Gardening and Depression – Garden Envy

As the warm weather returns (and hopefully stays!) I start to wish that I had a garden for me to go and enjoy the sunshine in.

Alas I am stuck on the top floor (2nd or 3rd depending how you count them) and have to look out at other people enjoying their own little space, in a flat that will soon double as a sauna once the real summer arrives.

As I continue on my journey to recovery I am thinking more and more about distractions that could help people with depression and gardening would seem to be a trick I miss out on.

Recently a good friend asked me to help clear her garden as it was overgrown. I say garden loosely as when I got into it the first thing that I thought about was the hidden tribesmen and their spears attacking me as we headed deeper into the jungle.

I am not green fingered either, unless you include an awful nose picking and cold incident but I will not elaborate!

There was something incredibly therapeutic about taking all your built up frustration onto that poor defenceless weed that needs pulling up or removing a big stump that wont budge until you really get angry! (think Incredible Hulk angry – although more Incredible Bulk!)

With each push of the spade into the earth I was thinking about something that had caused my depression and the poor roots of the trees did not stand a chance. Not only was it a great form of therapy it was also hard work so bingo! 2 for the price of one in the same afternoon. I also discovered I’m a bit of a madman with a pair of secateurs and overgrowing ivy.

It is nice to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine as opposed to the same four walls and darkness, it can improve your mood to have a bit of warmth beating down on you and a bit of hard work to get the blood racing. I am more and more aware of the benefits of  embracing different ideas to work on bringing my mood up and gardening is something I wish I had the opportunity to do more off.

Distractions are important when dealing with depression, having something to do to take your mind off the daily stresses and worries that weigh us down. If you are lucky enough to have a garden get out there and enjoy it, if it needs working on even better as you have a target to aim for and reach. My great aunt has asked me to go around and help her with some gardening and I cant wait to get out there!

If you do not have a garden how about Ecominds? Its a project run by Mind to get people outdoors

The following is taken from the Mind website

Ecominds projects

Through Ecominds, Mind has funded 130 environmental projects in England to provide a range outdoor of outdoor green activities for people with mental health problems. Some projects are open to all, others require you to phone up for more information, and some require referrals from your GP. Ecominds is part of the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme.

You can search our map to find a project near you.

why not look into it? there are lots of projects around the UK

Let me know how you get on with it, how it makes you feel, and if you have a garden does it help with your mental health?

Even better if your in London/Essex area get in touch and I can help! Im fairly cheap

If you have shrubs that need working on and are unsure how have a look at http://www.gardenhealth.com/plant-care-and-propagation/projects/how-to-prune-shrubs  it certainly helped me with my Aunts shrubs!