Grow something green

gardening toolsDigging dirt and planting seeds. Pouring in water and pulling weeds. Watching seedlings unfurl and grow, flower and bear fruit—whether you live in the city, the suburbs, or the countryside, chances are there’s a place to grow something, be it in a yard or a raised bed, on a porch or a roof, or in all manner of containers, indoors or out.

watering potThose who enjoy gardening often describe the practice as deeply satisfying and almost mesmerizing. Not only do the hands-on activities of turning over dirt and tending green things offer benefits in themselves, but when those efforts yield beautiful blooms for the eye or naturally grown herbs or vegetables or fruits for nourishing the body, gardening inherently generates a self-sustaining sense of accomplishment.

For those going through psychiatric drug withdrawal, gardening has been reported to bplanting seedse a good distraction, one that can be adapted according to motivation or energy levels. For example, if you’re not able to leave your home—or if your living situation doesn’t offer outdoor space for gardening—it may be possible to simply order a few seeds and plant flowers or perennial herbs in pots or window boxes. Those who do have the opportunity and inclination to garden outside say it can become a ritual practice that lends a comforting sense of feeling grounded (literally).

And for those who feel they might benefit from being part of a communal effort, community gardens provide a chance to either putter alongside other people quietly or, if you feel like connecting, to chat with fellow gardeners about your common endeavors—not to mention the possibility of sharing or trading your hand-grown bounty.

Where can I find more information?

  • From beginners’ tips to discussions among seasoned pros, resources on gardening abound in books, online, and at local gardening centers. If you’re interested in finding or starting a community garden space, one source to check out is The American Community Garden Association.
flower pot