Many of us have a garden, allotment or a houseplant jungle in your living room and there is a reason that garden centres are still operating online at this difficult time. It's really interesting why we naturally crave the desire to grow and nurture plants and I've explored some of the reasons why we should all surround ourselves with plants and nature on a daily basis.
STRESS RELIEF: Physical activity is well known to diminish stress and make our problems feel smaller. Taking care of plants, either in the home or outside, digging, planting and weeding can be an efficient way to improve your mental health. They have a serene effect, relax your muscles and therefore improve your mood! Amazing!
IMPROVED SELF-ESTEEM: Whether it is successfully propagating a house plant into a million more, growing your first strawberry or a successful batch of fresh flowers for your kitchen, gardening can give you a great feeling of accomplishment which boosts your mood, self-esteem and pride.
EXERCISE: Weeding and digging are very physical task and after a hard days graft I'm sure you'll be needing a good magnesium enriched salt bath to ease those aching muscles.
IMPROVED SLEEP QUALITY: It's a given that any form of physical activity will tire you out but if you include the reduction in stress and anxiety, gardening definitely ranks high for a good nights sleep.
VITAMIN D: I personally now the health benefits of Vitamin D, as I am deficient in it (crazy with the amount of time I spend outdoors!). Soaking up some sunshine for a minimum of 15 minutes a day is good for you and for your soul! Spending time in your garden or out in nature provides your body with this much needed nutrient.
IMPROVED NUTRITION: Home-grown, organic, chemical free fruits and vegetables from garden to table, have the highest concentration of nutrients and are at their absolute healthiest due to reduced processing time. Is there anything better than the sweet taste of a freshly picked pea pod?
BOOST IMMUNITY: Exposure to the soil bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae, a common garden bacteria, may boost your immune system. Some studies have even found it to be a natural antidepressant! This bacteria is one of the 'good guys' in the bacteria world and can be absorbed through inhalation by disturbing the earth, or through ingestion of garden produce!
EARTHING/ROOTING: Probably one of my favourite things is feelings the grass or sand beneath my feet and you'll often find me barefoot in Spring and Summer. Just as the sun gives us warmth and vitamin D, the Earth underfoot gives us food and water and something you may not of thought about - an eternal, natural, and gentle energy. When we make direct contact with the surface of the Earth, with our bare feet or hands, our bodies receive a charge of energy that makes us feel better, fast. You can read more here from one of my favourite blogs but if you don't want to click the link, read this quote:
"The earth has an infinite supply of free electrons, so when a person is grounded, those electrons naturally flow between the earth and the body, reducing free radicals and eliminating any static electrical charge. The reason grounding is so powerful is it reduces and prevents inflammation from occurring in the body, which in turn prevents inflammation-related health disorders."
With all these benefits to gardening, it's no wonder why I feel calmer and happier when I'm in my garden or greenhouse and during the growing months when the garden is in full swing.