Lawn Care and Gardening Tips for Improved Mental Health*

*This is a collaborative post*

Why caring for your lawn and garden is great for mental health

It is common to hear the advice of doing more exercise to improve mental health, but perhaps lawn care and gardening isn't the first thing that springs to mind! Whether you want to add a steady routine to your life, you want to be more active, or you need a hobby to invigorate yourself and focus on, gardening can truly add a healthy and productive aspect to your life. Having these coping mechanisms and things to go to, to make you feel a little better, can really help in those more difficult days. Gardening is much more accessible that getting yourself to a gym and it doesn't mean having to take long journeys to visit the countryside to get that fix of nature. You can get your own fresh air moments by simply spending more time in the garden, your local allotments or parks. 
Take a breath of fresh air
Caring for your lawn and garden gives you time to clear your head and gives you a change of scenery if you've been stuck inside. Having time outdoors and in nature has been linked with improving well-being and mood. But if you find it difficult to make time to go out into forests or go on a hike, you can go into your garden instead to get fresh air. If you find yourself getting stuck in a rut, you can take this simple step towards improving your mood. 
Setting achievable goals
Gardening is great to create a little control in your life through setting attainable goals. You can make a list of things you would like to do or achieve in the garden such as trimming the edges, raking all the leaves up, getting the weeding done or making a planting calendar to see you through the year. If you've never tried lawn care or gardening before, there are lots of beginners guides available to get you started.
Planting something in your garden and nurturing it also gives you hope for tomorrow and for the coming months. You can visibly see the growth and development of your hard work and have something to show you that no matter what the weather, there is beauty growing everywhere.  
Somewhere beautiful to relax
Once you've spent some time in the garden you will soon start to see the benefits of your work! This will give you a space outside to relax in that is visually appealing. Spending time around beautiful scenery improves mood and makes you appreciate small things around you.
Another great way to improve your garden, so that you can truly relax, is to put treats out for nature, such as a bird feeder. Your garden will soon be full of your local wildlife for you to watch and enjoy. 

Physical and mental benefits

Gardening is far more physical than people give it credit for! An hour of weeding, for example, can burn 238 calories. Getting your heart rate up and moving your limbs releases endorphins and can even change the way the pathways work in the brain. Engaging in this low-intensity, easy access exercise is a great way to help mental health without requiring expensive gym memberships or any major equipment. 

*Contributed by a third party

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