From Dirty Soil to Better Mental Health


Spring has sprung in Connecticut. We can now spend more time outside doing things we enjoy and that benefit us in unexpected ways. Gardening is proven to be a simple, fun and relatively inexpensive hobby that can be a gift that keeps on giving beyond the homegrown tomato or peas.

Gardening is a very gentle form of exercise. Think of all the raking, lifting and digging that one does. It provides a minimal workout in fresh air while putting minimal stress on the body unlike crossfit or running.

In the previous blog, I have mentioned the need to go outside and be exposed to the sun so the body can regulate its sleep cycle through the release of the hormone, melatonin. Another hormone triggered by the sun is serotonin, responsible for mood stability and regulating levels of anxiety and depression.

Gardening is a great way to meet new people and create friendships while you share stories of never-ending weeding or the joys of a great harvest. Many towns and cities have now community gardens, and they are a wonderful place to exchange tips and compare notes on how to best handle problems that every novice gardener encounters. If you are on a budget, check with your local library if they have a seed library where you can “borrow” seeds that other members have donated.

 Nothing improves the mood quite like reconnecting with nature. By cultivating an outside space that's soothing to be in, you also provide yourself with a peaceful, safe space in which you can fully relax. Even if you only have a tiny area, like a windowsill or a balcony, just having somewhere with a bit of greenery can give you a valuable chance to avoid the challenges of city living , allowing you to focus on the calming sights, sounds and scents of Mother Nature.