My anxiety level went up in November 2016, but I told myself, “Maybe it won’t be as bad as we fear.” Well, it isn’t — in many ways it is worse. I suppose it could get much worse.
I’ve marched, wrote letters, attended meetings, and made phone calls. (I hate making phone calls like that, which tells you how bad it’s getting from my point of view.) I’ve voted and encouraged other people to vote. I’ve posted and tweeted, and probably been blocked.
[In case you haven’t figured it out, the basis for my frustration and anxiety is political, concerning the 45th U.S. President and the current Republican leadership. But this isn’t a political rant, so pardon the digression.]
I can’t fight the good fight 24/7. I suspect no one can and remain sane. For an empath, the atmosphere has been downright toxic. So on a daily basis, I go out in our yard and do yard work.
We put raised gardens in our south-facing lawn three years ago. We’ve grown onions, garlic, chard, kale, carrots, and have one dedicated to various herbs. This year we are adding more beds, and attempting to grow watermelons and sugar snap peas. We have blueberries in pots, and a monster rosemary bush.
Several plants in the front yard are there because they smell good. The mock orange finally began blooming a few years ago, but have yet to see a blossom on the star jasmine. (We live near the ocean, so don’t get quite enough sunshine or heat.) The honeysuckle is doing well, as is the alyssum. This year we added a gardenia, which has bloomed once and has several more buds. It smells heavenly out there.
While we try to keep the front yard semi-tidy, the back yard is far more natural. Most of it is wild berry bushes, of the Himalayan blackberry variety. Walk out there on a sunny day and most of the backyard hums because of all the bees (and hummingbirds). No, I don’t can the fruit or even bake with it — most of it goes from bush to hand to mouth. 🙂
This year we are experimenting with growing potatoes in a trash can. (Want to know how? Visit here.) We have this in the small mowed section of our backyard. The mowed section is for a bird feeder, and room to sit in the sun (when we have it and it’s warm enough).
The environment is one of the things I worry about, so we don’t use herbicides, pesticides, or soil supplements with manufactured ingredients. We have a gopher who regularly tills the ground, hence a lot of plants in pots or raised beds (with wire mesh underneath).
Sounds corny, but our yard and being outdoors grounds me. That’s primarily why we have a garden, though the fresh produce does taste wonderful. Being outdoors and unplugged, whether it’s at the park or beach or our yard, reminds me there is still beauty on this Earth and the possibility that things can be better. And this is the only Earth we’ve got, so we better take care of it or we’ll pollute humanity out of existence. (The planet and some form of Nature will survive.)
If you are anxious, or depressed, or any version thereof, find a healthy way to handle it. Go for a walk, play sports, garden, knit, read, laugh with friends, make pottery, dance to music, work with wood, paint, play with children, play with pets — you get the idea. Unplug and get out into the world around you, and do it on as regular a basis as you can.
Take care of yourself.