In this unprecedented time in our history, many of us are feeling lost and anxious. With little social interaction and largely being housebound we are lacking a sense of community. Stress levels are high and our wellbeing may be affected as a result. But there is one activity you can do that doesn’t put anyone else at risk and will make you feel great- gardening!
Getting out into your garden, mowing your lawn and tidying things up after the winter has a number of benefits and luckily with Spring arriving it means there’s plenty of jobs to get stuck into.
But why is gardening so beneficial to us?
- A lot of us, and rightly so, will be spending a lot of time indoors over the next few months. Once you’ve watched a few boxsets you might be looking for an activity that provides a great sense of achievement, and nothing beats seeing a tidy garden and watching your hard work flourish.
- Gardening is proven to reduce stress in the same way that exercise can. Cortisol (the stress hormone) reduces when you are in a green environment so it’s really important to get outdoors, as long as you aren’t putting anyone else at risk. We are seeing more and more Doctors prescribing gardening to patients suffering from stress.
- The body produces Vitamin D when you are exposed to sunshine. Its production has a number of benefits, including fighting depression, helping minerals get absorbed by the body better, balancing blood pressure and giving you healthier bones.
- Gardening is amazing exercise for the whole body and especially good at the moment when we won’t be able to get out and exercise as freely as we usually would.
- Connecting with nature is also incredibly important for wellbeing and it can give greater meaning to our every day lives. Some of us might be very caught up with the news headlines and with fear around the Corona Virus, so it’s good to balance that with seeing Spring arrive, and nature continuing to develop as normal.
- Sleep can also be greatly improved with having fresh air and exercise. The physical exertion will tire out your body, which is great when you’re confined to your home.
- If you have an allotment or a veg patch you will also benefit from growing your own food and the health benefits that come from eating more vegetables, especially the satisfaction you feel when you know you’ve grown it too!
There is no doubt that we all need a distraction from everything that is going on at the moment. Gardening provides the perfect activity for calming down, getting back to nature and the greatest benefit is that you don’t need to be putting others at risk by doing it.
We'll have plenty more gardening tips to come over the next few weeks to keep you occupied during this period.
(Of course this blog does come with a warning – and that is that you can easily over do it if you aren’t used to gardening. Be careful and don’t take any extra risks, especially at this time. You might want to start with some light activities like mowing your lawn and build up to more substantial gardening activities from there.)