How gardening can improve your physical and mental wellbeing during coronavirus
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Coronavirus is keeping many of us at home for most of the day, and while this is for the best, being isolated for so long can be detrimental to your physical and mental health.
Sue Brown at The Garden Shop in Colyton shares how getting out in your garden during lockdown can help your wellbeing.
A lot of people are struggling with stress and anxiety, whether that’s because they’re worried about the health of themselves or others, or because they’ve had enough of being stuck in their homes.
Gardening can be incredibly therapeutic and could be a welcomed task to relieve some of the stress building up due to the current situation.
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“When you’re gardening, your mind is solely focused on the task at hand, giving you a break from the things that may be bringing you down” says Sue.
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Gardening not only stimulates the mind but also has a physical benefit – you can burn calories without even knowing it!
“Jobs like pulling weeds and planting flowers can burn around 200-400 calories per hour,” Sue explains.
“Even small things like raking and bagging leaves can work your muscles and help you build strength.”
Helps you stay ‘in the moment’
Staying in the present and living life day to day is particularly important at this time. With the future unclear, we need to find ways to stay ‘in the moment’ and not worry about what may happen next.
Gardening is an activity you can really get stuck into and focusing on this one task can help blur the world around you.
Gives you purpose
Whether you’ve been furloughed or are simply struggling with having a free itinerary at the weekend, a gardening ‘to do’ list can give you a sense of purpose.
“I would recommend setting yourself an achievable goal in the garden, such as cleaning up the decking or patio,” says Sue.
“Then once you’ve done that, focus on something else. Completing the jobs on your gardening ‘to do’ list can give you a real sense of purpose and achievement, which may help you through this difficult time.”
Puts you in control
At a time when everything can seem out of control and you don’t have the freedom you normally do, it’s good to find something to get a grip on.
“Your outside space is yours to do what you like with, and a great way to feel more in control in the current climate,” explains Sue.
Sue’s ‘things to do in April’
- Plant evergreen trees and shrubs. Dig a large hole and add as much compost as you can to include organic matter. This will get the plants off to a good start. Don’t forget to keep them watered.
- Remove annual weeds with your hands. You will thank yourself later.
- Remove perennial weeds by digging them out. Ensure deep-rooted weeds are completely removed. These should be burned or disposed of, but not added to the compost heap.
- Continue sowing and planting vegetables outdoors (watch out for a frost, and cover with a fleece or newspaper overnight).
- Plant summer-flowering bulbs.
- Plant container-grown fruit trees, remembering to continue to water if the weather is dry.
The Garden Shop in Colyton is still open for business as the Phoenix Farm Shop, supporting the local community by offering groceries and essentials, as well as plants and veggies to keep you occupied in the garden at this time.
Visit The Garden Shop at King Street, Colyton, Devon EX24 6PD.