Summer Self-Care You Can Harvest

Our world is fast-paced, so finding moments of tranquility and opportunities to connect with nature can be challenging. Gardening is a small activity that offers big returns to your overall well-being.  Beyond the pleasures of nurturing plants and watching them grow, gardening provides numerous physical, mental, and emotional advantages. Here are 7 reasons you should pick up a shovel and start cultivating your own garden.


Gardening involves various physical movements such as digging, planting, weeding, and watering, which provides a moderate-intensity workout. These activities help strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and promote cardiovascular health.

Experience fresh air and sunlight.

Spending time outdoors exposes gardeners to fresh air and sunlight, which are essential for the production of vitamin D. Vitamin D supports bone health, boosts immunity, and regulates mood. Enjoy your own little forest bathing experience.

Eat nutrient-rich produce.

Growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs allows gardeners to enjoy and take pride in their bounty of fresh, nutrient-rich produce. Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Person stretching to stay active

Reduce your stress. 

Digging in the soil or tending to plants has been shown to reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. The repetitive and soothing nature of gardening promotes relaxation and mindfulness. Connecting with the Earth is grounding. Many find the garden to be a great place to meditate and center the mind.

Enhance your mood.  

The act of gardening triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.  Experiencing higher endorphin levels can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Additionally, the sight and smell of flowers and herbs can uplift your mood, create a sense of happiness, and provide an opportunity to experience a flow state.

Connect with nature.  

Gardening can create a deeper connection with the natural world, allowing you to appreciate the beauty and wonder of our environment. Gardening can provide an opportunity to be present in the moment.

Become an environmental steward.  

Cultivating a garden can connect individuals to environmental conservation efforts by promoting biodiversity, supporting local ecosystems, and reducing their carbon footprint. This sense of environmental stewardship fosters a deeper connection with the planet and encourages other sustainable behaviors.

Whether you have a sprawling backyard or a small balcony, cultivating a garden can profoundly benefit your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Gardening is more than just a hobby – it’s a holistic approach to health and wellness. Give it a try! Your mind, body, and soul will thank you for it.

Historic Site Restoration
Written by Jody Goldfarb

Written by Jody Goldfarb

Wellness Consultant and OPL Content Contributor

I’m so excited to support One Planet Life’s mission to encourage individuals and communities to live more sustainably and to be active participants in the climate solution. Much like our own personal health & wellness journeys, growth happens when we turn small steps into big impact.”