The coronavirus pandemic has left many of us stuck at home trying to think of a way to escape from the mundane. People are pursuing all types of hobbies to break free. One of the best ways to regain and maintain your sanity is by gardening. Many people have found their gardens to be a great way to escape from COVID.
Whether you are working from home or have lost your job, the chances are that you feel anxious and depressed. Being cut off from social gatherings can leave many feeling alienated.
To cope with the pressure, a record number of people have started visiting gardens or creating their very own garden. If you are considering picking up a hobby, you have come to the right place. This post looks at how gardens can provide an escape from the coronavirus (and other stressful life events).
Top 8 ways gardening helps you cope
1. Helps the body fight disease
The truth is that we are more like plants than we realize. In much the same way that plants use the sunlight to photosynthesize and make food, our skin relies on sunlight for producing vitamin D. It is easily one of the most important nutrients that we need. Studies reveal that spending half an hour in the sun helps us produce about 8,000 to 50,000 units of vitamin D.
Many of our body functions require vitamin D, such as strengthening our immune system and bones. According to research, you get to lower the many health conditions when you spend time in the sun, including some cancers.
When you spend time in a garden, you expose yourself to sunlight which helps make you a whole lot healthier.
2. Promotes sleep, builds strength, and helps with weight management
Gardening is a great form of exercise. It involves a variety of activities such as cutting grass, shoveling, digging, and picking up the pots. Thus, you get to reap the benefits of an intense workout when you garden.
The fact is that you get to use every muscle group in your body when you garden. Studies highlight that the physical exertion of gardening helps with obesity and weight gain. All this physical exercise and fresh air have been shown to help people sleep better.
3. Strengthens memory
As you grow older, memory and other cognitive functions can become an issue. Physical exercise, such as gardening, is known to help improve the cognitive functioning of the brain.
Gardening activities might enable the growth of memory-related nerves. According to research conducted in Korea, people suffering from dementia were found to experience an increase in brain nerve growth when they engaged in gardening for at least 20 minutes.
There is a reason why people seek horticultural therapy. It improves the mental health of patients. Programs are offered in Norway and the Netherlands to encourage people suffering from dementia to spend time in a garden or farm.
4. Improves the mood
Not many people know that gardening can help boost their mood. It also helps increase self-esteem. When you spend some time in the garden, you will notice your anxiety disappear. You will be less likely to feel depressed as well.
Bacteria in soil have been found to promote our resilience to stress and stimulate serotonin production making you feel relaxed and happy. Bokashi composting is a fantastic way to add these beneficial microbes to your soil and to help them thrive.
Just sitting in the garden or digging in the dirt will free up your mind, and you will help you feel much lighter. If you care about your mental health, you should regularly visit a garden. Spending time in nature is an instant mood booster. You will feel a lot better after just a few minutes.
5. Keeps you calm
Let’s face it. Life can get stressful, especially when we are in the middle of a pandemic. If you have recently been through something stressful, you should escape to a garden. It will help calm you down in no time. When you work in a garden, you allow yourself to recuperate from stress.
According to a study conducted by researchers in 2021 that involved a group of individuals that were divided into two, it was found that the group that spent time garden rather than reading quietly had an easier time remaining calm.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that was more likely to be found in individuals that read in comparison to those that did some gardening. The latter also reported that they experienced a better mood.
6. Effective tool for addicts
Another reason why gardening is the ultimate solution to just about everything is that it can even help addicts recover from addiction. Horticultural therapy is commonly used by those coping with addiction.
There are plenty of addiction recovery programs that involve participants spending time in a garden or gardening. A study revealed that plants release a positive feeling in people that are struggling to recover from alcohol addiction. This makes it an effective tool for rehabilitation.
7. Foster feelings of connection
Community gardens are a perfect opportunity for fostering feelings of connection and human interaction. These connections are hugely beneficial at all times, but no more so than during the COVID pandemic.
When you spend time in the garden or do some gardening, you will form a relationship with fellow gardeners. Besides, the opportunity might help you learn a few tricks. A garden is a place where everyone comes together.
Meeting people from all backgrounds is possible when you visit a garden. It allows you to expand your network and even make new friends, which might seem impossible during Covid-19.
When you grow a garden, you will feel empowered. Just seeing plants grow because of your hard work can leave you feeling happy. Growing your own food will fill your heart with contentment unlike any other.
Gardens are truly amazing. They provide us with unlimited opportunities. From helping your body fight disease to empowering, nothing beats gardening.
Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer with a passion for writing, designing, and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Carpet Cleaning London.
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