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We are embarking on a wonderful season of joy and festive celebration! But let’s face it, decking the halls and many other to-do’s in the month of December can also bring stress. According to a recent poll, 68 percent of people feel stress on a daily basis, and 32 percent experience stress daily. Add the busyness of the holidays — from shopping, to organizing the guest lists, to putting up the decorations, wrapping presents, etc., etc., etc. — our feelings of overwhelm are heightened, as we worry about how everything will get done.

It’s important in these hectic times to step back, breathe, and take small opportunities to have a moment of calm, so we can enjoy the holiday festivities, rather than stress over them. Easier said than done, I know! But science offers a surprisingly simple solution: FLOWERS.

New research from the University of North Florida shows that women who lived with flowers, even just for a few days, reported a significant reduction in their stress levels. Click here to hear the results straight from the researcher herself.

Could it really be that easy? You’d be surprised at how just having flowers in your environment can make a difference in how you and your family approach your day. Try one or more of these tips on how flowers can help you and your loved ones have a productive, and enjoyable,  holiday season:

Combat Day-to-Day Busyness and Overwhelm: Keeping flowers on the kitchen counter, bedside table, or even the bathroom – somewhere that you will see as you are coming and going – can help provide a reminder to take a mental break. Flowers have a calming effect. We can use it to our advantage during busy times. 

Support Stressed Out Friends: We can help our friends cope with daily stress too. An unexpected surprise gift of flowers for a friend can go a long way. It might be the best gift they receive this season!

Show Appreciation to the Busy Party Host: Especially now that we have scientific proof of their positive impact on our well being – I find flowers are a great way to show our appreciation to the host of a holiday party. For instance, send flowers to the house the day before so he or she can experience their calming effects during the preparations — or thank them after the party is over.

Minimize Family Dinner Friction: If you sense there might be some conflict at the family gathering, use the stress-relieving effects of flowers to “ease the tension” by having flowers right there on the dinner table. It’s worth a try, and might take the conversation in a more agreeable direction.

Help Prevent Loneliness: As wonderful as the holidays can be for most, for some it is a season of loneliness — missing deceased loved ones, not having family in town, or even estrangement from relatives.  This can be a stressful time, and flowers can be a real help to show a neighbor or friend that they are acknowledged and cared for.

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Your Florist and You

by Carol Caggiano on November 22, 2018 at 6:03 pm

Having spent a majority of my life in a retail flower shop, I have experienced firsthand the emotional connection with beautiful product and wonderful people.

Flowers are like magnets and draw people to them. How many of us can pass up a collection of beautiful flowers without a second glance?

At the shop, every morning, we would begin by getting ready for the day’s activities. Each person that came through the door, emailed or called on the phone was driven by an emotion, and we needed to be ready to help. A new baby was born, someone was ill, a thank you was in order or maybe an apology, a prom corsage to be selected or a wedding to be planned, any of which could be the business at hand. They were happy, sad, concerned, excited, confused, and they knew who could help — their florist.

Before I was involved in the floral business, I was a floral customer. My brother needed a prom corsage, I took care of ordering it with the help of the local florist. My parents’ wedding anniversary needed attention; I just naturally went to the florist as they always knew the best thing to choose. When my grandmother died, the florist was at the top of the list.

We didn’t know a lot about flowers, but my family liked flowers and always made them an important part of family events big or small, happy or sad. We didn’t need to know a lot because the florist always gave us options and helped us make the right choices. I have to admit, they we took this service for granted. We would just call or pop into the shop with full confidence that they would take care of everything.   Read More

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Thanksgiving Flowers - Photo Courtesy Suzie Kostick, AIFD, CF, PFCIThanksgiving is a time when families gather, feasts are prepared, and we say our final goodbye to the growing season before winter covers the ground in a blanket of white.

There is something comforting about this autumn holiday as it provides time to pause and reflect on our surroundings and brings family and friends to the gathering table.

As you prepare for Thanksgiving, you’ll want to make sure flowers are part of your celebration. This time of year offers a variety of textural blossoms in rich tones of golden yellow, velvety burgundy and deep oranges.

Thanksgiving Flowers - Photo Courtesy Suzie Kostick, AIFD, CF, PFCISunflowers, roses, chrysanthemums, lilies and alstroemeria are widely available this time of year and range in almost every color of an autumn sunset.

Combining these harvest favorites in vintage or rustic containers with accents of bittersweet or rose hips make for interesting centerpieces perfectly fit for a traditional Thanksgiving table.

But what if your style and tastes take you in a different direction?  Read More

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Stress is a huge societal concern. Stressors are inescapable – finances, family and health concerns, and lengthy to-do lists create sources of strain on our lives. According to a recent poll, 68 percent of people feel stress on a weekly basis, and 32 percent are stressed every day. Women in particular are affected, as 1 in 4 report experiencing stress multiple times a day.

Researchers across a wide range of disciplines are exploring practical solutions to our growing stress problem. Health by Design is a new area in public health focused on creating calming and restorative environments in order to promote well-being. The field is closely followed by researchers, architects, designers, healthcare workers, and others who work to promote health through quality environments that soothe and rejuvenate.

The underlying theory of this growing body of research is that environmental design impacts health, and contact with nature reduces feelings of stress.

An illustration of Health by Design in action is my new study at the University of North Florida’s Brooks College of Health, which shows that something as simple as living with flowers can significantly alleviate daily stress. The 2018 study, entitled, The Impact of Flowers on Perceived Stress Among Women, concludes that adding flowers to indoor environments results in a statistically significant and meaningful reduction in stress. Our findings are important from a public health perspective because adding flowers to reduce stress does not require tremendous effort to generate a meaningful effect.

These new findings about flowers are consistent with behavioral research conducted at Rutgers University that shows that a gift of flowers creates instant delight and heightens feelings of life satisfaction and enjoyment.

We all feel stress and finding simple, effective ways to reduce our stress is important for every one of us to consider. Our new research offers a solution: Having contact with nature, such as flowers, provides a much-needed moment of calm to help us slow down and recharge.

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Veterans Day is a time to honor all those who have served, whether in wartime or in peacetime, as well as those members of the military that are currently in service. This day is to acknowledge their contributions, dedication, and sacrifices they have made for our great country. Here are some ideas of how you can show your appreciation to our veterans:

To remember a veteran that has passed, you could place a floral arrangement next to their grave. Grave cones are containers that are designed to stick into the ground. Check the cemetery’s ground rules regarding floral decorations.

Veterans Day Flowers - Photo courtesy Lynne Tischler, AAF, CPFD, PFCI, with Jessie Thompson and Stacey Kreitzer of Your Enchanted Florist in St. Paul, Minnesota.yourenchantedflorist.net Read More