In this time of uncertainty, it’s never been more important to look after our physical and mental wellbeing. The health benefits of gardening are well-known, but if you don’t have a garden, or are unable to get outside and start digging you can still reap the benefits by bringing the outdoors in.
There is extensive research to suggest that indoor plants can boost our physical health by improving the atmosphere: houseplants can help to remove some toxins from the air, as well as producing oxygen and increasing humidity. In short, indoor plants help provide a clean and comfortable environment for us to live in.
As well as physical factors, there are many mental wellbeing benefits associated with indoor gardening. Studies show that humans feel relaxed and less stressed in a natural environment. Getting back to nature improves happiness and wellbeing. Adding green foliage plants to your living space brings a little bit of nature indoors, helping to create a soothing, comfortable atmosphere.
Colours can help to lift the mood – sometimes there’s nothing cheerier than a bunch of fresh cut flowers in a vase. But why not make that splash of colour last longer by planting seasonal perennials in a window box? Spring and summer bedding plants could work just as well in pots on a windowsill as in the garden.
The activity of gardening is very therapeutic: when you’re tending plants, you are focussed on the task in hand and the stresses of life are momentarily forgotten. Even something as simple as watering houseplants can be a beneficial exercise in mindfulness.
Nurturing plants and helping them grow brings with it a sense of responsibility – this sense of purpose can be another boost to our mental health. Coupled with that are the feelings of reward and achievement when the plants flower or show new growth. For the ultimate reward why not try growing something edible? Herbs or salad leaves will grow well on a sunny windowsill, or perhaps a tomato plant if space allows.
Even in this time of lockdown it’s possible to order plants online – local suppliers including https://growurban.uk/ and http://www.pentlandplants.co.uk/ are supplying to the Edinburgh area and there are plenty of online retailers from which to source plant and vegetable seeds.
Why not invest in your wellbeing today? Happy growing!