This year has been... a lot. Finding ways to create space to reflect, relax, and revitalize has been crucial to sustain mental health during difficult times in the world.
Naturally, we’ve found a sense of peace in the garden. Tending to plants, improving the backyard through intentional design, and simply enjoying nature. Numerous studies have emerged connecting gardening to improved physical and emotional well-being. From reducing cortisol levels (the primary stress hormone) to breathing in fresh air, to boosting overall mood, the simple act of getting your hands in the dirt can be transformational.
Perhaps the most overlooked benefit of getting in the garden is through the exposure of soil microbes, a diverse and fascinating system of bacterias that can boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. Gardening is also a good workout that flexes and strengthens most muscles, especially if you’re elbows deep in a serious landscaping job or planting spring vegetables.
Oh - and we can’t forget about the Vitamin D exposure. Even on a gray and cloudy day, it’s possible to get enough exposure to boost your mood and supplement your health. Additionally, gardening encourages healthy habits inside the kitchen. If you’re growing any produce in the backyard, incorporating fresh vegetables into meals is the healthiest way to eat.