Stuck in your head? Unable to switch off and relax after a long day? It's a familiar feeling for most, especially after the past couple of years, when our options to burn off steam have been vastly diminished by lockdowns and a new world of “work from home” measures. Staying in the same space all the time can result in a wandering, agitated mind, and concentrating on a film or reading a book becomes impossible when your mind's hopping all over the place. The global situation has put us all under huge pressure, and none of us should be surprised or ashamed by the fact that it's disrupting our mental health.
But now, more than ever, it is so important to take the time to unwind and allow our thoughts to settle. Below are a few things that have helped members of the Bloombox Club team combat overthinking:
Check out - 5 Restorative Plants for Focus and Tranquillity
1. Organise Your Thoughts
Writing down your worries in an organized way can help put your anxieties into perspective and enable you to take steps to dispel your fears. Journaling is a great way to calibrate your sense of self, to make poetry out of your worries, and to distinguish the unease of individual thoughts by putting them into words and consequently, drawing up solutions.
Break your thoughts down like this: What am I worried about? Why am I worried about this? Is there anything I can do to solve this right now? Even the simple act of putting pen to paper helps us to take that first step. We promise you will immediately feel better for taking action!
2. Brearthe - And We Mean Really Breathe!
It sounds obvious, but how often do you actually take a moment to focus on your breath? And you don't have to be a Grade A yogi to feel the benefits. Breathing deeply is scientifically proven to be one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because it sends a message to your brain to calm down, decrease high blood pressure and slow your heart rate. Additionally, it has been proven to assist with sleep, help with anxiety, depression, arousal and confusion.
TIP: Place your hand on your stomach and focus here as you inhale. As you exhale, try to let some of those unhelpful thoughts go. Doing so helps activate your Alpha brain waves, which are associated with vital restoration and relaxation. As well as mediation, plants with fractal patterns, like the Calathea Triostar, are known to activate your Alpha brain wave frequency. Calathea Triostars love bright indirect light and humid conditions, so it’s best to keep this in mind when deciding where in your home to keep them. You should water them little and often so every few days check the soil and if it’s dry then top them up, and feed them once a month in the spring and summer.
You can find more restorative plants in our Indoor Plants collection.
3. Take In Your Surroundings
Working from home comes with limitations. You might spend your whole day (or even week) in the same space - which can lead to feelings of claustrophobia and anxiety. That’s why it’s so important to make the most of your surroundings and create environments which enhance and nurture our moods. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to appreciate what you can see; a photo of a loved one, your freshly made bed, or a beautiful plant that’s cleansing the air around you. One amazing way to improve or transform your surroundings is to add beautiful plants to familiar rooms, giving them a whole new feel.
Did you know that plants can help your immune system, boost productivity and have a positive effect on your mental health? Here are a few of our favourite air purifying plants and general plant recommendations for mental wellbeing:
Native to the shady Amazon rainforest floor, the Calathea Triostar, sometimes also called the prayer plant, is perfect for brightening up the darker corners of your home.
This vibrant beauty is also one of the best air purifiers around, so they are great for your physical health as well as creating a calming and relaxing environment.
These pretty little plants open and close their leaves in accordance with sunlight and nightfall, accompanying you into dreams and consciousness in a relaxing rhythm.
Zeylanica Snake Plant
The Zeylanica Snake Plant is proven to be the best for air purification as well as being extremely hardy plants, making them a perfect choice for newbie plant parents.
Whilst removing toxic pollutants from the air this plant also offers us with a positive reminder to help us stay relaxed and in control.
For more in depth information on the benefits of a snake plant and how to care for them, check out - A Guide to Snake Plants: Care and Benefits
The Philodendron Squamiferum is another wonderful air purifying plant. Kaplan and Kaplan (1959) make clear it's not only about specific properties, but about signifying abundance, and a diverse and healthy habitat when it comes to plants and wellbeing.
The Squamiferum with its lush green leaves, marked with continuous lines and its fuzzy red vines send signals that we're in a healthy environment.
Monkey Mask Monstera
The Monkey Mask Monstera is a quirky little plant that has a relatively speedy growth habit and signifies 'jungle.' In contrast to the tidy Aspidistras of yore, these indoor plants will bring your interior to life, and subconsciously make us feel at ease in our surroundings.
These air purifying plants are close relatives to the Swiss Cheese Plant, which you can probably already tell from their appearance!
We think the Monkey Mask Monstera is cute as a button and the perfect addition to any interior.
Devil's Ivy - Marble Queen Pothos
Turns out the devil on your shoulder can sometimes be a good thing!
This list would not be complete without trailing plants! Whether you hang them up overhead, pop them on a mantelpiece or guide them along a wall, they're a great way of making you feel surrounded by nature.
The Devil’s Ivy is a classic, luscious hanging plant which adds splashes of green to any wall or corner as well as being a wonderfully air purifying plant.
And that’s a wrap!
Let’s take each day and each thought as they come. We hope these tips help you through any overwhelming moments.