Let’s be real, we’re into the cusp of the new year and it’s already trying. It seems as if lately we just can’t have one normal year. Hobbies we once found peculiar in quarantine are now obsolete for some. Yoga, stitching, picking up a new language are all remnants of the past. And alas what new hobby or companion can fill that void of boredom? In this compromised time, and with many people spending time at home, (albeit some) mental health has certainly been compromised for most of us. During this global pandemic, we must make the effort towards self-care
I first got into the houseplant frenzy in the middle of quarantine. I was particularly interested in keeping something alive with me as I grew and matured, hoping that it would act as a keepsake or testament to my growth. While my mental health wasn’t compromised as badly, I still felt like I had no control over my monotonous life. Going to online classes, and then spending the whole day at home working on homework or eating was becoming redundant. And so, I bought houseplants. I may have bought three at first? A Chinese Money Plant, Jade Plant, and a Golden Leaf Pothos. (thanks Etsy)
Cut to the months following after I bought the plants, I felt lighter. It’s hard to describe but there was some semblance of normalcy in my life more so than ever. That touch of green sprouted some kind of innate happiness in me. As time progressed the plant would flourish and new leaves would sprout and give off that beautiful sheen. Not scientifically corroborated, but still. I would have something to look forward to everyday in a seemingly redundant lifestyle. I made sure to water my plants, move them in / away from sunlight if needed, and wiped the leaves. If I missed a day, my plants would droop, and I made sure to rejuvenate them with the Plantaya and with some much-needed love. It was an ever-growing, living companion that added some magic.
Now let’s dive into some facts and why I recommend you should surround yourself with plants.
Countless research studies related to plants have shown an increase in both creativity and productivity within subjects at school and the workplace. The connection shared between nature and the overall well-being of a person promotes many benefits. (reduces stress levels, thinking clearly, and a spark for creativity)
In a 2007 study, researchers found a bacterium in plant soil called Mycobacterium vaccae that triggers the release of serotonin. (the happiness hormone) We encourage daily interaction with indoor and outdoor plants to raise moods and reduce anxiety. It’s good to feel grounded and connected.
While Plants promote mental health, they also have a myriad of other uses. And other than being eye candy, plants can actually improve air quality. Plants can add humidity to the air, which assists the air during the dry, winter months. Plants also have a hard time in those seasons with the lack of humidity, which the Plantaya is useful for.
Our rooted connection to nature is unique. For me, I like to imagine running my hands through the damp soil in a foggy forest, taking in the beautiful smells and serene atmosphere, but I can’t do that everyday so taking care of houseplants is my substitution. I encourage you to find your connection with nature. Whether that be pruning or touching the foliage, or exploring the vast open of what nature has to offer, it’s awesome to be within nature. (it also helps clear your mind)
Nature is all around us. We breathe it, see it, live with it. Our connection with nature is deep and personal to each person. And in this tiring period, it's imperative that we find our own groove. Our own jam if I may say. Go to your local nursery, pick up a plant and leave it in your house, workspace, or desk. Explore the possibilities. Develop a relationship with your plant. Name it. I like to name my plants’ absurd names. That’s the beauty of nature. It never judges you. It’s a canvas for you to lean on and weave your story of. And if you have the time, I implore you to explore the forests and trails outside. Absorb the sunlight, smell the fresh eucalyptus, run your hands through some soil. Trust me, you’ll like it.