Stop and smell the roses

by | Dec 13, 2021

I have always been someone who stopped and smelled the roses. My sense of smell is normally acute, which is why I found it distressing to lose it when I contracted COVID-19 in January.
 
One study I saw concluded the loss of smell from the virus increased depression and anxiety. I noticed that and there was added stress due to uncertainty around when or if it would come back having read, ‘some people after having COVID-19 were still without their sense of smell over a year later, with no sign of it returning’.
 
Contemplating this, I understood we can adapt, and our other senses can develop more acutely when one is lost or diminished. Nevertheless, the saying, ‘we don’t appreciate something until we lose it’ rang true for me and I was worried. So I committed to appreciating more, complaining less and being patient and hopeful while I waited to see what would unfold. In fairness, there were more pressing, life-threatening issues and long covid around me that helped me gain perspective.
 
It took 4 months before my sense of smell fully returned. I was aware it was improving gradually but not back 100% until one day in Spring here in Dublin, some roses in my mother’s garden had bloomed. I went out to see if I could smell them and to my great joy and surprise, I could once again ‘stop and smell the roses’, and how sweet they were!
 
Our senses are a wonderful gateway to the present moment. Whether it’s smelling a flower, eating something delicious, listening to music we enjoy, or feeling the air temperature on our skin, we can punctuate our days with more pleasurable moments of mindfulness through the senses. Mindfulness has been proven to reduce depression for some and to cure it for others. It has also been proven to increase self-esteem and boost our mood. It can enhance our experience through the good times and support us in more challenging moments. The benefits of mindfulness are extensively researched and widely documented and yet, we need to be reminded of it regularly due to our mind’s tendency to wander, worry and stress. So, here I am with a friendly reminder for myself and anyone else who will find this useful today. How can we include more mindful moments this week, especially those that could bring us more joy?

Asking For Help

Asking For Help

Asking for help could prevent you burning out and even save your life! I ran a team communication and wellbeing day for a wonderful high performing team last week. We spoke of the difficulty some of us have asking for help when we are overwhelmed at work and how that...

Stolen Focus

Stolen Focus

How Stolen Focus helped me understand my problem with attention, and make some crucial changes. The book by Johann Hari with the tagline ‘Why you can’t pay attention’ caught my eye as soon as I saw it on the bookshelf at the bookstore, so I went home and bought it on...

Skiing, and moving from a fixed to a growth mindset

Skiing, and moving from a fixed to a growth mindset

In my early years in Australia, I went on an adventure to the Snowy Mountains and tried my hand at snowboarding. A mistake I, and my friends made: we didn’t get any lessons. We were young and arrogant, and thought it looked easy. Not getting lessons turned out to be a...

Subscribe To The
Lisa Gaines Newsletter