There’s no doubt about it. These are tough times for all of us… With the dreaded COVID-19 forcing us to self-isolate, our physical and mental health are being put under immense strain. If there’s one saving grace, it’s that the weather has (so far) been relatively kind to us. This is great, as it means we can all get some respite by going for a short walk, or by spending time in our garden.
Connecting with nature is one of the best ways to reduce stress, but did you know that gardening is also a fantastic way to boost your mental health and wellbeing? It’s true… gardening is great medicine for the soul. Here’s 5 reasons why gardening could be the cure we all need during these uncertain times.
Connect with nature
Connecting with nature is something we often forget to do with the fast-paced, technology-based world we live in. But it is important to remember the simple joys and benefits that can be gained from being outdoors. Studies show that spending time outside in green spaces can reduce stress and help us feel more relaxed.
Gardening is great exercise
Gardening is great physical exercise for people of any age. It’s low resistance and can help you to maintain a good level of fitness and burn a considerable number of calories. In fact, a 3-hour gardening session can burn as many calories as an hour in the gym! The range of movement involved in gardening works all the major muscle groups, increasing flexibility and strengthening joints, whilst decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol.
Gardening can lift your mood
Regular exercise is a great way to improve mental health and wellbeing. Endorphins, which are released by the brain during exercise, can boost our mood and make us feel happier, more productive and more motivated. As gardening is a low resistance form of exercise, it puts less strain on our muscles, bones and joints, whilst still providing an effective workout. Sunshine and natural daylight is also a proven mood enhancer, by increasing the release of serotonin. Low serotonin levels can be a factor in depression, anxiety and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Getting out in your garden and soaking up those sun rays can make a real difference to your mental wellbeing.
Being in the moment
Being stuck in our homes with no outlet can encourage over-thinking, which can feed anxiety and negative thoughts. Getting out in your garden, digging, weeding and potting plants helps you to focus on the ‘here and now’ instead of worrying about what the future holds. It also gives you something else to watch over and think about. Looking at how your plants and garden develops over time can help you focus on the positive and keep your mind off the negative stories in the media.
A sense of achievement
During these uncertain times it can be easy to lose our usual sense of purpose and meaning. Creating, growing and tending your garden can give you something to look forward to and a sense of responsibility. If you’re feeling low in confidence and self-worth, stepping out into the garden you’ve created, and seeing your plants full of life and in bloom can give you a fantastic sense of achievement.
Order your plants form Hilltop Garden Centre
We have a fantastic range of plants and garden equipment and Hilltop Garden Centre. We currently have a great selection of plants online, and we’re taking orders over the phone, to be delivered to your door. Are you a keen gardener, or want to take up gardening as a new hobby? Call us on 02476 614 752 to place your order.
Here is a selection of plants we currently have instore:
- Zantedeschia Aethipica (Trumpet Lily, Lily of the Nile, Pig Lily) - £14.99
- Dicentra (Bleeding Heart) - £5.99
- Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender, True Lavender, Old English Lavender) - £7.99
- Hebe 'Heartbreaker' - £6.99
- Photinia 'Pink Crispy' (Chinese Hawthorn, Chinese Photinia, Oriental Photinia) - £9.99
- Photinia x Fraseri 'Carre Rouge' (Fraser's Photinia, Redtip Photinia) - £19.99
- Cycas Revoluta (Japanese Sago Palm, Recurved Cycad) - £29.99
- Andromeda 'Blue Lagoon' - £7.99
- Andromeda Polifolia 'Blue Ice' (Bog Rosemary, Marsh Andromeda) - £8.99
- Clematis 'Vyvyan Pennell' - £9.99
- Hebe 'Frozen Flame' - £7.99
- Hebe 'Heartbreaker' - £6.99
- Fatsia Japonica 'Spiders Web' (Japanese Fatsia, Japanese Aralia, False Castor Oil Plant) - £9.99
- Mix 'Summer Hanging Basket Plants' - 89p Each or Ten for £8.00