Gardening is good for our mental health

Posted by on Friday, April 3, 2020

Gardening is good for our mental health

In these challenging times, lots of us will be out in our gardens.  There is evidence to suggest that being outdoors and in our gardens is good for our mental health.  Here is an article we have found from Paul Steed, a Horticultural Therapist: 

During this time of isolation, it could be easy to become lethargic and quite depressed whilst remaining at home. However, if you have a garden then take the opportunity to spend some time each day pottering around outside, providing of course that you are in a safe situation and at a distance from others!

The whole principle of therapeutic gardening is being outdoors and connecting with nature. The combination of fresh air, listening to the birds and physically working with plants makes gardening so good for our health and well-being, as we are intrinsically connected to nature. Being outside and part of nature plays an important part in keeping us healthy. Too much time spent in artificial surroundings has been proven to affect our mental well-being. It doesn’t matter if you only have a tiny garden. Getting out and relaxing whilst pottering about will work wonders for releasing stress and giving you a positive, optimistic feeling.

Even just potting up plants, sowing seed or taking cuttings will give you great stress relief and also get your body, limbs hands and fingers moving. It is great cognitive therapy and watching crops grow will be good for maintaining optimism and morale. If you’re lucky to have a garden with a lawn then mowing is great physical exercise to give the whole body a work out, the same with hoeing, weeding and sweeping.

Think of the time that you spend in the garden as a trip out of the house and an opportunity for a physical workout, as if going to a gym but with nicer floral surroundings! It will help to give you something positive to focus on and if you’re able to grow some vegetables, then all the better!! Luckily we are heading towards the summer and the growing season which will give us the opportunity to get out and get gardening.

Stay safe during these difficult days and keep on gardening.