Gardening Sustains Mental Wellness, While Providing Healthy, Nutritious Food… A Win-Win for You and Your Body
Gardening in a Growing Dome is an invaluable method to improve and sustain mental and emotional wellness. Growing Domes are coveted, some would argue sacred, retreats to be with nature and one’s thoughts and emotions.
At some point, however, your Growing Dome may begin feel like a 9-5 job. Before you know it, your sacred oasis has exploded into a jungle of leafy, flowering piles of “paperwork” that need to be managed accordingly. The tomatoes need to be trellised, fruit trees pruned, compost churned, seedlings planted, crop rotation managed… the list is endless. What happened to relieving anxiety and finding solace in your private paradise?
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. However, there are simple ways to be in your Growing Dome that allow you to sustain the benefits it provides. It is possible to maintain the needs of your garden while nourishing your soul.
Growing Domes foster a space for human development and personal well-being. Here’s a list of 5 ways you can cultivate and sustain your mental health while growing year-round in your Growing Dome.
#1 – Morning Meditation
Centering yourself in nature is a great way to start your morning off right. But if you’re living in a city or find yourself in the dead of winter, finding solace in nature is likely hard to find and/or a low priority. Having a Growing Dome provides a consistent, year round retreat to center yourself before your daily tasks begin. This practice can take as little as 5 minutes a morning! We recommend adorning your Growing Dome with a special Sit Spot: your favorite chair, crazy creek, hammock, or swing. Once in your Sit Spot, close your eyes and listen to your breath without the need to regulate it. Place yourself in your dome without looking around. With eyes closed, envision what is above you, below you, to your left, and to your right. What sounds do you hear? What can you smell?
#2 – Creating a Nature Journal
Gardening in and of itself is a creative therapy. However, finding ways to be creative within your garden will help alleviate potential stressors. Keeping a nature journal to document seemingly mundane tasks is one stress-relieving option. It provides a way to be in your Growing Dome without feeling the pressure to “get things done”. Some suggestions to keep your spirits high include:
- Pressing flowers,
- Documenting new growth,
- Designing your garden beds,
- Studying an insect, or
- Tracking crop rotation.
#3 – Gathering with Loved Ones
A Growing Dome provides the perfect container to host events in which your guests have the privilege to socialize while connecting to the natural world. Hosting dinner parties, retreats, workshops, or even a local yoga or qigong class can give you a sense of reciprocity and gratitude for all you’ve created within your garden sanctuary.
#4 – Relating to Your Plants
Growing and harvesting your own food can add pressure to your performance as a gardener. There’s much to keep in mind to ensure the food you produce is of the highest quality. However, learning to trust in the intelligence of nature can alleviate potential growing anxiety. Call it faith in a seed if you will, as you begin to connect with your plants and open yourself to their innate value.
#5 – Earthing
In an age where we have distanced our bodies from the Earth – via plastic shoes, multi-story buildings, cement walkways, etc… – inflammation, anxiety, and sleep deprivation have increased. “Earthing” (or “Grounding”) is the simple practice of allowing our bodies to heal by physically touching the Earth. So simple! Remove your shoes when entering your Growing Dome. This act lets the body absorb electrons that neutralize free radicals that damage one’s natural rhythm. Connect with the intelligence of the Earth and cultivate a deeper sense of mental health by Earthing!
Gardening Cultivates Well-being… and Does Not Need to Be Stressful
To improve your mental health, begin your meditation and journaling processes, as well as your Earthing connections, consider gardening in your own Growing Dome. Moreover, they are wonderful places to relate to plants, as well as gather with loved ones. Countless studies and research proves the positive impact gardening has on mental health, begin your journey today.
Desiree Rose is a gardener, wordsmith, artist, and embodiment coach. With a degree in Human Development and Environmental Education, she’s had the opportunity to study intensively under many thought-leaders in the fields of Environmental Forestry, Women’s Embodiment, Ayurveda, Astrology, Life-Coaching, Curriculum Design, and Biodynamic Beekeeping. When she’s not tending the gardens at Growing Spaces, she can be found rock climbing, highlining, and soaking in the hot springs in southwest Colorado. Find her latest projects at www.womb-beeing.com