Grow it Like You Mean It: A Gardener’s Take on Health and Wellness

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I love gardening. I love planning and ordering seeds. I love seeing how it changes every day – discovering each new sprout. I love finding unexpected things growing that I don’t remember planting.  I get huge satisfaction from harvesting and eating food that we’ve grown ourselves.

Once, when my husband and I were about to start our very first garden we had a friend studying landscape design give us some really great advice. He told us if we wanted to grow a really incredible garden that we should put it in a place that we walk through every day. Preferably a place where we would have to pass through to get to and from the house. In this way it would be almost impossible to neglect it. We would notice more of what was growing and would therefore fall in love with it more and want to spend more time working in it and enjoying it. It would be easier to pull a weed here or there on our regular walks through so it wouldn’t become this overwhelming weekend project that we dreaded rather than looked forward to.

Lately it has struck me what solid advice this is if we also take it in terms of our health and wellness. If we can find ways to “walk through it” every day it becomes something enjoyable that we look forward and that we take better care of in a more sustainable way. If we can make a plan and then celebrate each tiny new development – we wouldn’t expect a sunflower to just up and bloom overnight! – it becomes a source of joy rather than one of dread.

Here are some things from this health coach/gardener’s perspective to try:

  • Make a design –Make a plan of what you would like your life to look like a year from now. Write it down and read it every day.
  • Celebrate new growth – Don’t beat yourself up if your dream is to run a half marathon but you are tired after walking up your neighborhood hill. Have patience with yourself and celebrate the fact that you did just walk up that hill! And then do it again tomorrow.
  • Be open to the unexpected – Be open to trying new things (or old things that you haven’t done in awhile). Did you used to love riding bikes when you were a kid? It might still be fun! Have you always thought paddle boarding looked kind of cool? Find a friend and sign up for a class. You never know when a new passion might arise that you didn’t even know you had.
  • Take pride in the harvest – When you reach a goal celebrate it! Don’t compare yourself to others around you. Feel proud of what you’ve accomplished and use that feeling to help keep you moving forward.
  • Make it a place you walk through every day-Find ways to care for your health and wellness every day so you keep it in the forefront of your mind.  Put your yoga mat or running shoes in a place where you see them when you get out of bed.  Write a list of veggies that you love and post it on the fridge.

When you tend to your health and wellness every day watch how it becomes something that you look forward to rather than something you feel like you “should do”. Have a vision, be patient with yourself, start small and celebrate your successes.  You are a thing of beauty.  You are a miracle.

Be happy. Be healthy. Be well.

 

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