Green Therapy: How Gardening Improves Wellbeing

Woman picking lavender

It’s so important to look after our mental wellbeing as well as  our physical health. Dust off those gardening gloves, engage in a bit of green therapy and unearth the hidden horticulturist inside of you.

Recent studies have shown that spending just two hours a week outdoors in the garden is linked to better mental and physical wellbeing.

Sometimes referred to as ‘green therapy’, spending time outdoors in the fresh air, caring for your garden and learning new skills are all positive steps you can take to keep occupied.

Not only that, you’ll find all of the digging, raking and weeding is an excellent way to get some all-important exercise.

Woman working in garden, with a shovel planting potatoes

Pic: Shutterstock

Grow Your Own

The idea of ‘growing your own’ is not only a great way to focus your time, but also to have access to fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the year, while maintaining your immune system with healthy, home-grown food.

Even if you don’t have a large garden, growing produce such as chillies, tomatoes and strawberries doesn’t require a lot of space, and for those who are new to gardening, are relatively easy to maintain and care for.

Red chillies growing on green bush

Pic: Shutterstock

Getting the family involved

Getting out and about in the garden is an excellent way to keep the grandchildren entertained. Watching something grow from seedling to full bloom is not only incredibly satisfying, it can bring on a real sense of pride and purpose.

Why not get the whole family involved in gardening by starting a Sunflower growing competition or seeing how many birds, insects and other types of wildlife they can spot? You don’t even have to be in the same garden to do this and could compare the sunflowers and wildlife you’ve discovered over Skype or by sending photographs.

Gardening can not only be a great family bonding exercise, but can also help improve young children’s fine motor development, as they learn how to important it is to be delicate with plants.

Pic: Shutterstock

No space, no problem

Even if you have a small city garden, you can still make the most of your outdoor oasis. Whether you have potted plants or a vertical planter you can still grow wellness plants and smaller fruit and veg.

Woman on balcony potting plants

Pic: Shutterstock


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Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!