April 2022

Stress Awareness Month

Sometimes, we don’t get to realise when we are stressed. We get into the go-go-go mode and forget about taking time to take care of ourselves.

There are lots of studies that found that houseplants help us relax and mimic the outdoors. It was found that being surrounded by nature boosts our mood by releasing cytokines, which leads to serotonin production. A walk outside or at the Kew Gardens would be way more beneficial, so why not bring that into our valued homes?

I believe we should aim to live a little slower, at least for a few moments each week.

I got into houseplants a few years ago, with no other intentions than to compliment a nicely decorated living space. I travelled a lot within London for work at the time and found that the best day of the week was the day I was going to Shoreditch. There was always this plant stand by the overground station and when possible, I added a new plant to the collection. With time, I found myself doing plant maintenance/watering on Sunday mornings. I was drinking my hot cocoa and taking care of the plants – I felt so relaxed and at peace, just as if I was doing a meditation session. Now, I know that not all meditations happen when we are still with our eyes closed - I felt I was living in those right moments, without much thinking. Just myself and my plants. It was my weekly ritual and my mental health moment.

We can all find different ways of experiencing that inner peace. Moments where perhaps, we can forget about all the things that worry us. Maybe also forget about all the things we have or want to do/archive and just focus on the right now – that is what we all have that it’s guaranteed. The second after, it is in the past and we cannot change it.

-Andreia

Some of my first houseplants:

1. String of Pearls

When I first bought my string of pearls, I did not go what I was going into. They are plants that love to live under neglect. The string of pearls are sensitive plants to over-watering and don’t need much water like many succulents. These plants love lots of light - that is what saved mine. Our living room is south facing and mine was by the window – It is the perfect plant to live on a window sill. I still have this plant and every couple of months it just takes a haircut where it reaches the floor.

2. Monstera Deliciosa

Oh! My beloved Monstera. It started on a 19cm nursery pot, it's currently planted in a 40cm terracotta pot! Such a fast grower and a show stopper! They love lots of light and depending on your environment, a weekly drink.

Philodendron Scandens Brazil

These plants keep on giving! The amount of new plants it has generated me through propagations is insane. We kept ours hanging from the ceiling and every time it touches the furniture underneath, I just give it a cut. The most amazing thing, it’s the fact that no two leaves will be the same – Stunning!

ZZ Plant

Such an easy plant. It lives in our hallway where there are no windows and it is the furthest away from our living spaces. It's incredible how it survives and in fact, thrives with just the little light that comes through including artifical. I water it maybe around every 6 weeks. These plants don't like much water and especially in low light environments, watering should be reduced.

Either you choose to embark on this ritual or maybe pick something else, the important thing is to look after yourself. Take the time to fully dedicate to yourself and relax ☺️

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