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gardening in recoverySpending time in nature is great for our mental health. It gets us active, exploring, and sometimes out of our comfort zones. As we continue through recovery, finding activities that benefit and help us is crucial. One such activity to explore is gardening. Gardening has some fantastic benefits that help us continue to grow, face challenges, and work through difficulties. Here are some of the many benefits you will experience when you choose to garden as you continue your recovery process.

Practicing Acceptance

Learning to practice acceptance is essential as we continue through sobriety. You cannot always control every aspect of every situation, and learning to be okay with that is key to your happiness. You are not always going to get the results you want from situations or people. We all have a past, and not everyone will accept us for it.

As you plant the seeds in your garden, you will probably know what you want to grow, how large you want certain vegetables to get, or how big an area the flowers will span. Accepting your garden as it grows is a great exercise.

Moving Beyond Perfectionism

If you are prone to perfectionism, you are probably aware of how damaging those thoughts can be. Perfectionism can lead to being overly critical of yourself, missed opportunities, and increased stress. It can also create a hardship on relationships or lead to not trying new things for fear that you will not be good at it. For some of us, the fear of not being perfect can be an enormous stressor in our lives and easily cause a struggle during our recovery process.

Given the lack of control we have with our gardens, some people will find this the perfect antidote for perfectionism. There are so many different factors that will contribute to how your garden grows. You may do everything you are supposed to do, and something may still not grow, or it may develop differently than you had intended. You may have a picture-perfect image in your mind of how you want your garden to look, probably similar to something you saw in some Hollywood film. In reality, your garden may turn out completely different than intended but ultimately more incredible and beautiful than you had initially hoped.

Connecting with Others

You have heard many times before that connecting with others is vitally important as you journey through recovery. We need to feel that we have support, someone to talk to, and a sense of belonging. Many of us in recovery fear making new friends because we simply do not know how they will react upon finding out about our past. Will they accept us? Will they still like us? Will they understand how far we have come in our journey? Having something that can help us connect to others is a great way to step outside of our comfort zone and connect with new people.

Gardening is one of those activities that can connect people. It is a topic that is easy to talk about whether you talk about what you are growing this year, what you want to grow or tips and tricks on how to make something grow well. It is an easy topic that can bring together people who share an interest in the activity. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be scary and intimidating. Having an easy topic to start a conversation with can significantly reduce the stress or anxiety you might feel approaching a new group of people.

Developing a Growth Mindset

If you have never gardened before, that is perfectly okay. In reality, that is a great thing. Taking the time to learn something new, do something new, or expand our knowledge, is excellent. As we work through our recovery, we are continuously growing and expanding. We are learning things about ourselves daily, so much of which we lost or forgot when we were facing an active addiction.

Taking up a new activity such as gardening reminds us how capable we are of learning something new. We can learn this activity on our own, which is empowering, or we can work with family, friends, or new acquaintances, to learn how to garden. The benefit of an activity such as gardening is that you can do it however works for you. What works in your garden may not work in someone else’s garden. Becoming your own successful person is a fantastic experience as we work through our recovery process.

Learning new activities as you journey through recovery is an essential part of the growth process. Gardening is one activity that can be helpful and insightful for those journeying through sobriety. Gardening can teach us so much about ourselves if we are willing to take the time to be open to the process. Gardening can help us to connect to others, develop a growth mindset, and move beyond perfectionism. Even with activities such as gardening that help us cope with stressors, sometimes we still need a professional to help talk us through situations. We at The Guest House are here for you, regardless of what stage of the recovery process you are in. We understand that sometimes you may need extra support or help to decide which activities to pursue, paths to take, or choices to make. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you at (855) 483-7800.