How Horticulture Is Getting Us Through
The circumstances going on in the world right now have given us countless reasons to want to start a new hobby in an attempt to relieve stress and anxiety. Whether it be learning to paint, sew, cook or care for new plants, productive and rewarding activities are a great way to strengthen our minds and shut off all the negativity that may surround us.
For decades plants have always been used as a tool to relieve tension and cleanse the mind from any negative distractions. There are so many ways horticulture therapy can be practiced. Simply walking through a garden, learning to arrange flowers, planting, pruning and watering are all easy ways that we can apply this type of emotional and physical therapy to our hectic lives.
At the beginning of this pandemic, one of the best decisions we made for our boys was to raise 2 baby chicks and start 4 new raised garden beds. We seeded our plants at the very beginning of shut down last year and spent the whole summer benefiting and learning from all our mistakes along the way. Both the garden and the chicks taught us that a little hard work and dedication almost always pays off in the end.
Once the summer came to an end and the temperatures started to drop, we started adding to our indoor plant collection and tending to their every need. Though houseplants typically go dormant in the winter months, having living greenery freshening the air and adding life to our home was exactly what we needed to get through the lonely winter months.
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Horticulture therapy is defined as a professional practice using plants and gardening to improve mental and physical health.
I have made it a priority to bring the boys on nature walks around different parts of the community at least a few times a week. If we aren’t able to travel, we spend the day in the backyard finding new species, planting new plants, tending to what’s in the garden and creating small habitats for future bug residence.
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Finding new hobbies was exactly what I needed for my mental health to get me through. For a little while, I started with DIY projects. I found old, damaged home decor and furniture pieces and started transforming them to give them new life and purpose. After that started getting old, I pulled out my paints and attempted to create some mid-century modern-inspired tapestries for the walls. Whether you are a skilled artist, gardener, cook, etc. There is always a chance you can fail. However, we don’t know until we try and sometimes we may even surprise ourselves. But at the end of the day we have all the time in the world right now, so why not try something new.
After a routine of nurturing and tending to all things outdoors, that pure satisfaction of sitting back and enjoying all it has to offer is the greatest sense of relief after a stressful week. Taking a moment to kick your feet up and appreciate the beauty of mother earth, is a sure way to connect with the earth and become thankful for everything she offers us.