Stay Calm and Garden: Easy Ways to Overcome Stressful Situations

I originally had a big ole’ skincare post ready and scheduled for this morning (don’t worry I’ll post it soon) but with everything going on in the world and anxiety seemingly at an all-time high I wanted to share something that brings me so much joy and (if you have the space and want to take up a new hobby) may help you handle this situation with grace as well.

So today’s agenda is to acknowledge that we as a worldwide society are dealing with something that is unexpected and a bit scary but also acknowledge that we don’t have to live in fear or anxiety because of it.

"“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33"

Have you ever planted something, gone on a nature walk, or finished an outdoor chore just to be surprised at how refreshed you feel?

I have, 100%. And as it turns out there’s actual science behind it all.

Health studies through the years have found many positive correlations between being out in nature and living a healthier life:

  • boosts your immune system
  • lowers blood pressure
  • reduces stress
  • improves your mood
  • helps you focus / literally clears your mind
  • increases energy levels
  • helps you sleep
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Gardening 1

During stressful situations (like what we’re dealing with right now) the WORST thing you can do is sit on your couch with one eye on Twitter and one eye on a news channel.

So, have you ever thought about taking up gardening?

All of those benefits of being outside listed above plus some are the exact same when you pick up a trowel and start growing a plant or two.

Last year we had a few plants in an existing raised bed – tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, etc. – but because of all the construction they didn’t do so hot. This year, we built up a proper raised bed garden and I’ve been planning out what I want to grow all winter long!

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Gardening 3

Not sure if gardening is for you? Or you don’t think you have the space for a garden? No worries. From one novice gardener to another, here’s a few tips on how to get started.

If You Want to Build a Small Raised Bed Garden

  • Look for easy assembled raised beds kits if you’re not confidant building things

We didn’t use this option but I did research it just to see if it was cheaper. As a whole it’s not too much more expensive than building it yourself, but we wanted ours a little more custom.

Check out this kit or this one

Or follow our model and buy 9 4x4x8 boards from Lowes or Home Depot, cut them to length and screw them together.

  • Fill it with Soil and Manure

While we had a preexisting raised bed it was mostly top soil and not the best for raising healthy plants. I removed most of the top soil and filled it with a mixture of our South Carolina red clay, manure, and bagged dirt for best growing conditions.

  • Choose Your Seeds or Plants

This year I’m growing Snow Peas, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Onions, Lettuce, Sunflowers, and a variety of herbs. All I’m growing from seeds except the tomato plants which I’ll buy in about 2 weeks.

I buy this brand and this brand of seeds!

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Gardening 8
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If You Want To Grow a Potted Veggie Plant

  • Pick Your Plant

I would personally suggest going with a cherry tomato plant or your favorite cooking herb. They’re so versatile, fairly hardy and like contained spaces like a pot.

  • Buy a Medium Sized Pot

This one would be good or this one!

  • Buy the Right Soil Composition

A simple Google search with your plant name will help you determine how much drainage and soil type is needed for a potted plant.

  • Plant at the Right Time

If you live up north and you just got snow on Saturday, it’s not the right time to plant. Here in South Carolina I’ve already put in some early spring veggies like snow peas and onions.

  • Don’t Forget to Keep it Watered & Properly Sunned

The simple act of pouring love and care into a plant that will yield fruit, veggies, or blooms is quite honestly one of the most therapeutic tasks in the world. It forces you to get outside, breathe fresh air, dig in the dirt and care about something other than the woes of the world around you.

But if you find no inspiration to roll up your sleeves and make a small patch of earth a little better, find an activity over the next couple of weeks that involves being outside, soaking up the sunshine, and distancing yourself from your phone for an hour or two.

It will do you a world of good!