It's not something new when we talk about slow changes in our day to day life and coping with the complexities. In the past few months considering the chaos and complexities that occurred due to COVID19, I am learning to priorities a healthy way of living.
The major thing we all understood in 2020 is that “No power is greater than nature” it all started from it and surely will end on it! 2021 is also heading towrads the same direction and we have certainly understood that this is our new normal.
Staying alone with my brother and managing work from home, I was eagerly looking for something relaxing which can bring peace. The top three activities in my coping mechanism list were- daily exercise, eating healthy, and gardening.
After failed efforts to exercise and forever chewing something inappropriate, I gave up. One thing which amazingly helped me is- gardening!! Yes, the super fun activity evolving from season-to-season and year-to-year.
For the love of gardening, and remembering the lines of Rajendra Padhi :
"I am a lover of my garden
I don’t grieve on flowers
When they sleep forever
Brings fun for me......."
But when I try to introduce gardening as a therapy many questions come along.
- Why gardening?
- Is gardening even a hobby?
- What are its benefits?
- What is nature’s power?
- And many more..
Let me first introduce you to the answers I zeroed on while starting my gardening journey.
Where to begin with? - When it comes to deciding where to start and what to grow; Keep it simple with the produce that are easy to grow. Try a small indoor plant, maybe a low maintenance one, a cactus or succulent! And remember there’s always a space for your plants.
Happy chemical –The microbacterium found in soil increases serotonin produced in brain (happy chemical). By getting your hands dirty you are also making your brain happy.
Exercise – You may not think gardening as an exercise, but all the racking, lifting and shovelling that involved definitely counts, In the times of lockdown when we were bound it at our homes not able to go for walks or bike rides would as equal to doing gardening activities for 30-40 minutes in terms of calories burned.
Healthy food – Gardening is a simple way to get more nutrition rich food in your diet and you should appreciate it even more because you grow them.
Mental Health– Being surrounded by fresh air and sunshine can reduce your stress. Being amongst nature is a mood booster. It is scientifically proven that natural surroundings can reduce your anxieties and depression, and is a great help to divert your mind.
After finding all the above answers, with a busy life and still wanting to have the best health and well-being - I started to garden. Gardening is the most modest way to rule out the boredom. So, growing my own food is something that I have discovered during these unsettling days.
I started to use my entire weekends to clean, water, and being around my small backyard. We have an indoor garden, a few raised garden beds next to our entrance gate so I managed to plant culinary and medicinal herbs and removed typical landscaping plants.
Since, I do not know much about best soils, seeds, or bulbs other than what I learned watching my father gardening, I chose to grow dhaniya seeds. After a successful growth, it was chilies, herbs, and a lot of micro-greens. The result is I have fortunately started taking a lot of nutrient-dense food and resting in nature.
Having a lot of air purifying plants around me also helped you create my own clean breathing space.
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Gardening with hymns playing in the background is the most satisfying time of the day. From going live on Facebook to Instagram updates, this place is quite a popular corner of the house. Now that it's a cozy place to sit and spend time I graciously invite my neighbor and friends and cherish the beauty of aromatic herbs and veggies around me.
If you get time to try your hand at gardening- begin with easy to grow seeds and indoor plants. It's the most sort after activity to engage yourself productively.
Specially in these testing times, when maintaining your sanity is ultimate can be your savior. Don’t let self-imposed limitations like living in an apartment, no place for gardening, getting the resources to be excuses.
Ending with Alfred Austin‘s Word:
“The glory of the gardening:
Hands in The dirt, Head in the sun,
Heart with nature,
To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.”