I swapped my anxiety-inducing life to grow flowers: here’s what I learnt

florist

My career has always been stressful and exhausting. I worked full-time in marketing and PR, putting in long hours with an excessive workload. At one point I had to take time off because I was struggling with my mental health.READ: I quit my job at 45 to climb Kilimanjaro - and I’ve never been happierI was heading for burnout again and knew something had to change. After doing a floristry course I realised that was what I wanted to do as a career, but there were hurdles to overcome.I began my floristry career working in a flower shop, but I soon noticed the amount of plastic waste and how unsustainable a lot of floristry really is - and it didn't sit right with me.In the UK, 90% of our flowers are imported, flown in from as far away as Kenya and South America, full of chemicals and often not produced ethically. It was the desire to combat this that helped everything click into place for me. Floristry helped Imogen to overcome anxietyI began flower farming to try and limit the waste, only using locally grown, British flowers with no pesticides in my floral creations. It’s a dream to be able to use the flowers I have grown myself in my arrangements. Growing these flowers myself was pivotal in changing my life for the better.READ: Do you need an awe break? The anxiety-soothing activity we can all tryI’ve always found nature to be a happy, calm place for me to be, so I knew working in that field would be a balm for my mental health - and I was right.Making the career change to floristry and flower farming has had a huge positive impact on my state of mind and has completely transformed my life. READ: The TikTok trend that's genuinely vital to your wellbeingGrowing flowers is a mindfulness exercise that helps ease my anxiety. Following the process throughout the year and watching the changing seasons is rewarding and it’s such a joy to see something beautiful come out of my work. Floristry is such a pleasure because not only do you see the fruits of your labour, but giving flowers and making others happy is such a mood booster. The majority of my business is wedding flowers, and it’s so lovely to be a part of someone’s special day.My career change was a huge step out of my comfort zone, and it inspired me to leave London and move back to Somerset, where I grew up.I couldn’t be happier since moving back and I love the slower pace of life down here - something I wouldn’t have anticipated when I was a teenager!Imogen's business, Flowers By Imogen is a sustainable floral studio, championing local and seasonal blooms.