Allotmenting can provide many benefits for your happiness and wellbeing, allowing you to get out in the sunlight, enjoy some exercise, make friends and enjoy the sense of achievement that comes with growing your own food. Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most important ways that allotmenting can help you unwind.
There is little better, after a stressful day, than getting out and having a good natter with some close friends. As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved, and there is actually a lot of evidence supporting this! Having a shared love for gardening means that you will have an easy topic of conversation with fellow allotment lovers, and your hobby might mean that you end up making friends with people who you wouldn’t have otherwise. Getting stuck into a good chat really is a great stress reliever and allotmenting is a great way to share advice, stories and even food with your fellow gardeners, all of which can help you build great friendships and unwind.
GETTING SOME EXERCISE
The National Allotment Society report that just 30 minutes of allotment gardening can burn 150 calories, which is the same as you’d get from light aerobics. If you’re out on the plot regularly, this could have tangible effects on your fitness, meaning you’ll feel better in yourself, as well as benefitting from the feel-good endorphins released from any form of exercise. These neurotransmitters are known to reduce your stress levels, and even have effects on your immune system. Getting stuck in to some hard work at the allotment will allow you to forget the stresses and strains of the day, whilst the benefits in how you feel mean that it’s certainly a worthwhile way to spend your time.
A SENSE OF ACHIEVEMENT
The sense of achievement that you get through allotmenting really is amazing, and one of the main reasons that the hobby is so good for helping you unwind. If you’re a seasoned allotmenter, you’ll know the thrill that comes with sticking your fork in the ground and unearthing a bumper harvest, growing bright, ripe veg or discovering hauls of runner beans which just keep growing however much you pick them! Even seeing shoots sprout through the ground for the first time or keeping the allotment clear and pest-free can make you feel good, and there are few better feelings of fulfilment than presenting your family with home-grown food, especially when you know the money you could be saving!
We all know how great it feels to be out of the hustle and bustle and on the allotment, but there’s growing evidence that it’s the natural setting around you which could make the difference. Although there’s certainly more research to be done, theorists have suggested the concept of ‘therapeutic landscapes’, the idea that that being in physically green, natural environments can be good for your health. This could be one of the reasons that allotmenting is so great for unwinding, and why we can feel so much better after a little time on the allotment. Being out in the summer months will also give you a good source of Vitamin D, which has a number of benefits.
Sometimes, with the use of laptops, tablets and phones, it can be very hard to forget about your work, and you can find yourself answering emails, checking your calendar and working all through the evening. One of the real benefits of allotmenting is it gets you away from all that, and into a world of tranquillity, peace and nature. Whilst you’re on the plot, the last thing on your mind will be the jobs you’ve got to do tomorrow, the stresses and strains of work, or the email you haven’t replied to yet – surely you deserve the escape for a couple of hours a day.
SPENDING TIME WITH ANIMALS
Seeing animals in their own little world can be a very relaxing experience and their therapeutic benefits are well known. Some workplaces have even introduced pets for their stress-relieving qualities in recent years! Many people choose to keep rabbits on their allotments to help them unwind, and the sound of bees buzzing or chickens clucking can be equally relaxing after a hard day. Check with your local council rules and your allotment’s landlord before introducing pets. If you are allowed to keep pets, they can make the allotmenting experience even more rewarding and stress-relieving.
People own allotments for all sorts of reasons, but there will be few who disagree that they are a great way to let off some steam, get back to nature and feel great. Whether it’s through the exercise, sunlight, social benefits, achievement or just the escapism, the abilities of allotmenting to help you unwind are remarkable. So, next time you’re feeling stressed or unhappy, consider spending a little time on the plot, you could really feel the difference!
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