Domestic arts,  Gardening,  Personal growth

A garden-variety mood booster

“Many of us feel stressed and overwhelmed not because we’re taking on too much, but too little of what strengthens us.” ~Marcus Buckingham

You’ve probably noticed that your problems fade to the background whenever you’re engrossed in something you enjoy. I’m a worrier by nature, but I’ve learned over the years that doing something with my hands — and I don’t mean typing or fiddling with my cell phone — works better than any drug prescribed for anxiety.

From plotting to planting, gardening is my best medicine. I spent most of yesterday afternoon browsing around several plant nurseries, comparing the various selections of herbs, annuals, and perennials. The fresh scents and bright colors gave me a much-needed lift after so many days of depressing news stories about mass shootings and political turmoil.

Though I haven’t purchased much yet — other than my inaugural basil plant and a patio pot — I’m ready to dig in and get started. What strengthens you and brings you relief when you’re stressed or overwhelmed? ~CL

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Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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