Is Gardening The New Depression Treatment?

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Depression is everywhere. According to the WHO – World Health Organization – depression has become the leading cause of ill health in the world. In the Americas, only – north and south –, around 50 million individuals struggle with depression. Compared to figures 14 years ago, depression now affects 18% more people. The WHO estimates that there are more than 300 million sufferers in the world. More importantly, many of those who are living with depression are not getting the support they need, as a result of lack of local care for mental disorders and a sense of shame associated with the stigma of mental health.

But the figures alarmingly indicate that depression is not only poorly supported, but it is also increasing and spreading. It interferes with your ability to maintain your professional career. It puts your relationships at risk. It damages your sense of self-worth. Depression can dramatically affect your everyday life until a point where you might feel that life has become unbearable. It is hard to pinpoint exactly the underlying cause for the rise in mental health. However, many experts suggest that our current pace of living and hectic workplace do nothing to reduce stress levels. Many believe that long-term stress can make people more vulnerable to depression. Therefore, it becomes crucial for everybody’s health to consider hobbies that can provide an escape from daily pressure and depressive state. As surprising as it might sound, doctors from all over the world agree that gardening could be the key to helping millions to overcome mild depression. It could also be used alongside professional treatment to accompany the most severe cases.

Are people with clean lawns happier?

There are two types of homeowners; those with a pristine garden and those with an overgrown backyard. Which one are you?

For a lot of homeowners, gardening comes as an afterthought. There is already too much to do every day, and you’ve had to sacrifice your backyard to maintain your sanity. Or, at least, that’s what you tell yourself. However, you’d be surprised to know that the time you could spend catching up with a TV show or reading a magazine would be better used mowing the lawn. Indeed, the very act of mowing releases more endorphins that you can get from a cheeky TV binge. After all, maintaining your lawn is a workout, and as such, it encourages your brain to release feel-good hormones. In other words, people who have a clean and freshly cut lawn are, according to the stats, happier. They also can enjoy the sight of a lovely garden, which creates a lasting positive mood.

Where do you start?

Admittedly, if you’ve let Mother Nature take over without giving your yard a lot of attention in the recent months – or years –, you can’t just buy a lawnmower and hope for the best. You need to build a garden, first! Let’s be honest: It’s going to be a painstaking project. But it’s also going to be rewarding. As you learn to tame your garden and shape it to your tastes, your body releases the well-known feel-good hormones. Furthermore, you get a sense of pride and satisfaction in being able to say “I did it” at the end of the day. First-time gardeners need to acquire all the necessary tools to clear, remove, water, and prune. You should also consider getting some soil builder to nourish your ground and help your garden to bloom. Indeed, when your garden hasn’t been maintained for a long time, the natural balance of nutrients in the soil might have been lost.

Is it suitable for everyone?

When you start describing gardening as a workout, it’s only natural to wonder whether the hobby would be suitable for senior homeowners. After all, you spend a lot of time kneeling and bending over to maintain your plants. Older gardeners could struggle with joint and back pain, which makes it more difficult for them to benefit from the mental boost of gardening. Your garden ages with you, and with a little savviness and attention to details, everybody can create the perfect yard to fit their abilities. Raised beds, for instance, are a no-brainer for elderly people. They are easy to reach, and they are also suitable for wheelchair users. Additionally, another great tip is to buy appropriate gardening tools, such as grabbers or long-handled tools which can be used standing up or sitting.

I’ve got a busy lifestyle

You love the idea of gardening to maintain your mental health. But you find it challenging to free up enough time in your week. Looking out of the window, you feel discouraged by the overgrown yard, but you know that your dream of a tidy garden is impossible. Well, not so fast! You can opt for a low-maintenance garden that won’t require a lot of time but will still give you all the benefits of a green hobby. Creating a path or a patio to reclaim our outdoor can not only guarantee that you spend more time in the sun – for plenty of vitamin D – but also makes your garden more manageable. Creating garden beds, which you can frame with stone edging, adds touches of colors to the yard and creates an easy-to-maintain pocket of green.

Gardens are so dull in winter

The problem with gardens is that they’re beautiful in spring and summer, but they get bland and nacked the rest of the year. In reality, the appearance of your winter garden depends entirely on the plants you choose to have. Not all shrubs and flowers disappear during the cold months. Snowdrops, for instance, are a winter garden’s best friends. They appear in November and can thrive all the way through February. Pansies are also another colorful addition to the garden during the cold months. A holly bush can give your garden a permanent Christmas look. In short, you are not short of opportunities to inject some life in a winter yard.

Gardening offers a complex combination of mood boosters. At a very basic level, it provides you with a great workout, which gets your heart pumping and your endorphin production working. But, it also gives you the opportunity to spend time outside and make the most of the direct sunlight. Furthermore, there’s a sense of joy and pride in creating a backyard that is beautiful to look at. Pretty things, after all, make us happy.