Spring and Coping Mechanisms

I find myself staring into yet another gray rainy day, despite the daffodils and budding trees reminding us that spring is going to come, and am caught in this space of lethargy due to the weather, not to mention the world political situation and the anxieties associated with that. Yet, it is contrasted with the familiar stirring of purpose and excitement for a new project to welcome the spring. In the past two years as I scratch my country girl creative itch here in the city I’ve focused on terrariums, small container gardens, calligraphy, and other small hobbies without many associated tools due to the small nature of our apartment and intentionality required with storage. But… here I am with a stack of my herbal reference books on the footstool in front of me,  approximately 594 tabs open on my computer, 6 sets of lists of supplies strewn in front of me, and 19 more books I need right now open on Amazon. This spring fever I am returning to one of my favorite pastimes that I’ve been missing since coming to the city, given the space and materials required, but, if ever there was a time pregnancy and becoming a stay at home mom are it. So, what am I diving into this spring? Making my own herbal salves, infused oils, and other baby and mama care items.

I am mentally lost in scents as I add to my ever growing cart at Mountain Rose Herbs- carefully selecting herbs, carrier oils, and essential oils for a small collection of homemade goodies to soothe the body and soul in the early exhausted days of parenthood. I’m riding this growing wave of excitement for a new spring project, and a way to satiate the ever growing nesting urge (though, who am I kidding, I have forever been focused on nesting.) when something clicked in my head- connecting this project to a question that was recently posed by a friend.  

 

This friend asked their community how they cope with the political stresses and sadnesses of the world we live in and at first my gut answer was denial. Or, more accurately, a slim and conscious consumption of the media. However, I realized that there is more to it than that. Right now there are an overwhelming number of things in the world that I can’t control and if I spiral into thinking about them I would quickly feel hopeless. Having this mindfulness allows me to explore alternatives, and I’ve realized that now subconsciously I seek projects and ways to invest my skills as a way to cope with what could all too easily make me anxious. I have tended my emotional health carefully for long enough that now, just like the joyful bulbs of spring, with a little warmth and water I will continually bloom. Since I have struggled my whole life with depression and anxiety, reaching this level of self sustaining and almost subconscious care is worthy of a pat on the back. So, today, despite the rain and gloom both literally and in some many ways one can look at the events going on in the world, I have found joy. I have found joy through action, which is such a crucial component in recognizing and working through depressive periods. The importance of finding something to bring joy in your life or the life of someone else, which, I don’t mean to say is easy or possible in a major depressive state, then you may need more support and bigger tools. This is a maintenance tool that we all can benefit from whether we are sensitive to anxiety and depression or not. This can take many forms- perhaps for you it is quite literal and you volunteer in your community, or perhaps it is small kindnesses like being aware of the people around you and working to brighten their days, or perhaps it is through self love and control of your choices in the world. The opportunities are endless.

I invite you to think about what self care rituals have you crafted, or what new project you can adopt this spring to take advantage of this time of the year in which we celebrate beginnings (also, shoutout to mercury entering retrograde- now is a great time to plan projects and forward motion, but hold off on starting anything big right now if you can).  

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