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Plant Power: Gardening During a Pandemic

There’s no doubt that since the pandemic began, you’ve been seeing many of your friends’ homegrown flowers and plants on your social media feed. Being a plant parent has become a big trend during the pandemic, and with good reason. It’s been a source of comfort and therapy for many during this time, along with baking and counseling. Let’s look at the benefits of gardening and why it’s seen a sharp rise during the lockdown.

A healthy coping mechanism

The pandemic and its ongoing isolation period have prompted the rise of depression and anxiety among the majority. With rising unemployment rates, lack of job security, and fears about health and safety amid a global pandemic, there have been a lot of reasons to feel anxious and depressed. People have been searching for various hobbies to keep themselves occupied. Gardening is one of the most popular, along with baking.

Part of this has to do with the fact that both activities are exercises in mindfulness. They require you to be present and focus on the task at hand, effectively wiping your worries in the meantime. They also both involve creating products that we can see through to completion, boosting our confidence levels.

Gardening is also considered a form of outdoor exercise. Engaging in it helps us get a much-needed dose of vitamin D, while also lowering anxiety and depression levels and getting our blood pumping. Being near to plants has long been hailed as a way to boost mental and physical wellbeing, as plants also purify the surrounding air. It’s also a way to make your home more beautiful, and your physical environment impacts both your mental and physical wellbeing.

Moving to the suburbs

Before the pandemic, there had already been a trend that saw people trading their big-city apartments for homes in the quiet suburbs. Of course, the pandemic accelerated this trend. Due to the closure of city establishments and the rise of remote work, big cities lost their power over the people who moved there for urban living and more job opportunities. Now able to do their work from the comfort of their homes, many people are packing their bags and headed for the suburbs.

Part of this has to do with a desire to live in greener, less congested spaces where observing social distancing is made easier. Even those apartment-dwellers that don’t have plans to move to the suburbs have resolved to make more space for plants in their homes.

Feeling claustrophobic within the confines of big-city studio apartments, today’s homeowners long for more outdoor space. Another contributor is that health organizations such as the CDC have said that the virus is much less likely to spread in open outdoor spaces. Thus, the pandemic has also paved the way for a rise in outdoor living trends.

gardening planting

Kids and gardening

As if all the previous benefits of gardening haven’t been enough, gardening is just as – if not more – beneficial to young children. Studies have found that gardening as a teaching tool helps children to grasp concepts that may be difficult for them to understand in a classroom setting.

Apart from being a teaching tool, it is generally good to involve children in horticultural activities. So if you’re planning on starting a vegetable patch, don’t hesitate to ask your child to help you. Gardening helps children develop their fine motor skills. It also fosters in them a sense of empathy and care for other living creatures. But the biggest benefit – especially in the eyes of parents – is that children who engage in gardening are more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables. This is because the activity educates them on how food is grown and where it comes from.

A healthy child is one that is more likely to actively participate in school activities, and this is important as students around the world have been struggling to engage in online learning. This may be due partly to poor scheduling – teachers and parents must make sure that kids have enough time in the day for rest, playtime, and exercise. Remember that children – perhaps more than adults – need to spend time away from screens, too.

If seeing your friends’ gardens on social media has piqued your interest in gardening, go ahead and give it a try. There are many benefits for you and the rest of your household – especially your kids.

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