With all the anxiety that has been circulating, last weekend I decided instead of worrying about trying to go out and get more food and supplies than we actually needed, I would plant my garden. It was the best thing I did all weekend.
The seeds we sow today will be our future.
Gardening is not only good for Mother Earth, but it is also good for the heart and soul. It has numerous mental health benefits:
Connecting to other living things
Planting my garden this weekend reminded me that I am not the center of the universe. As my hands held the roots of my new tomato plant, I was humbled that this plant’s life and future were just as important as mine. If I wanted to see this tomato produce an abundant crop I needed to make sure it was planted, watered, fed and nourished. The social nature of group gardening is beneficial because it centers on collective skills and aspirations rather than individual symptoms and deficits.
So one of the best ways to calm an active mind and lift mood is to become more aware and present. Actually take the time to connect. On your next visit to the garden, pause for a few moments and allow yourself to be aware of your senses.
Listen. Touch. Smell. See.
Just a short time experiencing the fullness of nature like this can be very restorative.
Gardening is relaxing
Freud said ‘Flowers are restful to look at. They have no emotions or conflict.” Spending time in your garden allows us to tap into a carefree part of ourselves without worrying about the troubles in your life and of the world. The rhythmic nature of many tasks associated with gardening, the weeding, planting, trimming and sowing allows thoughts to ebb and flow along with our movements. Often times when I have a problem to solve I leave my computer and go to the garden. In my solitude, I often find the solution within minutes of being in a peaceful environment.
Gardening allows us to be nurturers
Regardless if you are female or male, six or sixty, gardening shows us that we are all nurturers. When your tomato plants produce prolific fruit, there is a sense of pride in knowing that you took care of it from seed to plant. As a child, my grandmother always assigned all of the grandchildren a different plant to tend to each spring. Instilling a sense of purpose and responsibility at a young age. I was always excited to eat the cabbage salad from the cabbage I looked after during the summer. Imagine an 8 year old looking forward to cabbage salad! Having to care for plants is a good way to learn to look after and respect other living things and when we are young. This helps develop an appreciation of the magic of mother nature.
A quiet community place
If you need a place to stop for a moment, the garden has a magical and calming effect. Go soak up the sanctuary we as a community have created together.