Things to do during lockdown that will help you to find clarity, a healing and calming effect on your mind. These simple processes shall connect you with your creativity and encourage you to appreciate the natural world when navigating through difficult times.
The next time you are out on your daily walk, whether you are in a city, town or countryside, you should be able to find an overgrown patch of greenery that may have common weeds that are extremely useful for making fresh herbal teas, healing mandalas and natural dyes. Gathering plants can provide an opportunity for reflection and contemplation, creating balance between our inner state of being and our outer existence.
For each of these activities it will involve foraging for windfall or taking small amounts of cuttings from nature or your garden. By engaging with your surroundings, gathering plants or objects found in nature becomes a mindful act in itself. Remember to take a bag and small pair of scissors.
Create your own plant mandala
A mandala is a geometric form, created from a central point that expands outwards as a circle. I find that the process of gathering plants and arranging them into sacred symbols has a powerful healing and calming effect, providing a strong sense of clarity. We can learn from nature, especially when we feel the need to control, it teaches us to let go and to explore our unconscious thought.
1 – Begin by looking for spring time finds such as, dandelions, daisies, bluebells and any other beauties you may encounter
2 – Find a nice background to place your plant mandala on and group together your findings
3 – Choose a flower or leaf that you are particularly drawn to and start with that, from the centre you can begin to work your way out
4 – Create layers of circles so that it expands in to a beautiful circle arrangement
5 – Once you have finished you might like to photograph your plant mandala before putting your objects back in nature or with the compost
Make natural dye with dandelions
A common weed that can be brewed as a nutritious tea or simmered as a delicate natural dye. It has been used for medicinal properties for centuries and contains high levels of potassium.
Here is a link to my dyeing with dandelions blog post, with a step by step on how to dye natural fabrics with dandelions, to create the most delicate yellow.
Brew a delicious nettle tea
1 – Gather nettles from a local wild patch, I use scissors to collect them but by cutting at the stem and placing the nettle gently in a tote bag, using the scissors as a tong. I would suggest maybe wearing a glove just to protect yourself from be stung, but this isn’t necessary if you’re careful.
2 – Rinse your nettles, then pour boiling water on top and let them brew for 3-5 minutes depending on how strong you like the taste. I take my nettles out using a fork, but if you have a teapot and tea strainer then that is perfect.
3 – Enjoy your nutritious tea that is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Please be aware that you should not drink if you have certain allergies, as you might be allergic to nettles, I am sure you can research more about this if needed.
These things to do during lockdown will help you feel more connected with the diversity and wonder of nature that surrounds us. Since we are all feeling disconnected from our usual stimulation and loved ones, it’s important to try to find joy in the simple things that life has to offer.