traveler's health

summer depression things
  • sleeping in way too late
  • “oh no it’s 4 am and i’m still awake”
  • mindlessly refreshing the same apps over and over
  • picking up a book only to put it down because the words aren’t processing in your brain
  • listening to the same three albums repeatedly
  • either eating every snack you own within an hour or forgetting to eat for like half the day
  • “if i don’t do my summer homework it doesn’t exist”
  • wearing the same sundress three days in a row
  • watching your friends hang out with each other as you stay at home and stare at the wall
  • consistently forgetting to respond to people who text you
  • reminiscing over past summers and how much fun you had then
  • wanting the school year to start but also feeling Crushing Anxiety when you think of how soon it is
  • drinking like a gallon of water every hour or not having any water all day and dehydrating
  • unbrushed hair
  • lying down on the floor
  • “what day is it today”
  • mosquitoes make you feel downright murderous
  • watching movies only to get distracted
  • even sitting around at home makes you tired
  • this is not fun
2

From the front door of the glass-walled gift shop at the Alnwick Garden in the far northeast of England, the scene looks innocent enough. A sapphire green English lawn slopes gently downward, toward traditional, ornamental gardens of rose and bamboo. Across the small valley, water cascades down a terraced fountain.

But a hundred or so plantings kept behind bars in this castle’s garden are more menacing — and have much to tell visitors about poison and the evolutionary roots of medicine.

“These Plants Can Kill” warn two signs on a locked, iron gate that’s also marked with a skull and crossbones.

The Duchess of Northumberland (aka Jane Percy) started the Poison Garden in 2005 as part of the 12-acre, elaborate garden on the grounds of her family’s home, Alnwick Castle.

Many of England’s cities and towns have apothecary gardens — historical plots containing plants turned into treatments centuries ago by doctors, herbalists, religious folks and shamans. Most such gardens exist today to teach visitors about the history of medicine.

Welcome To The Poison Garden: Medicine’s Medieval Roots

Photos: Joanne Silberner for NPR

Stop …

1. Hanging out with people who don’t appreciate you, or who suck all the energy out of your life.

2. Running from your problems and hiding from the truth

3. Acting as a door mat and putting yourself last.

4. Longing for the past and the way things used to be.

5. Beating yourself up for the stupid things you did

6. Looking to others to make you feel happy, or believing that “stuff” will bring you happiness.

7. Rejecting new relationships because you were hurt or disappointed in the past.

8. Being jealous of other people. It’s not a competition – sets some goals, and go for them.

9. Holding grudges. Forgive, let go – and then move on with your life.

10. Trying to be perfect. It’s not realistic so don’t waste your time.

You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things.
—  Jamie Tworkowski