As I’m sitting down to write this post, a hot coffee by my side the kiddos working on their virtual learning path, Myles in on a virtual meeting with his team and I am feel extremely thankful. We have been through a lot lately (more than I have shared on my stories) and I am trying to find the silver lining in it all. So when my family asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year, my request was simple; a garden.
The only reason we’ve been heading out of the house lately is because we need groceries. And I thought that if we were more self sufficient we could cut those trips in half (basically never leaving the house). Not to mention research has shown time and time again that gardening has a positive effect on our mental health (something we all need right now!)… so I’d love to dig in to those benefits a little deeper.
There are tons of options, you could start small with a small indoor herb garden to keep on your kitchen countertop, a vertical planter for flowers, or even hanging planters. Or start planting outside in beds or your own garden. There are a few items I highly suggest you purchase to keep your green thumb and plants thriving. No matter what you choose, you’ll be one step closer to feeling a little more joy and a lot less stress with all my top gardening picks above.
Now, the top five reasons that gardening is good for your and your family’s mental health!
1. GARDENING GIVES YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN A SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY
Having a living thing to care for gives us a sense of responsibility – if you don’t water or prune our plants and herbs, guess what? They won’t thrive or grow!
2. KEEPS YOU CONNECTED TO OTHER LIVING THINGS
A lot of us may feel lonely and isolated right now, but gardening keeps us connected to living things (even if they can’t talk back!). Just being in nature reminds us that we are not all about us.
3. RELEASES HAPPY HORMONES
Studies have shown gardening can lower anxiety and depression by boosting our “happy hormones”! Serotonin and dopamine are released when your hands dirty/when your hands come in contact with a specific soil bacteria.
4. REMINDS YOU TO LIVE IN THE PRESENT
Instead of worrying about bills, work, or our loved ones, gardening forces us to focus on the task at hand – whether that’s watering, repotting, or weeding-being in the present moment.
5. HELPS YOU FEEL IN CONTROL
Everything happening in the world right now is out of our control, which can trigger anxious thoughts. Planting a garden is something small that you can be totally in control of. Whether it’s what you choose to grow, where you plant it, what it looks like, how often you water it, etc.