Gardening as a Panacea – Janet Herbst

Taking a few hours away from the news sounded like a really good plan. Complying with Coronavirus personal responsibility requested by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention meant that choices for what to do for those hours needed thought.

Okay: only take-out food so no meeting a friend for lunch. Go to the grocery store? Firstly, not fun. Secondly, go there only when necessary. There is food in the house.  Take a walk? Yes. Wish there was more tree canopy and shrubs to look at in the neighborhood. Gravel is so boring and heat reflective. Tree shade, green bushes would be much more pleasant. What about a walk in the yard? Primely doable. Recommendable for so many reasons. In a meta-analysis of the topic published in Preventive Medicine Reports (March 2017), Masashi Soga, Kevin J. Gaston, and Yuichi Yamaura conclude, “Overall, the results suggest that participating in gardening activities has a significant positive impact on health. Indeed, the positive association with gardening was observed for a wide range of health outcomes, such as reductions in depression and anxiety symptoms, stress, mood disturbance, and BMI, as well as increases in quality of life, sense of community, physical activity levels, and cognitive function. “

That walk in the yard resulted in over 3 miles of steps (who doesn’t carry a smart phone in their pocket when in the yard?). From the shed to the garage and back again rearranging, cleaning, doing visual inventory, making mental list for a foray to the plant nursery. Guess what? Turns out local nurseries are open! A good portion of those stores is outside: there is plenty of space between shoppers! Nature does not have a halt button and neither do I.  Now I have a plan and a purpose when I need a sanity break. Happy gardening!