Thousands of Kiwis are set to receive more than half a million dollars worth of flowers which will be handed out this week to reward New Zealanders for their resilience during COVID-19.
Up to 50,000 stems of NZ grown flowers will be donated by Feel Good With Flowers, with 64 florists around the country taking part to create bouquets as part of the New Zealand Flowers Week (November 16-22) ‘Resilience in Bloom’ campaign.
The locally grown flowers will be handed out from hundreds of locations around the country including train stations, charity centres, stadiums and city streets from Dunedin to Auckland.
Psychologist Sara Chatwin says new academic research shows despite their seemingly fragile appearance, flowers in nature will literally bounce back up if knocked over – reorienting their blossoms back to the best pollinating position.
Chatwin says like flowers, resilience is a key coping factor we need.
“Resilience in simple terms is that little nudge out of a rut when we need it! It is essential for getting us through change and for allowing us to re-group, re-define and rebalance our lives.
She says random acts of kindness such as giving or receiving flowers are mutually beneficial.
“The person receiving a floral tribute walks away with a “feel good” feeling and the ‘giver’ of the flowers also feels satisfied they have added something positive to someone’s day.
“Flowers make a statement without saying anything. They can sum up a situation and convey many sentiments without fuss. Their simplicity and beauty adds so much in happy times and sad, and the giving of flowers shows the recipient that thought and care have been involved in their purchase.
“They are just such a visual and olfactory way of connecting with people (or a person) and saying something that can’t or doesn’t need to be said. Flowers are meaningful and lasting and can change a person’s day from bad to good in a second!”
Chatwin says COVID-19 saw many more Kiwis presenting with higher levels of anxiety or depressive symptoms but we have emerged stronger and more resilient from the experience.
Her top tips for staying resilient during tough times are:
Rest/sleep to allow the body and mind to rejuvenate.
Stick to a daily pattern and routine that gives you direction and thus, confidence.
Exercise to get the endorphins releasing creating positive thoughts and thus a positive mindset.
Get support from people who contribute positively to your world. Minimise negative interactions, situations and people.
Take a breath once a day to be grateful and thankful for that you DO have. DO NOT dwell on what you don’t have.
For parents, Sara’s top tips to help your child build resilience are:
Parents need to PARENT their children and stop abdicating responsibility to technology to do the parenting.
Get back to basics with manners and with empowering children to take on board the core values: Kindness, loyalty, and honesty.
Do not encourage them to ‘follow the pack’ and do things just because others do it and it is ‘cool’.
Keep your kids close and communicate with them to ensure that problems and issues can be worked through and not let to fester until they are teenagers or even adults who then don’t have the resilience to cope and manage situations that are unique or unusual.