How Gardening Can Help Reduce The Winter Blues

With all kinds of physical and mental health challenges on the rise, there's a simple solution that can provide significant relief: gardening. Of course, eating fresh food and being outside is what most people think of when it comes to gardening, but even having plants indoors is beneficial. While there are some obvious reasons why gardening is a great hobby, there's a lot more to uncover with this health-promoting hobby that makes it a worthwhile pursuit.

Learning Patience and Perseverance

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Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / Sukjai.

While most things around us provide instant gratification, gardening helps us slow down and appreciate small growth over time. It's a great way to practice delayed gratification and also teaches lessons on problem-solving and resilience. Very few, if any, gardeners have had a perfect crop or 100% success rate with their plants. This enjoyable hobby helps us develop a desire to try new things and keep going even if things don't turn out perfectly.

Stress Relief

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Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / Jacob Lund.

Being surrounded by nature and engaging in mindful activities, like gardening, promotes relaxation and a sense of well-being. Gardening requires active attention when repotting, checking for pests, and moving plants around. This can help take your mind off of other stressors and help your mind and body to reset. Other activities, such as watering or simply looking at beautiful flowers, can help you be more present and mindful, calming an overactive mind.

Physical Exercise

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Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / Valerii.

Whether you're growing nutritious foods or beautiful flowers, gardening takes some work. Gardening is a great option if you're not a fan of going to the gym or want some diversity in your daily exercise. You'll find yourself bending over, squatting, lifting, stretching, and a number of other healthy motions to keep your body active and strong. Plus, you'll have a beautiful result from all your hard work.

More Nutritious Food

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With greater distances between stores and farms, most produce is picked before it's ripe. This means it doesn't have as much time to fully develop those important vitamins and minerals we need to consume. Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs allows you to have fresh and organic produce packed with essential nutrients. Most gardeners find that their home-grown fruits and vegetables also taste better, so they crave these healthy foods more. Gardening is a great way to promote a healthier and more nutritious lifestyle.

Cost Savings

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Buying fresh produce from the grocery store can get expensive quickly, especially if you're buying organic foods. Growing your own fruits and vegetables can be a great way to save money on your monthly grocery bill. Many of the most common produce items are easy to grow, so even a novice gardener can be successful.

Social Interaction

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Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / Halfpoint.

Whether it's going to the local nursery to buy new plants, having friends over to help work on your yard, or simply sharing your latest plant success with a friend, gardening helps bring people together. Even for those who don't love social interactions, many people find it easy to talk about the plants they're growing or ask questions about others' gardens. For those growing vegetables, sharing fresh produce is a great way to build relationships with family and neighbors.

Improved Mental Health

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Studies have shown that spending time in nature, especially while gardening, can have a positive impact on mental health. Gardening helps alleviate symptoms of depression, boost your mood, help increase self-esteem, and provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Most plants require consistent care to thrive. Often this can help contribute to establishing routines and give purpose to getting up and outside each day.

9 Easiest Vegetables to Start Growing in Your Garden

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What could be more fun than harvesting your own vegetables throughout the summer? If you're ready to have fresh produce from your own garden, these vegetables are great to start with. Not only are they easy to grow, but they're popular options that you'll love eating raw or cooked in a delicious meal.

The Worst Gardening Mistakes Beginners Make Regularly

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Gardening is a lot of fun but can also be quite overwhelming if you're just starting out. Naturally, new gardeners often learn from what they see more experienced growers doing. Sometimes this can lead to mistakes as beginners don't have the same knowledge and experience. These mistakes can be avoidable, but you have to know what to look for.

Gorgeous, Self-Seeding Flowers You'll Only Have to Plant Once

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Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / Andreas.

Growing flowers from seeds is an inexpensive and great way to grow annuals (plants that only live for one year). However, just because you plant them once doesn't mean you'll have to re-plant them each. Some plants self-seed quite easily and will come back year after year with very little effort on your part. Many of these flowers also attract pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, to your garden.

Butterflies Can't Resist These Flowering Plants

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Photo Credit: Adobe Stock / Margaret Burlingham.

Watching butterflies around your garden is a great way to relax and unwind. Encouraging these beautiful insects to come into your yard is as simple as growing plants they're attracted to. While nearly any flowering plant will bring butterflies into your garden, the plants in this list are tried-and-true butterfly favorites.

12 Popular Plants to Absolutely Avoid Growing In Your Garden

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While gardening can be fun, make sure you avoid the plants on this list unless you want a headache. Some plants can become quite invasive, and others have roots that can destroy the foundation of your house or break up sidewalks. Keep these plants out of your garden, and you're on your way to a more pleasant and low-maintenance gardening experience.

This article originally appeared on Succulents and Sunshine.