The Benefits of ‘Plant Therapy’ During Lockdown

Let’s talk about the benefits of plant therapy during lockdown.

For those of us impacted by extended lockdowns across Australia, it is important monitor for signs of ‘lockdown fatigue’. This is a state of exhaustion caused by the long-term impact of quarantining and isolating. When our bodies and minds are adapting to constant change and uncertainty it leaves us feeling stressed, anxious or depressed. All are exhausting.

Plant therapy’ is a technique that relies on plants and gardening to help us overcome mental, emotional and physical health issues. This form of therapy is connected to biophilia – the idea that people are genetically connected to nature and plant life.

The goal of plant therapy is to help people build self-confidence and social connections  by getting out into nature.

One clinical study found that people who care for plants tend to be more compassionate and empathetic towards those around them.

Gardening encourages relaxation

Tending to plants and planting a garden can provide an escape from pressure and obligation.  The tasks required to maintain healthy plant life are routine and repetitive — such as weeding, trimming, and watering — allowing a person to disconnect and clear their minds. The rhythmic, mindful nature of tending to plant life has been compared to meditation. It allows one to feel more present.

Gardening can help foster a greater sense of connection, which is particularly helpful for those battling depression. That the plants require your care and nurturing has also been shown to have mental health benefits.

Looking after plants releases feel-good hormones

Our bodies crave exercise and the outdoors — something that gardening can provide. Whenever we exercise, our levels of serotonin and dopamine rise, helping us to feel good.  It can also result in helping promote healthy sleep habits, and ultimately, feel more refreshed.