One of our favorite tag lines “Plant Care is Self Care” really is more than just a saying, it is an invaluable reason that caring for plants is an important part of the home care routines and mental health regimens of many! Have you considered why caring for you plants feels so good to you?
Tending to plants in routine. Creating a routine is a proven way to both lower anxiety and bring more joy into your life. One of the fool proof ways to care for houseplants is with routine scheduled care, like doing watering every Sunday. And, as it turns out, these routines are really good for our health. "Having a routine will lower your anxiety because there's no conscious thought in the everyday details of life. When you're not worried about the daily grind, it can help you have more energy and be adaptable to the unexpected.” shares Samantha Dutton, PhD, a licensed clinical social worker and associate dean and social work program director at the University of Phoenix shared with Real Simple. It is equally as important to create a routine around things that invigorate you, in life areas that you enjoy. “Doing something you love every day will naturally boost your energy and leave you feeling positive,” Dutton says.
If you enjoy your the routine of caring for a few plants, adding one or two more plants to the mix or incorporating some more advanced plant care, like fertilizing with Flourish, or repotting your plants could be a great next step to keep you zen!
While routine is certainly one element of plant care that grounds us, there is also so much joy that comes from caring for other beings. Taking care of other things boosts feelings of connectedness and love. The Buddhist concept of metta, practicing loving kindness, acting with compassion toward all sentient beings, with an awareness and appreciation of the natural world, really highlights the value of caring for other things. Love and responsibility gives meaning and happiness, both in relationship with others and with things that we care deeply about, like our plants.
When we are caring so deeply, seeing growth and development becomes that much more exciting. Measurable growth leads to feelings of success, contentment, and joy! Seeing growth in our plant is not only a reminder of the awe inspiring abilities of nature to create new life, but it can also provide the small, but important ego boost we need to feel useful and successful. It’s the “you’re doing good” pat on the back everyone needs from time to time. This kind of joy and pride creates positive feedback loops into so many other areas in our lives, allowing us to bring enthusiasm to our jobs, families, and other forms of personal care.
The awe inspiring abilities that the natural world has are not just reserved for outside. Houseplants give us the chance to connect with nature in a unique way. As we see lives unfurl, new shoots spring out of the dirt, and even a leaf that has been around for months or years see the end of its says, we are reminded of the beauty and importance of natural cycles of growth and the
The japanese concept of forest bathing, called shinrin-yoku, is a physiological and psychological exercise of connecting to nature through physical experience, letting yourself by surrounded by nature and taking in sights, sounds, smells, feelings, and tastes of the natural world. Forest bathing has been found to enhance human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins - both major physiological health benefits found from single communing with nature (Q. Li et al 2007) . And absolutely the same is true of the opportunity presented by connecting to nature through your houseplants. Try our houseplant meditation if you are looking dive deeper into your shinrin-yoku practice at home.