Ok, Ok…so gardening might not be the answer to end the pain, but it sure can help! If you are currently struggling with a broken heart, or have in the past, you are well aware of the impairment it can have on your concentration, motivation, and ability to get anything done. Mostly you want to crawl in a hole and cry (or obsess about your ex…which is a topic for another post). Often I tell people that the initial stages of heartbreak require a lot of energy just to get through a day. I advise people to stay busy, ask your friends for support, create enough things to occupy your mind so you don’t have lots of down time to sit in your head and review the past over and over and over and over and over…..you get the picture.
So what kinds of things can you do? Self care activities like beauty therapy (nails, hair, facials, etc.), retail therapy, and movie therapy all require some kind of financial commitment…which is absolutely fine if you have the money and won’t go into debt as a result, thus causing one more stress in your life. Gardening is an activity many won’t think of because #1 They don’t have an actual yard #2 They don’t think they have a “Green Thumb” or #3 They just aren’t interested.
Let me tell you why I think you should try it no matter which category you fall into. Gardening, even if you don’t have a yard, can be done on any budget, anywhere, anytime. It is an activity that brings your complete attention to what you’re doing. It requires active engagement. It has a strange, zen-like quality to it that seems to cause relaxation. It can actually cause you to forget, even temporarily, all the other things going on in your life and remove you from the heartache for a while. Tending to your plants, whatever they may be, becomes something you look forward to. It requires patience as you wait for the little tiny buds to grow. It can cause excitement when your first plant blossoms. It’s not only good for your mind but it’s good for the environment as well.
Did you know a packet of seeds can cost as little as .99 cents? And soil can be free if you check out places like Craigslist Free section or a website such as freecycle.org. If you don’t have a yard…plant things in common everyday household items like coffee cans, an old shoe, or candle holder. Take a trip to your local nursery to ask questions and get ideas. I’m telling you…it can take up entire weekends just puttering around stores, looking through your house for inspiration, and getting your hands dirty (don’t worry about your nails…you can clean them afterwards!)
Garden therapy (also known as Horticulture therapy) has been a well know practice for 100’s of years. It calms the mind, grounds the body, and lifts your spirits. Whether its a simple flower in a pot or an entire vegetable garden, there’s something for everyone. Don’t knock it til you try it. I challenge you to go get some seeds (herbs, flower, veggie…whatever floats your yacht) and plant it. Water it, watch it, and see how you feel when your first little bud pops up above the soil. I’m willing to bet you’ll feel something inside that resembles joy or happiness…feelings that are the exact opposite of grief.