During 2020, the whole situation with the pandemic deeply affected the lives of people in many different aspects. Not only a wide range of industries were affected because of it, lots of regular citizens lost their jobs as well, which made life a lot more difficult for thousands and thousands of people.
Among the many things that changed during 2020, there’s one particular thing that stood out quite a lot, and it was the fact that the mental health of people was in palpable decline. Considering the many things that were influenced because of the pandemic, this is not really a surprise.
Not only were people unable to meet their friends and family, it was also impossible to go outside most of the time, which added a lot of loneliness and sadness to many lives. This, in combination with the situation regarding employment, definitely took a toll on the mental health of the regular citizen, and there’s even proof of this, as shown over here.
Solutions Specialists Came With
Because of this problem, a lot of health organizations and professionals started to share advice on how to deal with depression, anxiety, and loneliness. From exercising to meditating, a lot of things were recommended as a way to handle depression and anxiety.
Both exercising and meditating have been scientifically proven of being a great method of fighting feelings of anxiety, sadness, and general depression. This is because of the way they influence the body and the mind, making it easier for us to remain present in the here and now while avoiding negative thoughts and enhancing our motivation.
On the other hand, engaging in a great variety of activities and hobbies was also recommended as well. During 2020, a lot of people started to read books and do creative and non-fictional writing, drawing, and practice activities like sculpting. Playing video games to keep in contact with their friends and meet new people was another very popular activity.
But among the many activities that gained a lot of popularity, I believed gardening was among the most popular ones, and believe it or not, even during 2021, when things have definitely improved, people still practice gardening as a method of coping with the situation.
But how does gardening improve one’s mental health? Well, there are many reasons to consider a very healthy practice.
The Health Benefits of Gardening
Gardening is often considered a calming, therapeutic experience. Believe it or not, technology and the way the world works nowadays have put a lot of pressure in our minds and bodies, to the point of substantially increasing anxiety in people.
Changes of lifestyles brought by the new society we live in and the fact that a lot of people started working from home during the pandemic also influenced various aspects of our lives and our health.
A good example of this is how a lot of people reduced their sunlight intake considerably over the last couple of years, and just so you know, sunlight is the most reliable source of Vitamin D we can find, which influences melatonin production considerably, an hormone that is linked to our sleep schedules and quality of sleep!
Gardening then becomes a very safe hobby to improve our overall physical and mental health thanks to what the activity often involves. As showcased at https://www.healthline.com/health/healthful-benefits-of-gardening, gardening can:
- It is an excellent way to add some sunlight and physical activity to our routines, which improves mood, enhances quality of sleep, and makes it easier for us to fall asleep, which is especially good for people who tend to suffer from insomnia.
- It is a great way to keep anxiety levels in check. People who suffer from anxiety have become more present in today’s society thanks to all the changes technology has brought to us. Social media, for example, is well known for being a source of anxiety.
Through gardening, we get rid of negative thoughts and stay away from technology, thus, it is a very efficient way of calming down the turmoil of emotions we might feel, as long as we focus on it.
- It is also a very efficient way to reduce stress levels, and the fact that we perceive progress in the growth of our plants can greatly enhance our motivation and happiness.
- For people trying to deal with some sort of addiction, having a hobby becomes a very important way of coping with withdrawal, and gardening is especially good since it helps the mind and the heart remain calm during challenging times.
Overall, if you are a person who loves plants and nature, this specific activity is a very good choice for you, especially if you find yourself dealing with anxiety, depression and loneliness on a regular basis!
How to Start Gardening for the First Time
As a first timer, the idea of gardening might be a little bit intimidating, and I understand where this fear comes from, especially considering that plants are very sensitive existences that require a certain level of knowledge and experience to maintain.
Thus, if you are a first timer, you might want to do some research beforehand and take things calmly. I would strongly recommend you start with easy-to-handle plants at first, and focus on taking care of them to the best of your ability. There’s this cheap plant shop you can check, for example, which contains a nice category of small plants which you can use to decorate your house without the need of too much space and learn the basics of their maintenance in the process.
These small plants are also a great choice in case you live in an apartment and don’t have the space to build a garden outside of your house. Once you gear up with enough tools and amenities to maintain these plants, and become more experienced, you can jump to the next step, and start your gardening experience, even if you live in an apartment!
Just remember, research and discipline will be your best assets when it comes to gardening, so you might want to take some time to create proper schedules to water your plants and let them take some sunlight once you have done enough research!