Stop and smell the roses

Have you noticed things during the lock down you would not normally? Me too.

People’s houses? Pretty gardens? Graffiti? The other day while walking I noticed a fairy door on a local tree. I had passed that tree several times before but never noticed it. Always rushing, 101 things on my mind, just focussing about getting to wherever I was going instead of taking notice of the beauty around me. I don’t blame me. Life was going at 100 miles an hour. Working, events, cooking, taking the kids to activities – keeping all those plates spinning and many more. My day was packed from 6am to 10pm and I tried very hard not to let a plate drop – although I often did. Life looks and feels different now and I know it’s tough not seeing family and loved ones but maybe there are some new experiences we can enjoy now.

Personally, I am having a cuppa with my hubby at 8am every morning in the garden. We are spending more time as a family, exercising, listening to music, eating together, playing games and watching movies. (not previously easy with a 11, 17 and 19-year-old who were very busy with sports, school and college work and friends).  We are communicating.  The kids are developing new skills, running, cooking, playing instruments and even washing cars!

Take the time to stop while you can because our world will change again. We will reflect on this time and maybe bring some of the experiences with us. But for now, take it all in within the limitations of our movement allowances. Don’t have regrets. I was jealous at first that I did not live by the sea during this lock down and for those things I don’t or can’t have but now I am relishing the moments I do – to smell the roses, to exercise, to spend time with those I can. I know I am luckier than others who maybe do not have company in their homes. At the weekend I passed a young couple who had brought their chairs and a flask and arranged their seats within a safe distance outside the open window of an older couple. They were chatting, laughing and having a cuppa together. It made me smile. I hope you can find hope somewhere in this situation. Smile when you can, breathe deeply and take notice of the beauty around you.

The picture in this blog is of a rose which had fallen in our garden. We stopped and noticed it, brought it into view and now admire it.

Aerobic activity – your brain will thank you

The Irish times reported today that exercise not only improves heart function and protects us against a variety of diseases (I think most of us were aware of that one) but also….wait for it …improves our mental health. Yes, Yes, Yes!

Its true, research has now shown that aerobic exercise

  • improves your cognitive function,
  • slows down age-related cognitive decline and
  • may prove to be a powerful therapy to slow down the accelerated decline seen in Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s more important now than ever given our Covid-19 restrictions to stay active and aerobically fit. There are plenty of options:

  • Join an on-line class and work out from your home or garden. It’s a great way to stay active with your friends.
  • Walk/run/cycle in your local park or street (within the 2k radius of your home)
  • Skip/Dance/Play
  • Hurl/hockey/football/basketball
  • Garden/Cook/Bake/Clean (only if you have to!)
  • Home based exercises – the WHO have some nice recommendations (WHO stay active)


Some tips to cope and stay strong:

Mobilise: Step away from your desk – stretch – break from screens.

Laugh: Socialise with your friends and family on-line or on the phone.

Oxygen: Take in some fresh air – it will boost your body and mind.

Nutrition: Plenty of fruit and veg. Add colour to your plate to strengthen your immune system

Routine: Try to go to bed at the same time during week-days. Start your day well

Positivity: Focus on the positive. Enjoy the family meals, time together, developing new skills.

Sleep soundly: Take a break from the Covid-19 updates before you sleep. Read something different and upbeat, meditate, play some relaxing music.


Stay Safe – Protect yourself – Stay healthy.



Source: Irishtimes April 6 2020