I wonder how many of you had the same Brexit echoes as me: going to bed with the polls saying one thing, waking up early to find the radio telling me that the world has been turned upside down – we are heading into totally uncharted territory. This blog explores how my gardening model of resilience may help you in these turbulent times.
Just as no garden is immune to the weather, none of us are immune to these massive winds of change, like Donald Trump’s Presidency. However, a gardener can take precautions when there are storms ahead, and so can we. So here are some basic pointers:
- Prepare: ahead of a big storm, a gardener will check that fence posts are sound, gutters are clear, and things can’t be blown away. Do the same in your own life: check that your resources are sound, look after your health, maintain your support network of friends.
- Protect: a gardener will cover up vulnerable plants or even bring them indoors. In your own life, be clear what is most precious to you, and do all you can to shelter it.
- Value the good: even on damp, dark days, a gardener can find things to enjoy in the garden. Really try to value all that is good in your daily life, to offset the clouds of anxiety swirling around us all.
- Believe in opportunity: when a storm takes out big trees, there is a real sense of loss, but it does create an opening for new growth. There may be some big shocks and losses ahead, but keep a sense that there will be gifts even in the problems.
- Reach out: remember how the big floods in early 2015 helped bring communities together? Deepen your contact with friends, neighbours, your local community. Looking out for people more vulnerable yourself could actually help your own wellbeing too.
- Focus on here, now and natural: this is classic mindfulness – keep putting some of your attention on the physical here and now, preferably in nature. There are clouds of pervasive future anxiety gushing out from the media and screen world, and you have to find your way of counterbalancing this.
- Deepen your faith: your faith may be in your own resilience, your partner’s love, in God or your garden. When parts of life get more uncertain, you need to know what you believe in, and deepen your faith to help keep you steady.
For more resources based on Alan's natural happiness model, see Resources.