Self-care can be as basic as daily routines like brushing your teeth or staying hydrated by drinking enough water. While it might be easy to list daily tasks that support personal care such as eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising, and connecting with others, it is not uncommon that stressful times can upset a self-care routine. Is it enough to just stop and smell the roses?
Whether you grow roses or not, consider adding gardening to your list of self-care options. Mindfulness, or paying attention in the present moment, without judgment can be practiced in many ways. One example is The Five Senses Exercises. Participants are encouraged to take a few minutes to pay attention to their five senses, wherever they are. Just observe, Five things you can see. Four things you can feel. Three things you can hear. Two things you can smell. Finally, one thing you can taste. Although this mindfulness exercise will be different every time you use it, what might this Five Senses Exercise look like in the garden? Look at some examples of the five senses in the garden.
5 – see colors, textures, changes in plant growth, tiny beneficial insects, tendrils on plant vines, etc.
4 – feel the weather and temperature, softness of leaves or petals, firmness of a ripe vegetable, and the physical feeling of stretching muscles and different body parts as you move and work in the garden.
3 – hear loud sounds like traffic or chirping birds as well as more subtle sounds, such as the swishing of leaves, the buzzing of a pollinator, or a drip or splash of water.
2 – smell the roses as well as other flowers and herbs, sweet berries, fresh vegetables, and damp soil.
1 – taste the sweetness of clover, the spice of hot peppers, the diverse flavors of all types of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Refresh with a cold glass of infused water.
Indoor gardening-related activities can also be enjoyed as a self-care practice.
- Grow houseplants with starts shared by a neighbor or loved one.
- Decorate the space with mini bouquets of colorful flowers or fresh herbs.
- Did you know that looking at photos of nature could be enough to lower your work stress?
- Mindfully eat fresh produce, whether you grew it yourself or purchased it from a local grower. Take a moment to appreciate the care, work, and energy (including the sun) needed to produce this food.
- Herbs can be used to season and garnish food for fresh flavor. They can also be used in other ways such as using the scent of lavender for calmness or refresh by drinking herbal teas or herb-infused water.
What gardening-related activities can you add to your inventory of self-care options?