The science behind our Happiness Box

If you have been paying careful attention to the Lazy Flora’s social media channels lately, you’ll have seen that our forthcoming early summer plant collection has been inspired by chartered psychologist and all-round wellness expert Suzy Reading’s first book The Self-Care Revolution.

I first heard of Suzy through listening to The Guide to Growth podcast last summer, and I instantly fell in love with her teachings. When her book came out at the end of 2017, I polished it off in one sitting.

So when I knew we were planning to do a Happiness themed box at this time of year, I knew I wanted Suzy to be involved in some way, and through some careful planning, design and plant sourcing, I’m thrilled to say that our Happiness plant collection is truly inspired by the Vitality Wheel concept that Suzy describes in her book.

Vitality Wheel

Here’s how Suzy describes the Vitality Wheel:

‘I created the ‘Vitality Wheel’ as a simple method of communicating the different ways you can make a deposit into your energy bank. The goal of the Vitality Wheel is to empower you to better care for yourself. In one simple diagram you can be reminded of eight different avenues of nourishment.’

And those eight avenues are:

  • Sleep, rest, relaxation and breathing
  • Movement and nutrition
  • Coping skills
  • Physical environment
  • Social connection
  • Mood boosters
  • Goal-setting and accomplishment
  • Values and purpose.

How the ‘Happiness box’ was created

Taking the eight concepts of the vitality wheel, I worked with my Garden and Plants Advisor Margaret Fiddes, to select plants that would best promote the spokes on the wheel at this time of year, whilst maintaining the qualities that are important to Lazy Flora, such as being super easy care and seriously impactful and beautiful!

This is how we arrived at the plant selection for this box, and how it best relates to the qualities of the Vitality Wheel:

  • Sleep, rest, relaxation and breathing are promoted through the inclusion of lavender, which has relaxing and calming properties.
  • Movement and nutrition are promoted through the inclusion of mint, rosemary and marigolds - all edible plants - as well as for their varied stimulant qualities. (Next time you are feeling low, try adding a few marigold petals and/or mint to a salad or soup for lunch for a change – nothing beats their cheery brightness and fresh flavour!)
  • Gardening and spending time around plants and in nature fills up your energy tank, thus develops your coping skills.
  • Having beautiful plants and flowers in your life is an instant enhancement to your physical environment.
  • Social connection promoted through the inclusion of bright and bold cutting flowers such as cosmos, gazania and pinks, which can then be given to friends.
  • Seeing bright colours and experiencing delicate perfumes or vibrant scents are known to be excellent mood boosters. In the wise words of Suzy: ‘Beauty lifts your spirits and opens you up to an experience of awe’. Beauty is good for you.

So it really does address a whole host of areas on the Vitality Wheel. There’s no wonder therefore that Suzy regularly prescribes gardening to her psychology and wellbeing patients, as it really does provide an all-round relief-from-daily-life package. And she isn’t alone: doctors in London have been prescribing it since at least 2003.

To read more of what Suzy has to say, you can follow her on Instagram, or order a copy of her book The Self-Care Revolution. (I can't recommend it highly enough.)

And if you know someone who is in need of a little reminder of the importance of self-care, or who would enjoy spending more time with plants, you can place an order for a beautiful Lazy Flora plant collection right here.

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