It’s been almost a year since COVID-19 arrived in our community.
It’s been a tough year for all of us, and even with the arrival of vaccines, we’re probably months away from whatever we once considered normal.
It’s been a year of grief, worry, stress and disorientation and while the end may be in sight, it’s still something of a hazy image on the horizon.
We are still in the coping phase, which is why we offer the following recommendation.
Go outside, dig into the earth and plant something.
You may be surprised how much it will do for your psyche.
According to psychologists, the benefits of gardening are often underestimated. Most people recognize that gardening is good exercise and that growing your own food promotes a healthy diet.
But psychologists suggest that something else happens to people when they are gardening.
For many, it’s an act of learning to focus on the things we control and accept those things we cannot control. The pandemic has left many of us feeling powerless. In the garden, we have a degree of control that we don’t find in other areas of our lives. In the garden, we don’t have complete control, of course, but we are active participants with the ability to influence the outcome.
Gardening helps us learn, adapt and accept. One rule of gardening is not everything will go as planned. How we respond makes us better, more confident, less prone to give up. Our tomatoes won’t always turn out like the picture on the seed package, and we discover that’s OK, too.
In the garden, we find ourselves in the moment, doing that moment’s work. That’s a powerful stress reducer.
It connects us to the natural world that brings perspective.
There is something powerfully life-affirming in the hours spent in the garden.
So, now that prime planting time has arrived, we urge you to drop by your local nursery, pick out a few vegetables or flowers, along with the other gardening necessities, and get your hands dirty.
At a time when so many things in this difficult year seem to have been spinning out of control, getting down the earth is a great way to refresh the body, mind and spirit.
The above editorial was originally published in The Dispatch.