Wellness Wednesday: Mindful Gardening for a Healthy You

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I am not a gardening person. Digging through soil, swatting away insects, and baking in the boiling sun just don’t sound too appealing. It seems there’s far more that goes into growing and nurturing flowers, plants, and whatever else I’m hoping to grow than I really have the time or patience for. I’d rather just skip a few steps, head to my nearest grocery store, and buy pre-cut flowers. It’s so much easier to forgo the heavy lifting and hard work. I don’t want to go through the planting, fertilizing, watering, and waiting stages. It’s monotonous, time-consuming, and just plain unpredictable. What if I spend all of my energy on my garden, but nothing blooms? It feels like a waste, right?  Well, if we look a little closer, we oftentimes treat ourselves and our circumstances similarly.

Life is inconsistent, boring, tedious, and just plain hard at times, and when things don’t go the way we’d like or expect, we hurl insults at ourselves or assume the earth was unyielding. We drown our sorrows and distract ourselves. We pack our things, vacate, and give up. We feel that what we worked so hard for was too difficult to procure and, thus, a waste of time, but the truth of the matter is nothing is a waste of time. Just like the blooms we garden, we also require a great deal of time, patience, energy, and endless amounts of nurturing. Don’t worry, this isn’t another post on the importance of being patient with ourselves (though I will link previous posts here and here), but it is one where I’m encouraging us to be mindful gardeners. Yes, literally. Put away the technology, be fully present, and absolutely patient. If we pick up our tools, dig a little deeper, and show some tender, love, and care to some beautiful buds, we can also show some TLC to ourselves. Who knows what we’ll cultivate.

Follow these three steps to start your own mini-garden* and learn how to help both it and you blossom:

Determine your space and plant type. How much sunlight does your bedroom or yard get? Is the climate typically warm, chilly, or temperate? Most plants and flowers need at least six hours of sunlight daily, so if you’re not exactly sure what type of plant or flower falls in which category, feel free to check plant tags or ask a staff member for assistance. At the end of the day, start small and choose a spot in your line of sight so your budding blooms won’t be ignored. Here are five plants that have amazing health benefits:

Get to pottin’. Find a solid and spacious container with drainage holes, fill it with as much potting soil and fertilizer as it can handle (the more soil=the more nutrients your plant will receive and the more spacious the container=the more room for your plants to grow).

Nurture ’em. This is probably the most important step. Provide consistent water (but don’t drown it), keep it in one spot, and prune it regularly. Some researchers also claim that talking or singing to your plant or flower may also help it grow. So, take a few moments out of your busy day to chat with your bloom. In fact, I’m going to challenge you to say a few nice things a day about yourself to your plant.

Gardening isn’t easy or fast-paced. It takes time and patience, but as you nurture and care for your flowers, I promise they will also care for you!

*It’s also totally cool to do like me and either buy potted plants from a flower nursery or fresh flowers from your local grocery store. The same tips on keeping them alive apply.

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