My Dad is an avid gardener. Every morning he wakes up and gets his hands dirty, planting, trimming and watering. I’ve watched him my whole life spends hours in the backyard, meticulously preening, sheering and shoveling. I asked him one morning during an LSAT prep study break why he likes gardening so much. I mean, it’s cool to see the things you water every day grow tall and bare fruit, but it looked like something more for him. All I wanted was to eat the apple off the tree; my dad wanted to make sure the apple tree thrived.
He told me that gardening was his form of stress relief. He said it was one of the most calming and relaxing things he knew. It got me thinking, could gardening be the key to my stress relief?
As I’m sure you all know, LSAT prep is very stressful. But, there are ways you can tackle your stress so that it stays at a manageable level. We’ve discussed varying common methods, e.g. regular exercise, consistent breaks, spending time with family. Today I thought we could delve into trying out the stress relieving technique of gardening.
So why is it that gardening is so stress relieving?
First thing’s first, gardening gets you out under the sun. The mere act of being in the sunlight can greatly improve your mood. Sunlight provides an influx of vitamin D, which is great for your health. Further, just being outside in nature and getting your hands dirty in the mud can help you feel more removed from your daily study stressors, like the array of LSAT practice questions that constantly loom over your thoughts.
A study in Norway showed that people who had been diagnosed with depression, persistent low mood, or “bipolar II disorder” spent six hours a week growing flowers and vegetables. After three months, half of the participants had experienced a measurable improvement in their depression symptoms.
More over, gardening is exercise. It gets your heart pumping and the blood flowing. Try uprooting a tree and replanting it across your yard and tell me that doesn’t make you break a sweat!
And lastly, the food you grow yourself is the freshest and healthiest food you can eat. Treat your body right during this stressful time. Why not give gardening a try? At the least you’ll have some pretty flowers to look at and/or some great fruits and veggies to eat!