Something Bright during a Dark Time:
The Impact of Random Acts of Flowers
by Natalie Rothstein, MA, LPC, Psychotherapist, Urban Balance
In December 2016, I wrote a blog post on behalf of Urban Balance about Random Acts of Flowers and the incredible contribution they’ve made to the Chicago community and nationwide. Random Acts of Flowers brings donated flowers that have been rearranged into beautiful bouquets to patients at hospitals during their stays. The nonprofit has been able to touch the lives of more than 196,000 patients nationwide and has also reached a wide population of patients. The organization has continuously been growing and reaching more and more patients in the communities that it serves.
Upon learning about Random Acts of Flowers, I was warmed to my core. I know the impact of something bright during a dark time can be profound and amazing. The giving the organization does is a beautiful and important way to help patients during hospital stays, which can be incredibly draining and difficult. The added brightness might not change circumstances, but it can truly make a difficult time feel less gloomy and more hopeful.
As a therapist (Licensed Professional Counselor) at Urban Balance, a counseling practice based out of Chicago, I am particularly aware of how gratitude and positivity can play a powerful role. I have seen the effect both personally and for my clients, and I often emphasize the importance of incorporating a gratitude practice into one’s life. I feel strongly that expressing gratitude fosters hope and strength to manage when life may feel filled with negativity.
Receiving flowers during a hospital stay gives a patient something to be grateful for and brings positivity to their environment. Regardless of the reason someone is there, being in the hospital can be a very overwhelming time; but, brightness through the gift of flowers can help hope blossom. It’s important to acknowledge that sadness and difficulty are very real parts of being a patient, but allowing oneself to look to positives is extremely helpful for a person’s mental wellness.
One beautiful bouquet can be a guiding point in the emotional healing process for someone. This is why what Random Acts of Flowers does is so important. The idea of giving to others during their difficult time that can have such monumental benefits on their spirit and their hope, is powerful.
The mind and body are completely connected. Being physically unwell can take a tremendous toll on someone’s emotional wellbeing, and this is where the impact of hope and brightness come in. One beautiful bouquet can be a guiding point in the emotional healing process for someone. In our most fragile states, we need positives that can help us through. This is why what Random Acts of Flowers does is so important. Giving to others during their difficult time can have such monumental benefits on their spirit. I commend them for taking such an important concept, cultivating it, and making it flourish.
I am impressed by the amazing work that Random Acts of Flowers does for the mental wellness of hospital patients in the communities it serves. Their work creates a chain of care and support. The volunteers who create the flower arrangements not only receive personal fulfillment, but also know that they are helping recipients feel like a perfect stranger did something to brighten their day. That is a wonderful testament to what kindness can look like. I look forward to hearing about all of the work that they continue to do.