This week the 4th Children’s Mental Health Week launches; it was first launched in 2015 to highlight the importance of children and young people’s mental health.
At this time of year with so many colds and coughs making an appearance we tend to focus on the physical rather than the mental health of our kids. Whilst we spoon supplements into our kid’s mouths in the hope that some echinacea will ward off the next bug to circulate the classroom, we tend to forget that their mental health is affected too. As a rule, families spend more time indoors at this time of year, much more screen time is common and much less fresh air is taken in.
And whilst a good dose of vitamin D is great at keeping us healthy, with lower production in less sunlight, our bodies, and especially little bodies, need more. Of course, we can all head outside in -4 wrapped from head to toe in last year’s ski gear, prepare the ground to plant things in spring, tidy up the garden and come in with rosy cheeks and a sense of achievement, but caring for plants, gardening and preparation can be so much more.
How Gardening can Help with Mental Health
It has long been proven that caring for plants can be therapeutic and good for our mental health, there are charities up and down the country that promote wellness from getting out, weeding, planting and maintaining an outside space. But in equal measure, at this time of year, where perhaps our mental health takes a dip, caring for a plant can give a sense of purpose and achievement and children can benefit from this too. There are so many indoor plants that are easy to care for and planting primroses in a pot outside will look gorgeous when light and colour is frankly lacking.
Examinations are looming, teens are revising (or we hope they are!) isolated in their rooms and just perhaps a small plant on their desk could give them a sense of achievement. To look upon, water occasionally and watch grow as they do. Some plants are great at purifying air (and god knows some teens need that in their bedrooms!) but not only that, some can regulate moisture. A much better environment certainly helps! Peace Lily, Spider Plant and succulents such as Aloe Vera are all useful at aiding the reduction of stress and anxiety.
Get the Kids involved. Gardening is Fun for Everyone!
Younger children LOVE getting their hands dirty and getting stuck into seeing seeds grow. Perhaps now is the time to plan what your children want to eat. If children grow vegetables, they are much more open to trying them. Lettuce seed is a great example of something very easy to grow!
There are also complementary planting ideas to promote general wellbeing. Lavender promotes restful sleep, lower stress and anxiety levels and is so pretty when it flowers. Another easy one for young children, this can be planted in a pot and when it flowers it opens up itself to bees, butterflies and other pollinators which they have fun watching…..after all, they grew it! What an achievement!
We have lots of different products, plants and advice available, come in and ask on of our team!