Do task, actually belongs in a Let Go slot, you feel liberated to forget about it and move on. Later, if you decide to do it, it’ll be a surprising win that will boost your spirit.
Also, when you take a hard look at the tasks before you, you realize delegating can save you. Perhaps, your spouse could pay the bills and your kids could empty the dishwasher. When our kids were in elementary school, we paid a quarter to whoever wanted to empty the dishwasher. It worked great, until they hit middle school when we had to turn that Hand Off chore into things like raking leaves, taking out garbage, and such.
The biggest thing I noticed was all the time I wasted. One small example: from about 4:30 to 5:00 on certain weekdays, I aimlessly checked social media. I took that extra half hour and slotted it into Me Time. That inspired me to use it better. I decided to get outside somehow: take a short walk with the dog, roam the garden, check the garage for things to give away, etc. Putting something light but active in those windows helped me feel more productive and in the moment.
I wish you a productive day!
Just a quick post to let you know Leaf Your Troubles Behind: How to Destress and Grow Happiness Through Plants is now available for sale. You can buy it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and your local bookstore. Thank you so much for your support! This book started as a fun pandemic project that actually turned into a book. It’s aimed at helping you grow a happier in life. Also, read on for the three winners of the Leaf Your Troubles giveaway.
I’m happy to share the winners of the giveaway are Alyssa, Jennifer, and Donna! Alyssa, Jennifer, and Donna, please read your latest newsletter email for details on how to get your paperback copy.
And if you didn’t win, don’t worry. I’m giving away a few more copies on Goodreads! But the offer ends in 7 days so click here for details.
Finally, don’t forget that I’ve created a companion workbook, which you can download by clicking here. Until next time, have a great day and don’t forget to relax with a plant!
Just a quick post to let you know I’ve made and put online the Leaf Your Troubles workbook! This is a 25-page companion booklet of worksheets that dovetail with the exercises in my book, Leaf Your Troubles Behind: How to Destress and Grow Happiness Through Plants.
What’s In There
It’s a pretty simple format. I included Escape to Nature journal pages focusing on the Time Log exercises and Green Personality exploration. It also features a sample Stress Bramble you can add to along with daily Green Leisure worksheets.
I round out the last section with lists of recommended plants, maybe the funnest part! I’m sharing my favorite easy shrubs for most U.S. gardens, easy-to-grow houseplants that are safe for dogs and cats, and plants that propagate simply through cutting or dividing. Plus, good plants for a rain garden!
Speaking of rain gardens, I also include extra activities on getting more greenery in your life, both indoors and out. And so I added basic instructions on installing a community rain garden. Also, a quickie recipe for mint ice cubes that go with the cocktail recipe at the back of the Leaf Your Troubles book.
How Do I Get It?
What I like most of about this format is because it’s a PDF you’ll download on your own computer, you can print multiple pages of whatever page you like. If you want to do more than one Stress Bramble, you can just print two or three copies. If you like the journal worksheets, you can print as many as you like. And you can even print and share the recommended plant lists if you want to as well.
To get your free workbook, click here. Thanks for the support. And don’t forget to rest your attention on something green today!
To buy Leaf Your Troubles Behind, click here for Amazon,
or here for Barnes and Noble,
here for Kobo,
or find it at your local bookstore.