The winter weather has been unseasonably cold this year, with sub-zero temperatures taking the place of the usual rainy climate. All the joys of the holiday season have come and gone, and spring is much too far away. Luckily, there’s great news for plant parents and budding gardeners, as being around lush greenery, soil, and fellow plant lovers have all been proven to boost mental health. Here are some ways a trip to Mother Nature this winter can help lift your spirits and combat those winter blues!
It Gets You Up-Close With Plant Soil, a Natural Antidepressant
We’ve all noticed how we feel less blue whenever we tend to our plants and get our hands dirty, but did you know that this is partly because plant soil contains an actual antidepressant? Research shows that gardening boosts mental health due to antidepressant microbes present in the soil.
These microbes, called Mycobacterium vaccae, are proven to increase serotonin production – a hormone that keeps stress levels low. Other benefits of being around these microbes include a boost in cognitive function and increased focus. Best of all, you can get an effective dose of M. vaccae by just getting close to a bunch of good dirt and inhaling deeply. A trip to the garden centre and surrounding yourself with all that soil is, therefore, sure to chase away your winter blues and lift your spirits tenfold!
A Visit to the Garden Center Can Help Counteract SAD
If you find yourself feeling more sluggish, moody, listless, or depressed during the winter months, you may be experiencing a case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. More than just a case of the winter blues, SAD usually begins to hit hard around mid-January, and is typically brought on by decreased vitamin D levels due to less daily sunshine. Vitamin D plays an essential role in balancing hormones and keeps serotonin and melatonin levels at a comfortable level, meaning a lack of it can negatively affect mood, energy, appetite, and even sleep.
Fortunately, our greenhouse is always filled with ample bright light, warmth, and humidity, making it a great place to come and boost your vitamin D levels. Stopping by for a stroll among the plants is also a great way to get some exercise, another effective way to alleviate those SAD symptoms.
Indoor Gardening is Incredibly Therapeutic
If you’re new to the world of plants but have always wanted to get started, now is the best time to kickstart your new hobby. We’re willing to bet this one will have serious staying power! Many plant parents have reported that the practice of tending to houseplants, watching them unfurl new leaves and grow under their care, is extremely fulfilling and therapeutic. Surrounding yourself with greenery has also been shown to increase your dopamine and serotonin levels, making indoor gardening a great hobby to get into if you need a bit of help shaking off those winter blues!
The benefits of indoor plants are endless, but they deserve special praise for their ability to improve air quality. Houseplants such as the peace lily, golden pothos, spider plant, and English ivy are all known to filter harmful toxins from your home, helping you feel less blue. Above all, the snake plant is one of nature’s best air purifiers and one of the most beginner-friendly houseplant options. It’s low maintenance, can survive in lower light environments (common in winter), and produces the most oxygen among all houseplants. It even produces oxygen at night while you sleep.
Stopping by the garden centre is a great first step into this incredibly therapeutic, beneficial hobby! We’ll set you up with everything you’ll need, including the best houseplant options for your specific home and requirements, and our expert advice will have you feeling confident in your plant parenting abilities!
Bonding With Fellow Plant Lovers Can Boost Mood
The long winter season can sometimes be isolating, especially for those who work from home or tend to retreat indoors during the colder weather. Connecting with other gardeners and plant parents over a shared passion is a great way to socialize during this isolating time, boosting your mental health and creating a sense of belonging. Bonding over shared plant knowledge, organizing swaps for seeds and cuttings, and visiting Mother Nature with other gardeners is a surefire way to keep those winter blues at bay!
If you’re looking to combat those British Columbia winter blues, swing by and visit us at Mother Nature in Powell River, BC, today! Walk around our garden centre to lift your spirits, pick up some plants, and shop for your pet and home decor needs; we’ll be happy to help you with whatever brings you in!