A Self-Care Garden

Right now is a great time to begin planning and planting your self-care garden. This is not a metaphor; this is about an actual green and growing garden! 

Research shows that spending time gardening has mental health benefits, even a short amount of time is beneficial. Digging in the dirt reduces stress and helps you continue to focus after your gardening time. Data has also shown that tending to your own garden provides a meaningful activity that increases a sense of belonging and improves physical and mental health. 


There is no right or wrong way to create your garden, however there are some helpful tips to keep in mind. If you have access to space outside where you can plant in the ground, then you may want to begin with fresh soil and starter plants from a local store. Choose plants that will have a good chance of thriving in your location - does the space get direct sunlight or low light?

If you don’t have access to outdoor garden space, consider a potted garden. Large or small plants in pots can be easily moved from an outdoor porch to an inside table as the weather changes, giving you a year-round gardening activity.

Mindfulness practice

According to Portia Jackson Preston, a Cal State Fullerton assistant professor of public health who specializes in self-care, “Gardening is a great tool for resilience for several reasons. A garden helps you anchor in the present moment by mindfully engaging all your senses. It teaches you patience and creativity as you nurture plants throughout the life cycle.” 

Try This

  1. Go to your local gardening center and pick up a few small plants. If you are new to gardening, ask for help choosing low maintenance plants that will thrive in the location you plan to put them. 
  2. Don’t worry if some of your plants don’t thrive, this is a learning process. I have personally had many, many plants that just didn’t grow in the conditions I had. I kept trying different plants until I found some that were very low maintenance that are basically hard to kill! Specifically, the monstera plant is one that seems so easy to grow and looks very dramatic. It is also an easy plant to propagate, so I now have about five of them. I also love mini succulents. They don’t require a lot of water, which makes them easy to maintain.
  3. Choose really pretty containers so the whole experience is beautiful.

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