People struggle with mental health at the best of times, but during COVID-19 uncertainties this becomes terribly amplified.
A lot of mental health issues come from social isolation.
Despite our uber connected lives. We don't actually get to actually interact with people in real life.
If you want to jump to some scientific stuff than have a look at this review which shows that gardening in many iterations can lead to greater well-being and less social isolation.
The not so surprising statistics tells the story. There is help out there if you are struggling so follow the link to some daily life coping strategies for loss and stress.
Let's be clear that for some people medication may be necessary. That said, it should also be noted that most drugs are not working for the majority of people.
However, like heart disease and many other illness there are usually some other more natural health treatments we can take advantage of.
We have posted before about the scientifically proven benefits of forest bathing and we are glad to report that gardening also provide numerous health benefits.
If you'd like to read a rather intellectual and deep read on the subject than check out: The Well-Gardened Mind: The Restorative Power of Nature
The Well-Gardened Mind informs the reader about how the power of gardening can change your life and even mental well-being. The author, Sue Stuart-Smith delves into the interconnections in which the mind and garden can interact and provide what both need.
If any of you have planted a seed before and watched in grow I think you may know the transformative effect it can have.
The feel of the soil is one thing that is soothing. However, it is being not just grounded but in the ground that connects you to this earth and something more.
Something intangible to be sure, but certainly powerful.
So, why is gardening so beneficial to our physical and mental health?
If you have every felt better after a day in the sun and some exercise (nothing too vigorous but constant) than you won't be surprised to know that gardening is a benefit to our well-being and fitness.
Gardening takes a bit or a lot of physical activity, often exposes one to social interaction (community gardens are near you just look) and puts you direct contact to nature and sunlight.
Sunlight can lower your blood pressure as increasing vitamin D levels (great for these COVID days).
Eating from your garden provides nutrient dense food and massive self-satisfaction.
Incredibly it has been reported that the social benefits of communal gardening projects can delay the symptoms of dementia.
Growing your own food or for others allows you to really appreciate how are are connected with the cycle of life and nature. It is great to know that your hands and your intentions can play such a pivotal role in the life of the seed.
Somehow it makes you feel like what you do really matters. Given the current state of most people's job dissatisfaction which stems from a feeling purposelessness and that their job doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.
Gardening is a lovely reassurance that what you do absolutely matters. Without you watering and caring for your plants they won't do nearly as well or taste nearly as good.
As you nurture your plants so in turn they nurture you. Of course they can't jump and give you a hug, but nonetheless you feel that they are pleased to see you and happy let you share in their bounty that you helped bring forth in this world.
Remember this. You do matter. If you don't feel that and get it I understand. However, if you want to feel that then plant a garden. Even start with a pot on a windowsill and you'll see and feel it.
Feel free to share this with someone you think might like to get into gardening, but just needs a little encouragement or perhaps scientific proof.