Gardening Your Way to Better Mental Health

Jasmin Schreiber Unsplash

Spring is here and for many people this means starting their gardens.

There is a renewed interest in gardening this year. Many people are turning to gardening as activity involving nature and a way to grow their own food. Gardening can also help your mental health.

Gardening stores are seeing an increase business this year. Some have referred to this increased interest as similar to “Victory Gardens” that arose after World War II.

Gardening is one of the most popular nature related activities in Canada. The Canadian Nature Survey conducted in 2012 found that 51% of Canadians participated in gardening in the past year.

Can gardening improve your mental health?

A review by Clatworthy from 2013 found that symptoms of depression and anxiety were reduced among people who participated in gardening studies. A more recent review by Soga and colleagues in 2017 found that gardening can also improve life satisfaction and quality of life.

In addition to the mental health benefits of gardening there are also the benefits of gardening that come from the physical exercise associated with gardening.

I live in a condominium and right now don’t have my own outdoor garden space. However, we have applied this year to be a part of our local Bridgeland Riverside Community Association plots in Calgary.

Many communities will have local gardening associations (like the Calgary Horticultural Society) to help you get started. I’d encourage others to look for opportunities for gardening in their own neighborhoods, they are probably out there if you look!

Gardening is an easy way for many of us to get more nature in our lives. It may also provide us with a much needed boost to our mental health during these challenging times.

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