Get your trowel out! Mental Health Awareness Week and the benefits of gardening

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a curious newbie, there are a whole of host of reasons to get your trowel out and stuck into your flowerbeds this spring! Gardening can make a huge difference to your mental wellbeing, offering many benefits for mind, body and soul.

  • The benefits of exercise are well known, but did you know that activities such as mowing your lawn, raking leaves and digging up flowerbeds can burn a huge number of calories? It can also keep your body flexible and count towards strength training. 30 minutes of gardening can burn as much as a yoga session, or playing badminton. So if you aren’t much of a gym bunny, you might find gardening a more palatable way to get your exercise in. It’s also a time saver, as it’s right outside your door, so there’s really no excuse not to get out there. You’ll just need to embrace the changeable UK weather!

  • A further benefit is that gardening helps release seratonin and endorphins. These are our body’s natural feel-good hormones that promote mental wellbeing. Exercise through gardening has been shown to lighten mood and lower levels of stress and anxiety.

  • You might be surprised to know that gardening is also a mental activity, as there is so much to learn; problem solving when things go wrong, which plants will thrive in which environments, how much or little watering is required, the list is endless! It also provides a sense of purpose and achievement. You’ll be tremendously proud when your hard work pays off and your garden is a flourishing haven of flora and wildlife.

  • Around 57% of adults in the UK are deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Vitamin D may play a role in regulating mood and decreasing the risk of depression. Getting out in your garden is a great way to absorb natural light, which is the main way we access Vitamin D.

  • Growing your own greens is a fantastic way to get your five a day in, along with the sense of accomplishment of feeding yourself, from your own garden to kitchen table.

Nature connectedness – reaping the benefits of the natural world in your garden

Contact with nature is not the same as connection with nature. While contact with nature is important for our general health, connection plays a much more important role in our sense of wellbeing.

In the early 2000s, researchers at the University of Derby began seeking to understand this relationship – the level of closeness, or ‘connectedness’ to nature in more detail. In the years that have followed, this concept has been developed with a view to understanding how we can improve levels of connectedness. The result of these studies was the theory of the ‘Five Pathways’: a framework to help bring about a closer relationship with nature.

  • Sensory contact with the natural world: actively engaging with nature through the senses, for example listening to birdsong, smelling flowers or watching the breeze in the trees.
  • Finding an emotional bond with, and love for, nature: this could be taking a moment to feel calm with nature in your garden
  • Taking time to appreciate the beauty of nature: this could be creating a beautiful display of flowers and plants.
  • Thinking about the meaning and signs of nature: honouring and celebrating the cycles and signs of nature you see every day in your garden.
  • Showing compassion and care for nature: looking after nature as you would look after yourself, taking actions that are good for nature. This could be planting wildflowers, digging a pond, or putting up a nest box.

Dorothy House's Interactive Nature Trail

As a Hospice, Dorothy House's vision is of a society where death is part of life. Through its seasons, nature reminds us of the fragility of life and offers peace and solace from sadness and overwhelm. The Dorothy House Interactive Nature Trail is the next step in the charity's ambition to open up the site to anyone wishing to find a wellbeing space to reflect in nature, or to find serenity in grief

Find out more about the trail here.

Ubiety and nature

Ubiety means being grounded in your best place. Our vegan products promote wellbeing and mindfulness through calming and empowering formulations inspired by the wild woodlands and their energy. Our signature use of woody fragrances - frankincense, spikenard and benzoin - strengthens and keeps you grounded in a moment of calm. We capture the power of natural ingredients in our products to soothe, relax and re-energise body and soul.

If you can’t get out to nature, take it with you with Ubiety’s body care and home fragrance products, and connect with nature wherever you are.

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