Cultivating Your Happiness: The Importance of Gardening in Retirement
The great philosopher Voltaire said that “one must cultivate one’s own garden.” Tending to a garden is something that, metaphorical or not, is pivotal for giving ourselves a sense of clarity in an ever-changing world. In the run-up to retirement, you’ve got to make a lot of considerations; not just about which cruise you will try out or whether you are going to downsize your property, but you’ve got to think about the new hobbies in your life that will ensure that you are feeling like retirement is a worthwhile option.
With so many people deciding to come out of retirement after a year and go back to work, it’s those people who have not put the stops in place to ensure that they have an enjoyable and relaxing retirement. Gardening is such a simple thing that is perhaps cliched in its association with old age or retirement, but it’s so important. Let’s show you exactly why, but also how you can cultivate your own garden.
It Is a passion project
A garden is not just about choosing the right types of flowers or tending to the grass in certain seasons, but it can be a project that you can build up and up, all without an end in sight. You can use your garden for anything you want. It can be a relaxation station complete with a shed, it can be a place for you to be alone with your thoughts while you tend to the plants, but it can also be something where you can finally bring people over and have barbecues and events where you can talk about old times and finally make the most of your homestead.
The latter is incredibly important because there are a number of moving parts involved. You can plan the layout, but you also have to ensure that you can bring it to life in the right way. For something like a barbecue station, you need something like decking and companies like BSW Timber provides decking options, but you also need to think about what it really takes to make everybody feel at home. A project like this has no end, and therefore it can finally be something for you to focus on. Perhaps years went by, so you had no time to do anything- using retirement means having those projects to keep you occupied, healthy, and happy.
The health reasons to have a garden
A lot of people were venturing out into the garden during the pandemic because it wasn’t just a project to keep them occupied, but it was something that was soothing the soul. People who garden are experiencing a number of physical and mental benefits.
Gardening keeps you active, and when you are physically active because you need to weed the garden or get involved with the lifting, these are all fantastic things that will keep you thriving later in life. However, you need to be aware that you will have limits. Gardening out in hot weather can easily dehydrate you, so you need to look after yourself in the right ways.
Additionally, gardening can improve your social life. You could tend to an allotment, but even spending time with other gardeners means you’re part of a community where you can make new friends, as well as gain insights to cultivate your ideal space.
Whatsmore, it’s going to sharpen your mind, which is so important if you have concerns about age-related cognitive decline, such as Alzheimer’s.
The importance of reducing stress in your life
Those that are heading into retirement can find themselves on a precipice, especially right now. Many people are concerned about the cost of everything going up. Therefore, everybody needs an opportunity to retreat from what the modern world is throwing at us, so having the opportunities to become more mindful and reduce stress cannot be underestimated.
Gardening is the perfect opportunity for you to cultivate a more mindful mindset. When you garden, you’re focusing on the task at hand, and the act of gardening is not something that forces you to hurry up or multitask. When you garden, you settle into a more relaxing pattern of work.
When you start to realise that gardening is something you can lose yourself in, this is where makes a big difference. Gardening became a pastime for so many people during the pandemic, even people who were in their twenties. As we hit retirement age, choosing the right hobbies will ensure we settle into retirement. But we also need to remember that when the troubles of the world heap upon us, we’ve got to find ways to beat them goodbye.
Stress is not helpful at any stage of your life, not least in retirement. Therefore, you should focus on practices that you can lose yourself in. Even the soil involved in gardening can literally calm you down; according to the University of Colorado, there is a strain of bacteria in the soil which triggers serotonin (the happy hormone) release.
How it helps self-esteem
People who are going into retirement have had a lifetime to learn how to be happy with themselves. Unfortunately, there are so many pressures we can lose our sense of self-esteem, and this is where gardening can be very useful. When you feel better about yourself, you are going to have a greater sense of self-esteem. This is something that we should focus on more as we get older.
We don’t want to be wasting precious thoughts on things that are not helping us. We can feel like our grandchildren are not in contact with us as much as we want, there’s the other set of grandparents to contend with, or you are concerned with the financial preparations that encompass retirement. But when you go out into the garden and you begin to feel the soil between your fingers and focus on the task at hand, you’ll lose yourself in it and everything melts away. Gardening is a fantastic activity where there is no end in sight. We all have our garden to tend to, so perhaps it’s your time?