June 27, 2020

            Gardening and plant care expose people to sunshine and vitamin D influencing serotonin, the chemical that causes good feelings. Plant care is a proactive outlet allowing the caretaker to keep their mind and hands busy.

            Indoor planting places health in your hands, potting and caring for air-purifying plants combats low air quality which is linked to depression and anxiety. This practice, known as horticultural therapy allows the plant’s caregiver to experience mutual pleasure and empowerment as they witness their efforts are rewarded through the health of their plant babies. Plant care in essence is an extension of self-care, as when the caregiver watches the plant they are caring for grow they experience a sense of reward and confidence.Exploring plant care improves health and wellness while helping cope with different types of stress. It is also a grounding tool that one can apply to themselves. Plant care can be used as an introspective practice allowing you to return to yourself more rejuvenated than before. Mental health is an issue that is largely being accepted and less stigmatized allowing for an avenue of treatment to be recognized.

           Self-care while it is not a cure to mental illness creates a path for people to take control of their well being. One of the many ways people are taking the matter of self-care into their hands is through indoor gardening. The exposure to a greener and natural setting improves emotional, mental, and social perception. Charlie Hall, a horticultural specialist, reported saying interacting with nature can improve psychological well-being. In 2010 four San Francisco Bay Area hospitals came out with a survey reporting 79 percent of patients felt more relaxed after spending time in the garden. These findings can be especially beneficial to a younger population in America.

           As of today young Americans are struggling with their mental health. According to a recent APA report from 2019 Generation Z is 27 percent more likely than other generations to state their mental health as fair or poor while Millenials are 15 percent more likely to state their mental health as fair or poor. Both are 35 to 37 percent reported to have sought treatment or therapy in their lifetime.

            Young America more than any other generation in the past is seeing an increase in anxiety and depression. Symptoms consist of severe low mood contributing to a sense of despair. Contributing factors to the mental health spike in Millenials and Gen Z are feelings of loneliness and being burned out. Due to rising workloads, financial stagnation, and long hours Millenials are dubbed the “burnout generation.”

         The pressures of a society that prioritizes productivity over well being is being heavily felt by our younger generations. Mental health is an issue that is largely being accepted and less stigmatized allowing for an avenue of treatment to be recognized. Self-care while it is not a cure to mental illness creates a path for people to take control of their well being. One of the many ways people are taking the matter of self-care into their hands is through indoor gardening. The exposure to a greener and natural setting improves emotional, mental, and social perception. Gardening and plant care expose people to sunshine and vitamin D influencing serotonin, the chemical that causes good feelings. Plant care is a proactive outlet allowing the caretaker to keep their mind and hands busy.

 

 

Author: Genesis Sotomayor 


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