Working Through Mental Health Heaviness with a Little Gardening

garden.jpgWhen I am struggling, I tend to shut down or lash out. Or I lash out and then shut down. It’s a game time decision and basically not really a decision at all because I never know how I’m going to react in the moment. To put it ever so delicately, I think that it must insanely suck to be part of my family (or within ten miles of me) whenever I’m spiraling. I don’t hide it at all. It’s not in my nature nor is it in my innate set of skills. I basically exude “Hot Mess Here!” when I’m in that place. And I hate it.

I don’t believe in taking medications (I AM ONLY SPEAKING FOR MYSELF ON THIS – I absolutely do NOT speak for others nor am I advising anyone else to toss their pills ever), and I can’t muster the willpower or energy to exercise. It’s like slogging through tar. Or old Velveeta on a sponge. Eck. That’s the worst, no?

When I have a mental meltdown, I operate in full-out sour puss mode. Eventually I move to doing projects. That could be painting a mural, gardening, refinishing an old something, doing design work, photography, or any other number of things that will require an extensive level of detail and concentration. If I’m lucky, I get started on the project long before the crazy brain hits, but that isn’t always the case. Sadly I did not get in front of the downward spiral before it struck this past weekend, but I did manage to pull myself out of it with the succulent garden pallet (thank heavens).

I wrote the post below on detailing how I put together the above garden as a light DIY piece for other creative gardeners out there. I didn’t delve into the why but I don’t get into the mental explanations on that blog. I keep those posts light because I it gives me a sense of comfort (false though it may be) when I feel like there’s a small place in my life that isn’t marred by the emotional roller coaster that I never fully exit.

DIY – Creating a Succulent Garden with a Pallet

If you need a pick me up or other general DIY project ideas, feel free to check the site.

Just remember that although the dark times may feel deep and real and raw right then, but they are not permanent residents. Do not allow those heavy days (weeks / years) to defeat you or destroy your relationships. As my abundantly wise friend Louise Gallagher at reminded me, now is not forever. It really isn’t.

Such wisdom in those words.

If you feel like you are caught up in the heaviness of the now, allow yourself the meltdown and then move another direction. Drink a cup of coffee, drag your butt out of bed, and do something. Write. Draw. Garden. Paint. Sing. Read. Whatever. Just find your way back.

If you are stuck, I’m here and am always happy to remind you that the sun is still there even when you can’t see past the clouds. I need those reminders, too.

Now is not forever.

Dig past the rough spots and uncover the life that you are meant to have. It’s there. It just gets a little hidden sometimes.

Love, light, and hugs – Jo

38 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. markmyworld
    Jun 26, 2018 @ 07:30:10

    This is a nice post. Thank you for sharing. 🙂
    If you have time, let me know what you think of mine –


  2. Writer Lori
    Jun 26, 2018 @ 07:30:20

    Your garden is lovely, Jo. Out of darkness, beauty! Hang in there….


  3. Jodi Stibora
    Jun 26, 2018 @ 08:57:46

    Thank you, Joanna, this was great pick-me-up for my day. Been struggling a bit too here lately. Love the succulents.


    • Jo Price
      Jun 26, 2018 @ 11:47:47

      Maybe I should drag you out of the house and make you come take bird pics with me??? Nothing says feel better like some good Texas swampy heat plus b.o.! 😉 I’m here if you ever want to talk and the sweaty bird photo session offer is there always. I mean it! ❤️🐦❤️


  4. thebrightside247
    Jun 26, 2018 @ 09:23:52

    Digging your garden!


  5. José María López
    Jun 26, 2018 @ 11:07:02

    Beautiful and talented work. Do you know what it would be great therapeutic work for you? To come to my house and apply all your talents to improve it. I am willing to do this great favor to you.


  6. iamsuperishdad
    Jun 26, 2018 @ 15:24:11

    Now it’s not forever it’s so important to remember during the bad times.


  7. Shareece Dumont
    Jun 26, 2018 @ 18:44:26

    I hear you. I find myself most thankful for those who love me even as or after I have moments, or meltdowns, who are there to enjoy the bright times and the dark. I can relate to the comment here about taking bird pics. I also love bird watching and am working on bird and nature photography myself. I invested in a really nice DSLR and lens to challenge myself and try to capture special moments from a distance. So much peace in nature! I have to take my nature breaks.

    Lovely succulent garden Jo. I can see your projects often involve connecting with nature!


  8. Jo Price
    Jun 26, 2018 @ 22:04:33

    Reblogged this on Life in the Spectrum.


  9. Inside The Rainbow
    Jun 29, 2018 @ 00:39:35

    I used to work through my stress by gardening. I’d dig the feck out of the garden. I’d wear myself out, then I’d sit back and admire how beautiful it all looked. I can no longer dig or mow or strim, but my little ‘yarden’ is beautiful and gives me pleasure when it aint too hot to sit in it lol X


  10. ecodexworld
    Aug 02, 2018 @ 22:28:58

    hi very good article
    thanks for sharing keep up the good work


  11. Crying Over Spilled Milk 🥛
    Aug 08, 2018 @ 15:40:58

    This is beautiful


  12. Dr. Gregory Burzysnki
    Aug 10, 2018 @ 14:14:22

    WHat a lovely garden. Keep up the good work!


  13. Denice Samsonoff
    Feb 04, 2019 @ 04:37:14

    Really love the gardening i have a landscape garden as well.
    thank you for sharing this wonderful article


    • Jo Price
      Feb 17, 2019 @ 00:37:01

      Something about gardening can be so soothing. Maybe it’s the sense of accomplishment or just the overall joy of adding beauty to our spaces and the world in general. I love that you garden, too. Such a blessing. 🙂


  14. erfanju
    Feb 05, 2019 @ 10:12:04

    Very beautiful garden. fresh air is very important for a healthy mind and body.


  15. Denice Samsonoff
    Feb 14, 2019 @ 06:10:34

    Really love the garden while drinking a coffee
    thank you for sharing this beautiful post
    Keep sharing tho


  16. Selena Valentine
    Jun 04, 2019 @ 06:07:24

    Thank you for the awesome article sharing us. impressive!


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