The Growing Season

The Growing Season

In winter, we curl up to keep warm and stay inside to avoid harsh weather. But now it’s April! The flowers are blooming, the grass is greening, and it seems as if everything and everyone is coming alive again.

Caregiving can be an isolating and lonely job, and it seems to feel all the more lonely in the darkness and cold of winter. Stepping outside into the sunshine is a mood booster for everyone, caregivers and TBI survivors alike. The sun recharges us.

Spring and summer also give us the chance to see more people in person. Many people take vacations in the spring and summer, and more people are outside. More and more studies are revealing that meaningful social contacts are beneficial to our mental health, and as a caregiver, I know that seeing people in person, feeling the touch of a caring hand or returning a warm embrace can brighten the worst of days.

Our connection to the natural world and each other is an integral part of being human, and it’s through these interactions that we grow. When we sit with a friend and share our feelings openly, we tend to feel better. When we “escape” outside on a lovely day, our troubles loom less large because of the expanse of blue sky above. When we listen to other people tell us their stories, we feel a sense of connection.

Here are five ways to enjoy the growing season:

  1. Instead of talking to a friend on the phone, make a date to go for a walk, and talk outside. Walking and talking in the sunshine with a close friend can boost mind, body, and spirit all at once!
  2. Eat outside with family and friends. Do you have a porch, a deck, a patio, or a patch of grass? Eating outside is even better than eating in a restaurant. Be creative and playful and enjoy the atmosphere you can create with a little bistro table or a picnic blanket.
  3. Plant a few flowers or some vegetables and watch them grow. The sense of accomplishment you will feel will delight you. Watching seeds become sprouts and plants is rewarding, and then you can celebrate the harvest.
  4. Create a healing garden, a space where you can retreat. Build a cairn or construct a small reflecting pool or fountain, add a space to sit and meditate, pray or rest or read, and enjoy the restorative power of a place of your own outside.
  5. Carry your yoga mat outside and stretch in the fresh air and sunshine, or better yet, join a small group of friends and stretch together outside.

It’s not just the plants that grow outside when the weather warms up. We, too, can take a break, look outward instead of inward, and appreciate the world around us in new ways. Step out. Meet new people. Share a little of your story and listen to others, and feel yourself bloom in the growing season.

Comments (4)

Rosemary,Have you stopped writing?... I don't think so... did my remarks pertaining to last post offend you? That may be possible... I read my reply again. No sugar coating in there. ..that was just the way I reacted to the piece. As you know, TBI eliminates all decorum to hospitable society. I'm far past that point... an into honest analysis... I didn't hold back simply because believed you could handle the blunt truth, as seen through these eye's. Now I may be totally off the mark with that description, an if so, please illuminate. What ever the case may be, you are a gifted writer still, in my opinion. You present a unique, bona-fide, perspective of what it is like dealing with TBI, Touched by an angle that receives no light concerning the TBI experience, the care-giver... crucial is your mission for bringing light, "in time," to the stricken soul. My Mom, Pauline, did a magnificent job. Parlaying what could have been a tremendous tragedy into a shining light of humankind... that takes a special type of person... believe you have embedded within the same characteristics. Fortunately, I came into contact with a person who was on same level of energy and fitness which allowed me to continue my recovery at a very high level after Mom got on with life. She lived to the age of ninety-one.  A remarkable women an a remarkable life.

Art

Thank you for this post.

Thank God for our deck and sunshine. It does recharge. We planted some lettuce into taller urns that he can reach and we are watching them grow. We also have a wall water fountain that we installed before his accident last year and we enjoy the sound of dripping water. It truly is a spot that helps us, both the caregiver and TBI survivor, destress

Rosemary,

Yes, all "wonderful" stuff...for the masses. Uplifting to the "hypnotized," or, at least it should be, right?

Inward, outward, that is the question... always tended to be more inward. Nothing noticeable but something I imagine could be discerned if charted. TBI amplified that fact 100%...and have never looked back as I progressed through the torrents of life has provided.

Just right, just right, just right...need I say more???

Art