After the excitement of Christmas has faded, January can often feel rather dark and dismal with many of us looking to stay inside and hide away until spring. But by doing the opposite, putting on that warm coat, setting outside and enjoying the garden could be what’s needed to help you feel your best in 2018.
Whether you are looking to get outside to just relax, take up a new hobby or get fit with a daily dose of digging, here, Trainee Community Gardener Lizzie McFarlane from Green Synergy gives her reasons why 2018 should be the year to head outdoors.
1. It’s good for your mental health
“Before joining Green Synergy, I suffered with high levels of anxiety and depression, but I found being in the garden to take stock helped with this. The act of tending to something, looking after it, seeing it grow and flourish is hugely rewarding. You don’t need to be knowledgeable and its ok to make mistakes as a garden will never judge. As with all the seasons and nature in general, the winter garden can really help us to be mindful and be in the now.”
2. It’s good for your physical health
“When the sun does come out – make the most of it! I love being outside on a crisp winters day, whether its raking up those last remaining leaves or going on a snowdrop walk, it’s a great way to get some vitamin D and burn off some of those Christmas calories too!”
3. It provides a different kind of workout
“Gardening can give you a great all over work out, which is great for your heartand works all your core muscles. Pulling weeds, stretching for various plants and tools and bending as you plant work also helps your strength, stamina, and flexibility.
“It also offers an array of interesting tasks to perform that will keep up your interest over some more conventional exercise routines throughout the changing of the seasons.”
4. It helps you sleep better
“They say fresh air helps you sleep better and combining that with some time in garden can really improve your sleep quality. The physical activity tires you out and it helps reduce those anxiety levels meaning you’ll be in for some quality ZZZ.”
“Meeting up with friends to visit one of the many inspirational winter gardens or joining your local community garden or gardening club can not only be great for your social life. Joining a local gardening group will also give you the opportunity to make new friends with people from a variety of backgrounds. They also provide a great sense of belonging and togetherness – together you can watch how your garden transforms or share what vegetables you have grown.”
Green Synergy has been funded by People’s Health Trust, using money raised by HealthComplete CIC through The Health Lottery.