Coping Skill: #41. Gardening

Part of the garden that we bagged plants from on Thursday

Part of the garden that we bagged plants from on Thursday

As mentioned in my Thankfulness Thursday post earlier this week, I grew up in a family that loves to garden. Quickly, my love of flowers blossomed as I picked posies for my mother, stuck blooms in my ponytails, and searched every spring for the first sprig. Nearly every bouquet given to me remains dried in my room.

However, I was never very good at gardening. The concept interested me, and goodness knows that I loved to get dirty. Yet, the activity that my mother labored over until sweat dripped down her face did not intrigue me.

That being said, working in the horticultural center bagging bulbs and washing pots was a wonderful way to volunteer this Thursday. The deep smell of fresh dirt and earthy texture sifting through my fingers brought back great memories of summer. Plus, I could laugh with classmates instead of sitting behind a desk all day. After we finished the project, I wondered if I needed to give gardening another try this year.

This coping skill has a lot of advantages. First of all, it stimulates all of your senses. If you need a distraction, you often need to engage your whole being. Gardening certainly does that. The feeling of dirt between your fingers, smells of flowers and mulch, buzzing of bees, and trickle of sweat on your face and back can take your mind off of anxieties. It is hard to feel overwhelmed or stressed when you are so engaged in an activity such as this.

Also, gardening brings positive things into the world. You are creating beauty, using your imagination to build a work of art, communing with nature, nourishing new life, and promoting health. Whether you choose to plant flowers or vegetables, this past time makes the earth a better place.

Thirdly, being outside in the sun and breathing in the fresh air relieves the spirits of many people. After a long winter, perhaps you need to spend a little while soaking up the sunlight and working with the softened earth.

There are numerous other reasons why gardening is a great coping skill. The hard work, decision making, learning to care for something, and so much more make me want to try using this more when I am struggling.

The nice thing is that you can start small gardening with one plant or a small plot of land. However, the possibilities are endless. Rows of vegetables, just a few rosebushes, scattered wildflowers, trimmed bushes – there are so many creations that you can create and nurture. The more I think about it, the more I am looking forward to experimenting outside this summer.

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4 thoughts on “Coping Skill: #41. Gardening

  1. Dynamo Di says:

    I have tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to grow herbs, fruits and vegetables the last couple of years. However, as there is so much satisfaction when it works, the food tastes soooo much nicer, I will be trying again this year. I shall have patience, it’s not rocket science, millions do it. I will succeed! Thanks for the motivation Anna. Blessings 🙂

  2. 80smetalman says:

    Cooking has been my coping skill for many years now, probably because I wasn’t a natural at it at first. I can see the many advantages of gardening and the positive effects it has on you. Keep it up

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