Gardening as a Healing Diversion

in WORLD OF XPILARlast month

What do you do when you're feeling overwhelmed and the many "tasks of life" in front of you — all waiting to be done — makes it seem like you just don't have enough YOU to get everything done?

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A long time ago I learned that it does me absolutely no good to just sit there and try to get started. Nothing is going to move forward unless I can seriously "break state" and get my mind right.

And that's where gardening comes in! Or we might even call it "yardwork," although the benefit is definitely greatest when I'm working in the vegetable garden and focused on growing something to eat.

Getting my hands into the soil — even if just to pull some weeds — works as a great way for me to "reset" when I am starting to get to that "too much" point.

As I have written previously, "Nature is my church." The reason gardening works better for me in stressful situations is that I can still feel like I am "getting something done."

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I'm not sure why it works so well for me, but I speculate that we all came from a place of using our hands to grow our food, hundreds of generations ago. And so, there's something very basic about getting your hands in the dirt.

With inflation and the cost of food being what it is, "growing our own" has become increasingly important in the course of the past 4-5 years. Although I have been around vegetable gardens since I was a kid, the advent of Covid and "lockdowns" really got me started again.

And it was a very welcome change!

When "they" started talking about "food distribution chains being" interrupted it seemed like a totally natural thing to get back in the habit of growing food.

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What we do here can best be characterized as "urban homesteading" because we only have a small patch of land for growing food. Even so, already in the first year after ramping things up again (2020) we grew almost 600lbs (270kg) of fresh food. That does make a difference!

As a mental health and healing proposition, it also makes you feel like you're accomplishing something... even if everything else seems to be going badly.

And I have to admit that the past few years have not been easy... both financially speaking, and from the angle of work. Although the two are quite related.

I'm not really a "tinfoil hate head" and our primary reason for growing things fresh, ourselves, is actually that home grown just tastes better!"

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Of course, I grew up with a large vegetable garden my parents kept... but for many years I just slipped into that "comfort zone" many of us find: We start having very busy lives and it just is easier to pick up stuff from the supermarket... even if it isn't as good. And even if we pass right by a farm stand on our way home from work, every day...

Perhaps there is some healing there, as well. We get to be in touch with where our food actually comes from.

This post was inspired by an interesting and unlikely source: There are a couple of pears on my kitchen counter that I got from the supermarket because they looked really good. But they weren't really ripe, so I figured they'd ripen in a few days.

It has now been three weeks and while they are pretty and yellow, they are still quite hard and have no scent whatsoever. My guess is that they will never turn into edible food... I'll end up peeling them and using them as thickener in stew; that's about the only thing they are good for.

What a shame! Not to mention a waste of grocery dollars!

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These days, I often find a moment of peace when I stressed out, simply by strolling through the garden and checking up on the veg.

I'm very grateful for that garden!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great remainder of your weekend!

How about you? Do you have a "healing place" when life feels overwhelming? Do you have a vegetable garden? If not, have you ever considered growing your won food? Leave a comment if you feel so inclined — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!

(All text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is ORIGINAL CONTENT, created expressly for this platform — Not posted elsewhere!)

Created at 2024.05.19 01:45 PDT
x777/2011

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I try to get at least an hour a day in the garden.

It keeps me balanced !

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I'm trying to find motivation to start a hobby related to gardening and growing vegetables...Thank you for sharing these thoughts....Cheers :)

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