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Gardening for Self-Care

by BetterSleep
Jul 22 • 4 min read

Gardening has transformed from a dull activity reserved for retirees to a popular hobby with impressive mental health benefits. Especially after the gardening boom during the pandemic, more people are starting to realize the calming benefits of having a green thumb.

Gardening is more than just a relaxing hobby though; it’s a powerful form of self-care that anyone can pick up. Keep reading to learn how to use gardening as a self-care tool to improve your mood, reduce anxiety and relieve stress.

What is self-care and why does self-care matter?

Self-care is anything you do to preserve or improve your health. This can be anything from walking outdoors, listening to calming music, or drinking a soothing cup of tea. In the past, practicing self-care was covered by stigma calling it selfish or a waste of time. Far from a selfish practice, self-care can improve resiliency and help you better cope with daily stressors; all things that can help you, and the people around you, feel their best.

How is gardening a form of self-care?

When you’re gardening, you’re focused on one specific task. Whether that’s digging up soil or making sure your plants get just the right amount of water they need, you’re fully present in the task you’re doing. An article on Everyday Health says that this “flow” state is the same one that occurs when you are meditating or practicing mindfulness. This can help decrease worry and anxiety because you’re not caught up in your thoughts but are in the present moment.

Here are some other benefits of gardening.

Plants that help reduce anxiety and stress

Studies have found that the simple act of being around plants can help reduce anxiety. Plants in the house can also help improve air quality, which soothes anxiety. Here are some specific plants you can try out.

How to garden for self-care

Ready to try gardening? Start small. Try taking care of one plant first to get into a rhythm, then expand from there. If you don’t have access to an outdoor space, you can buy low-maintenance houseplants or invest in a small indoor garden.

Remember, self-care is all about what works best for you. Don’t stress about having the perfect plant or garden; just focus on how you feel when the plant. Happy gardening!

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