by Emma WhiteAnd University of Surrey And Sarah GoldingAnd University of Surrey
COVID-19 has shown that epidemics can seriously affect the physical body and Psychological health. StressAnd worry And depression increased worldwide, with the greatest impacts for those living under Stricter lockdowns. many people Physical activity Levels also fell during the close. However, gardens can help us combat these negative effects.
Before the pandemic, having a garden was associated with Better health and wellnessAnd this pattern continued During COVID-19. In our own research on the use of parks during the UK’s first lockdown – published as Worksheet This summer – we found that frequent visits to the park were associated with better well-being. Other work also found that gardening helped Reduce stress during the pandemic.
With that in mind, here are five ways to use your garden that research suggests can improve your mental health. If you have access to an outdoor space and you find it difficult, you can try this to improve your mood.
And if you feel good now, you can take this opportunity to move forward. Just like world leaders Urge to prepare For the next pandemic, you can prepare your garden and develop your habits now to better support your well-being in the future should another lockdown occur.
1. Do something (anything!)
The people who plant gardens every day are more physically active – Even those who have a file Balcony, patio or patio They are more likely to be active than those without a garden. Being more active is associated with better Physical and mental healthIncluding reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and depression.
You don’t have to be a gardener to get active in your garden (although we think you should give it a try). Gardens are wonderful places Be creative It provides plenty of opportunities to move around. Play hide and seek, do yoga in the garden, Insect hotel building For insects to live in – anything you want!
And remember, if there is another closure, physical activity in your garden can make up for missed opportunities to be active in other parts of your life.
2. Do nothing
Garden Help Restores The ability to focus on challenging tasks, and provide an ideal break space when working from home in the event of a pandemic. Natural objects – such as trees, plants, and water – are especially easy on the eye and Requires little mental effort to look into. Simply sitting in the garden is relaxing and useful for mental health.
To prepare your garden for downtime, create a space to relax in. Surround yourself with soothing things, such as flowers.
Sitting in the garden seems to be key, too. People in our research told us that they enjoyed relaxing in hammocks, chairs, and benches. So make time to sit back and watch the clouds, or relax with a book and a cup of tea. And don’t feel guilty about it – take a break Important to avoid mental fatigue.
3. Be alone
Gardens are places Escaped The concerns and demands of the world around us. It’s especially restorative because it’s places where we can Stay away of our daily life. In our research, some people talked about needing space from other family members and got that by hiding in a garden hut. Others hid in the bathroom or bedroom.
In case there is another closure, remember that the park is a good place to get away from work and other people. Perhaps create a hidden corner in your garden that you can hide in for a few minutes. You will most likely return to work and feel alive refreshed and more productive.
4. Be social
The research also highlights the value of spending time with the others in the fresh air. There are many ways to use your garden Socializing and building relationships. Play a game outside, have a barbecue, chat with a neighbor through the fence, or invite a friend over for hot chocolate in the snow (Norwegians can taught us Lots about enjoying the outdoors during winter).
5. Go naturally
Nature Shows Many benefits on mental and physical health. Being in the presence of Akbar Biodiversity associated with the feeling of being renovate, as he listens to birds and voices Water. get more natural elements In gardens – like scented flowers, insects, and natural materials like stone – increases wellbeing.
bring nature In any garden space you have so it is a good idea. flowers Particularly desirable, with the added benefit you enjoy Pollinator support. You can also create a file Pond or get bird feed.
Of course, not everyone has a garden. But even if you don’t have your own outdoor space, you can still follow some of these tips. indoor plants They can be used to create a more “natural” environment and have been shown to improve mood.
green exercise Biking, walking or running in the woods or countryside can boost mood and self-esteem. Was walking alone in the park too It appears to be active.
If you want to spend more social time outdoors, you can help out in an allotment or community garden, because they often very social Prosecutions involving work together Abroad. And if you want to do absolutely nothing, you can find a file small local park Just to sit back and relax.
Emma WhiteResearch fellow in environmental psychology, University of Surrey And Sarah GoldingResearch Fellow in Health Psychology, University of Surrey
This article has been republished from Conversation Under Creative Commons License. Read the original article.