Well-being is something that is talked about a lot, and for me it really begins with this question — what can we do to feel content and balanced?
Our answer? Routinely spend time in your garden, reconnecting with nature, growing, and increasing your sense of purpose.
We work very closely with our Public Health Agency who promote something called Take 5. It’s 5 simple steps that have been proven to help maintain and increase wellbeing, and below I have put ways to engage in these steps, through our gardens!
Modern life routinely disconnects us from how our food is produced, the seasons, and the natural environment that surrounds us. Simply by growing a few edibles in your garden you can connect with all of this, and feel the therapeutic benefits of doing so. Not only does this reconnect you with nature, but it can offer new connections with friends, family members, colleagues and the community you live in.
2. BE ACTIVE
While you are immersed in your gardening task, you are also working all the major muscle groups: legs, buttocks, arms, shoulders, neck, back and abdomen. It depends on how strenuous the task is of course – but most types of gardening tasks use these muscles to build strength and burn calories!
3. TAKE NOTICE
One question we get asked the most is what’s makes spending time with nature so therapeutic? It’s all down to the mental rest and attention restoration we gain. It’s like finding the ‘back to factory settings’ button for your brain and pressing it – and it can act like a dose of instant mindfulness. Spending time in your garden can give you a much needed daily brain break.
4. keep learning
The value of continuous learning has been proven time and time again. Every single growing season we learning something new. Horticulture is such a vast area, that even in an entire lifetime you would still have something new to learn from it! Try growing something you have never grown before, buy a grow your own kit or book, watch some new online videos on growing – and give it a go!
Once you start gardening, you will never stop learning.
Of all TAKE 5 Ways to Well-being, this is my favourite. Evidence shows that when we give to others, it makes us feel better. When you grow your own food, herbs and flowers, you always have a bounty of beautiful crops ready and waiting to be shared with friends, family and colleagues. It costs very little, and is brimming with home-grown kindness. This alone can create and strengthen connections around you – enhancing your well-being levels.