Hobbies that calm you down: Gardening

Perennial flower border at Les Jardins de Bagatelle

Gardening is a nice little hobby to have; it helps you relax and puts a little more green in this world. My mother had a small garden she used to tend to when I was a kid. Every other day she would be outside, watering the plants, trimming the bushes and turning the soil, sometimes she would grow little tomatoes and chillies, and use those in the next meal she cooked, that was rare though, since growing them used to take a long time. I remember she would get really annoyed with one of our neighbours because they would come and pick off some of the flowers in our garden, saying that they were going to use it in prayers. It annoyed my mother because here she was toiling over growing these beautiful flowers, spending time to make them grow and our neighbour would just come over without asking and take them for herself. My mother asked our neighbour to stop and she would for a while, but then she would go right back to doing it.

Despite that minor annoyance my mother was still the most relaxed and calm when she was tending the garden. Sometimes I would even help my mother out and tend the garden with her, it was fun, but then again I was just a kid at the time and I liked churning the dirt in the pots.

Anyway, getting back on topic, from what little experience I do have with it, I think gardening is a very good hobby that can really help you unwind. Not only is it relaxing, but you get a sense of accomplishment when you see your plants growing and living, you look at them and think, “I made that happen, I worked at it and now this beautiful plant is growing in my garden.”

Now I could just leave this post here an expect you to take my word for it that gardening is a good way to relax. But let’s face it; you don’t know me, why should you trust me or anything I say? For all you know I could just be spouting rubbish. So I will provide you with proof.

Exhibit A is an article from eartheasy.com titled “6 Unexpected health benefits of gardening”, written by Robin Jacobs.

It talks about how gardening can help you not just physically but mentally as well. Here’s a quick rundown of what the article says gardening can help with:

  1. Stress relief and self esteem
  2. Better heart health and reduced stroke risk
  3. Increased hand strength and dexterity
  4. Keeping a healthy brain and a way to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s
  5. Helps keep your immune system strong
  6. Helps with depression and mental health

The article goes into much more detail and is worth a read.

Exhibit B is an article from health.com titled, “Why gardening is good for you” written by Anne Harding.

This article also talks about the benefits of gardening providing a lot of information and detail, at the same time however it puts a bit of a personal touch to it, you should check it out for yourself, it even gives some advice on how you can start your own garden.

So hopefully now you see how gardening can help you deal with your stress. The only problem with this hobby is, depending upon where you live, it can be really hard or really easy. If you live in the suburbs or in the country then this is a pretty easy hobby since there is already a lot of soil and stuff around anyway. However, if you live in an urban environment like a big city, then this hobby becomes that much more difficult. But you don’t need a big garden to enjoy the benefits of gardening; if you are seriously considering it but live in say an apartment then you can always buy a small potted plant from a nursery and put it on the window sill (as long as it gets a good amount of sunlight) or maybe you try buying a small cactus; most cacti don’t need that much looking after, just sunlight and sprinkle of water once in a while.

So if you’re up to it, give gardening a go. I’m going to try it out myself once I find a small enough plant; I think I’ll put it out in my balcony, I just hope the birds don’t mess with it.

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