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Chloe Cant

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When Marilyn Monroe died, her grief-stricken former lover Joe DiMaggio placed a 20-year order for a dozen roses to be placed on her grave three times each week, to symbolise his love.

Red roses mean love, daisies represent innocence, lotus flowers rebirth and gardenias happiness. This is the language of flowers. Flowers have been synonymous with sending messages of love, friendship, and condolences since Victorian times when every household studied their meaning and noted them down in flower dictionaries.

Of course, letters were always an option for Victorians. However, in a time with very strict societal standards about decorum and reputation, that was not always appropriate. It may not have been possible to tell someone your true feelings and so, using bouquets to send messages that could not be said out loud was a common way of communicating.

So, if you would like to become acquainted with this romantic form of communication, here are some of the meanings of flowers below.

1. Lotus Flower

The lotus flower signifies rebirth and new beginnings. This is because the flowers grow out of the mud in swampy areas. Each night, they slowly close and return to the mud, and each morning they bloom again, just as beautiful as ever.

In Greek Mythology, the lotus-eaters were people who lived on an island where lotus flowers were the primary source of food. However, the lotus flowers were a narcotic, and the island’s inhabitants slept their lives away. Whoever visited the island and ate the lotus flowers never returned and spent the rest of their days in slumber.

Today, if we call someone a ‘lotus-eater,’ it means they indulge in luxuries and apathy instead of dealing with practical problems. The  Victorians often took inspiration from ancient myths or legends about flowers.

2. Cactus flower

To Victorians these prickly plants surprisingly meant…. Warmth. They do after all grow in the warmest climates.

There are many myths and legends about cactus flowers, including a Native American tale in which a young man being pursued by wild animals asked the gods for help. In response they turned him into a cactus, creating the very first cactus on earth.

3. Acacia

This beautiful bloom symbolises secret love. They are commonly seen growing wild in Australian suburbs, and now you can handpick them to send to someone you’re admiring from afar.

The Acacia flower has also been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes in African.

4. Ambrosia

For Victorians, this bloom means that love is returned. It is a beautiful way of letting someone know that the feeling is mutual.

In Ancient Greek mythology, the gods drank and ate Ambrosia.

5. Gardenias

These beautifully scented flowers signify an overflow of happiness. Be careful with their delicate petals, as they can brown when touched.

It is common to see these flowers at weddings and in bridal bouquets, not only for their beauty but as an expression of joy.

6. Red Carnation

A red carnation indicates heartbreak. A yellow carnation means disdain and a striped carnation refusal. So…. Heartbreak and bad news all round for carnations despite their beauty.

7. Daffodil

A beautiful splash of cheerful yellow in a bouquet will signify regard and unequaled love. To send these in Victorian times was truly a compliment or a declaration of love.

The English poet William Wordsworth was so moved by the beauty of some daffodils he saw on a walk that he wrote a famous poem about them.

‘’I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils’’

– William Wordsworth.

8. Daisy

It doesn’t seem surprising that daisies signify innocence. However, they have different shades of meaning and in some cases can represent a promise to keep a secret.

A common custom with daisies is to pull the petals off one by one and recite each time, ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ until the last petal gives an answer.

9. Geranium

These represent folly and stupidity so do be careful with these. Despite this, they look beautiful in a bouquet or growing wildly in your garden.

10. Hibiscus

While these blooms might make you yearn for a tropical holiday, they represent a delicate kind of beauty. So, not only are they bold and stunning but highly complementary.

11. Honeysuckle

Represent the bonds of love. Perfect for an anniversary and they smell beautiful. They also look amazing growing wildly along a fence or somewhere in your garden.

12. White Jasmine

Their scent is unmistakable and for many of us they herald the beginning of the Australian spring and summer. However, these beauties mean sweet love and fidelity.

13. Marigold

Marigolds signify grief and jealousy. The shock of colour from their petals sends a strong message.

14. Poppy

A poppy can be sent in consolation. Often, we see them around ANZAC day for this reason. Their meaning of consolation represents solidarity in times of grief.

15. Red rose

Simply, I love you. There is no reading between the lines here.

16. Yellow Rose

Along with other flowers that signify bad news, yellow roses must be top of the list. They signify infidelity and a loss of love.

17. Yellow Tulip

In this case, yellow signifies good news. It means to tell someone that their smile is like sunshine and they are hugely complimentary. Nothing will cheer you up quite like looking at a bouquet of tulips.

18. Tiger Lily

A tiger Lily represents wealth, so gift a bouquet of these to someone you love who is looking for financial growth or an income

19. Magnolia

Signifies a love of nature and a sense of nobility. Their pale faces and dark green leaves give this bloom an elegance that matches their meaning.

20. Iris

Meaning wisdom, trust, and faith, these beautiful blooms carry a lot of meaning as well as being beautiful.

Balancing your hormones is the key to health and wellness you didn’t know you were missing.

When we feel tired, sleep poorly, struggle with weight gain, or have mood swings, it can be hard to identify why. It might be simply that you need to get back to basics and balance your hormones.

The key to happy hormones and a healthy body is about adopting a healthy lifestyle. Below we have six easy adjustments you can make to assist with healthy hormone production.

Hormones are chemical pathways in our bodies responsible for sending messages through our bodies about what we need. If hormones are out of whack, it can lead to dry skin, hair loss, sugar cravings, bloating and lethargy.

Hormonal health is essential for women, as it can affect your menstrual cycle and lead to period pain, blood clotting, and a decrease in libido.

1. Drink green tea

Green tea has a multitude of health benefits and is packed with antioxidants and is all-around delicious. Green tea also has caffeine, which helps to boost your metabolism and provides energy. In addition, the antioxidants in green tea are thought to stop your insulin from spiking, so drink up.

2. Exercise

Exercise such as aerobics and weight training are effective in decreasing insulin levels and boosting your metabolism. However, if you are struggling to get into a fitness regime, grab your headphones and go for a nice long walk. Or maybe 20 minutes of yoga is more your style. Any exercise is better than no exercise.

3. Eat Fatty Fish 

Start adding salmon, sardines and mackerel to your dinner and lunch rotation. These sources of omega-3 fatty acids are powerhouses for hormonal health, as research suggests that they lower cortisol and adrenaline.

4. Avoid refined sugars 

This one might seem obvious, but refined sugars can have negative consequences for hormonal health. Refined sugars in beverages especially should be avoided, as they spike insulin and encourage your body to store belly fat.

5. Sleep 

It is essential to get enough sleep in the evening. Sleep is your body’s way of resetting, and the more quality sleep you get, the better. Avoid harsh lighting and looking at your phone before bed. Instead, try switching to a book, magazine, or podcast at least an hour before bed.

6. Manage Stress

This one is easier said than done but learning to manage stress is beneficial for your hormonal and overall health. The stress hormone cortisol can cause hormonal imbalance, weight gain, mood swings, and even cardiovascular disease if experienced long term.

Feeling like you are struggling with your health can seem overwhelming or be concerning. However, it is possible to address some of these things with small, incremental changes.

Try incorporating a few of these into your daily life and work your way up to as many as possible.

 

 

 

Mindfulness is a highly beneficial skill that can be taught to kids by incorporating it into games and activities. Not only will their creativity and sense of fun flourish, but also their social and emotional skills.

We know that mindfulness is good for us in all sorts of ways, but new research is showing that it’s suitable for your kids as well. Getting kids to sit still for long periods can be a mission. Games like Simon Says, Jenga, balancing on one foot, and even Hide and Seek all incorporate elements of concentration and awareness that increase mindfulness.

Games like Puzzles or activities like painting keep you and the kids busy and entertained when at home and help kids learn to calm their minds and bodies. A study by Mindful Schools has shown that it increases their attention and learning skills when children practice mindfulness. Not only that, but it will also improve their emotional and social skills and their sense of resilience.

In addition, studies such as the one carried out by BMC Psychology suggest that when kids practice mindfulness, it positively impacts their development into adulthood. Engaging in mindful play around the house is excellent for your child’s mental health and decreases their chance of developing anxiety or depression later in life.

Here’s how you can begin incorporating mindfulness games into your routine with your kids. These activities are suitable for several age ranges.

1. Yoga for kids

There are several fun ways to do yoga with your kids. Not only will you be getting a quick workout in, but it’s a fantastic way for your kids to engage in not only a fun activity but awareness and concentration.

Some of the best sources for yoga for kids are Cosmic Kids Yoga and Yoga for Kids with Alissa Kepas. Both can be found with a quick YouTube search as well.

Yoga involves paying attention, concentration, group work, and calming and breathing techniques. These kinds of games or activities are ideal for increasing emotional regulation, focus, and engagement.

kids doing yoga outside on the grass

2. Jenga

You might find yourself getting more carried away with this game than you would expect. If you’ve never played before, the game aims to stack a tower of wooden blocks on top of each other and slowly take one from the bottom or middle of the tower to place on top. The higher and higher the tower gets, the more intense your focus becomes.

Increasing concentration skills can help with improved engagement, which helps at school. Not only that but its teaching problem-solving skills

Two children sitting in the living room playing Jenga with wooden blocks

3. Balancing on one foot

Put your skills to the test with this one too. Again, it sounds simple but requires a great deal of concentration, calmness, and multi-tasking.

The key is to get your child to focus their gaze just below eye level and preferably on one spot. Then, take one leg and rest it on your other leg but above the knee, on the ankle of the opposite foot, or wherever they feel comfortable. Try to maintain a conversation while you’re doing this or even sing a song.

Four kids in the outdoors balancing on one foot

4. Safari

Take your kids on a walk and tell them you are going on a Safari; their goal will be to spot as many birds, bugs, and animals as possible. A way to make this extra fun is to give them an exercise book to list all the animals they see that they can draw or decorate later.

Kids will really need to engage with all their senses and concentrate on this one. It creates a sense of awareness and grounding in the present moment.

Four kids dressed in Safari gear playing outside

5. Spidey – senses

Tap into your child’s obsession with superheroes and tell them they are going to be Spiderman for the afternoon.

Instruct your kids to turn on their “Spidey senses,” or the super-focused senses of smell, sight, hearing, taste, and touch that Spiderman uses to keep tabs on the world around them.

This will encourage them to pause and focus their attention on the present, opening their awareness to the information their senses bring in.

A group of children dressed up as super heroes in capes and masks

6. Taste Test

Take an assortment of different foods and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Anything your child loves to eat will do – a slice of orange or banana, a teaspoon of peanut butter or a cube of cheese.

Then, blindfold your kids and tell them you are doing a blind taste test game. Even if they guess their favourite foods straight away, prompt them to explain why. For example, was it the texture, smell, or taste that they noticed first?

This will require that they tap into all their sense and truly think about the sensation of eating mindfully.

A little girl peers over the a countertop at a cupcake

7. Eye Spy

Car rides can make us all feel cooped up or irritable at times. One way to overcome this is by playing eye-spy.

If you have not played before, someone picks something they can see out the window and tells everyone else only the first letter of its name but keeps the rest a secret. So, everyone else will have to concentrate very hard on the outside world to guess correctly what the other person spies.

Once your child has picked their item, they will say ‘I spy with my little eye, something starting with ‘L’…’, And then the guessing begins.

This is an excellent game for focus and concentration and makes the minutes of a car ride fly by as well.

A family in the car on a road trip

Games like these incorporate concentration, patience, mental clarity, and problem-solving skills that are invaluable life skills to foster in children. Encouraging kids to engage with their senses, creativity helps provide them with the kindness and confidence to tackle the world.

Attachment styles are how you have learned to love and communicate with others from early childhood, and it could be affecting you more than you know.

Attachment styles in relationships can be the root cause of arguments, abandonment issues, toxic behaviour, a lack of intimacy and poor communication, to name only a handful. They can be the result of the demise of relationships or repetitive bad habits that seem impossible to break. All of this can result in a sense of hopelessness or confusion as to why these negative feelings or situations keep arising.

The basics of attachment theory are that an infant must form a secure bond with a responsive parent from a very early age. If the infant’s physical and emotional needs are met, they will create a ‘secure’ attachment to their caregiver. This sense of security is essential in early development as this will stay with the child into adult life. A secure attachment style provides the security to form healthy relationships, communicate and navigate the world with a sense of confidence.

The kicker is, only 60% of parents provide infants with a genuinely secure attachment style. A lack of secure attachment can lead to difficulty showing vulnerability, asking for help, receiving affection, or trusting a partner.

So, if you’re struggling to open up to your spouse or frustrated with your best friend for asking for help, don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s just your insecure inner child.

So, what is your attachment style?

a couple sit cross legged next to one another one the road

There are four major attachment styles. Learning which one is yours may be the key to a healthier you and healthier relationships. People who identify and work with their attachment styles often have an easier time correcting negative behaviours. Your style is either:

1. Secure

As already mentioned, secure attachment styles generally have an easier time trusting and communicating their emotions. Therefore, giving and recieing affection usually isn’t an issue for secure types. As a secure type, chances are the lines of communication are pretty open for you in your relationships, and arguments do not easily arise.

2. Dismissive-avoidant

Perhaps you hate the feeling of relying on others, and when others are dependent on you, you think of them as ‘needy.’ Maybe over dinner your spouse has tried to peacefully resolve an unfinished argument from the week before. Instead of listening, you angrily accuse them of not letting go and shut down the conversation by leaving the table. It could be that you prioritise your career over your friendships, and as a result, you find yourself increasingly alone in life. These are self-preserving behaviours that can become toxic.

3. Anxious-preoccupied

Anxious attachment styles are often plagued with fears of abandonment. For example, you may wonder why your partner is being distant and moody, be convinced they are dissatisfied and worry that they are planning to leave you for something or someone better. These negative thoughts can quickly erupt into an argument. Maybe you are jealous and read your spouse’s text messages when they are asleep and later feel ashamed of your behaviour,

4. Fearful-avoidant

This attachment style is a combination of an anxious and avoidant attachment. For example, you might crave love and affection but feel uncomfortable receiving it. This can sometimes result in high-risk behaviours such as substance abuse and difficulty maintaining relationships.

Maybe you struggle to become close to people and can only maintain relationships under the influence of alcohol. You might self-sabotage by distancing yourself from others and look for affection in places you know you will not find it.

Doing an attachment style quiz might help you develop a sense of which feels more like yourself.

a couple sit next to one another on a couch

Attachment styles in relationships

At some point, you’ve encountered the term ‘law of attraction.’ The idea is that our positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative people into our world. Well, your attachment style may have more to do with this than you think.

If you fall into an anxious-avoidant or fearful-avoidant attachment style, maybe someone secure and dependable feels a little dull. Subconsciously, you can crave the unpredictability and chaos that you are used to receiving. Your caregivers might have been angry, dismissive of you, or made you feel like a burden, and yet, you loved them. Because this is what your internal blueprint of love is, it’s what you seek out in another partner.

For example, suppose you are an anxious person who craves love and fears abandonment. In that case, you may spend months or years waiting on an avoidant person to be committed in your relationship with no change. As a result, avoidant and anxious people frequently end up together. On the other hand, two highly avoidant people might spend time apart throwing themselves into their respective jobs and lack communication.

If unaware of your attachment style, it can be easy to enter relationships and friendships on autopilot and often not identify why the same problems are constantly encountered. It’s possible to repeat the same emotional habits throughout your life subconsciously. For example, anxiety, fear of abandonment, or a general lack of care can contribute to turmoil in friendships and marriages.

a couple sit next to one another outside. One is texting while the other tries to read over their shoulder

You can correct your attachment style

If this is all sounding a little depressing, don’t worry; attachment styles can be corrected. The best way to do this is by mindfully identifying how issues in relationships may be rooted in both party’s attachment styles. This gets to the heart of the problem and increases compassion and awareness for each person’s emotional needs.

The first step is to educate yourself and take an attachment style quiz, then read literature, self-reflect, and speak to a psychologist.

Other helpful tools are;

 1 . Meditation

Practices that increase mindfulness are invaluable in high-stress situations. Set aside time each day to do a mindfulness exercise or some breathwork. In the midst of difficult conversations, using these techniques helps regulate emotions to reflect on the issue properly.

2 . Journaling

Journaling is a great way to reflect on the past, your childhood, and things responsible for your stress, anxiety, or fears.

3. Practice self-care

Practicing self-care and learning to nurture yourself is crucial. Provide yourself with the love and care that may have been absent as a child, and you will be more equipped to provide this for others in your life.

4. Therapy

Lastly and most importantly, health care professionals recommend that you address your attachment style through therapy. Some psychologists specialize in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or trauma therapies. But, again, being open with a healthcare provider or doctor is the best way to find what you need.

Be gentle with yourself and the people that you care for. Often, unresolved trauma or neglect can be the root of obstacles in any relationship. Addressing this and healing can take time, patience and be hard work. Pushing through this to the other side will lead to more harmonious relationships and greater inner happiness.

a women sits on a therapists couch talking while the therapists hands are seen taking notes