Retirement is something many look forward to, yet somehow it’s been found that 10% of retirees feel bored or even depressed after giving up work. However, a great solution to that is picking up a hobby that helps you engage with the outdoors and work on a fulfilling project that benefits both you and the environment; gardening. From having beautiful flowers to show guests, to home growing delicious food with fantastic health benefits, there’s no excuse to not grow a green thumb and get stuck in.
Good for the environment
Whilst everyone knows gardening is good for our planet, many don’t know why. Firstly, eating your own home-grown produce instead of shipping it halfway across the country reduces your carbon footprint by a huge amount. In addition to this, the more plants that grow, the more carbon dioxide that’s taken in and oxygen given out, helping prevent global warming. It’s not only humans that gardening helps, but also lets a vast array of wildlife thrive in your garden, as it becomes a safe haven of an ecosystem for them to live in.
Keeps your fit and active
Staying active and healthy while in retirement can sometimes sound daunting when, as the costs can seem to be too high when on a budget. However, a study concluded that gardening can definitely improve physical health, as the manual work keeps you moving about while utilizing core strength, balance and mobility. Also, subconsciously you reap the benefits as exposure to the sun gives you plenty of vitamin D and the reduction in stress that it creates improves the immune system’s health as it’s better suited to fighting off disease and viruses. There’s even a theory that it reduces the risk of developing dementia due to the stress reduction and overall health improvements, so why not get the gardening gloves on?
Maintains your mental health
As mentioned previously, gardening is a great way to relax and lower stress levels and improve any mood, the same way exercise would. Gardening in a group or with a community garden or allotment is a fantastic way to reduce loneliness. Many retirees say they struggle to find socialization opportunities, working on a group project to benefit the neighborhood is one of the greatest ways to meet and bond with new people. The satisfaction of growing and cultivating a new landscape while escaping from the trappings of modern life and going back to nature all provide fantastic mental health benefits that would contribute to creating an overall happier life.
Engaging with the great outdoors and working hard to grow your own plants gives so many benefits, not just for you mentally and physically, but also for the environment. It’s your way of doing your part to help the planet, while also aiding yourself, leading to a longer and more fulfilled life. Looking back on your garden and what you’ve grown yourself, then being able to show others is a fantastically rewarding thing to be able to do. Retirement doesn’t have to be dull, lonely or boring, it can be full of peace and fulfillment, so give gardening a go and see what it does for you.
Author: Jenny Holt
Jennifer Holt is a freelance writer and mother of two, who loves nothing more than to play, “where has the cat hidden itself now.”