Organic Gardening

A Gardener’s Cure for the Winter Blahs

Woodpecker

The holidays are over, the days are short, its cold and damp. It is easy to fall into the winter blahs, huddled inside, bored, and praying for sunshine!  I am always happier being out in my garden even in the middle of winter.  Now research has proven that there are some very good reasons why.

Many years ago my psychotherapist (I used to be crazy) told me that a 30 minute walk outside in bright daylight was as good as a dose of Prozac or (name your anti-depressant drug here.)

Our local Dr. Elizabeth Vaughan writes in her Blog that “reduced exposure to sunlight means most people are not making enough vitamin D” … Doctors have proven that vitamin D reduces depression, improves cognitive abilities and much more.  Read the whole article: Dr. V’s Blog

More fascinating research comes from Tony Avent’s August 2012 newsletter: “New studies from Sage College of New York confirm a 2007 study from Bristol University and University College London that dirt is indeed a great anti-depressant. Many of us have known this for years, but we just didn’t know why…guess that’s why I don’t make the big bucks. As it turns out, a soil-borne bacteria, Mycobacterium vaccae, acts as an anti-depressant by causing brain cells to produce high levels of the happy hormone, serotonin. Serotonin occurs naturally in the body from the gut to the brain, and plays a particularly important role in mood. Low serotonin levels have been linked to anxiety, depression, aggression, OCD, bipolar disorder, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome…who knew? Mycobacterium vaccae has already been used medically in cancer patients to increase their quality of life.”  (You will love ony’s Facebook page: Tony’s Plant Delights Nursery FB)

There is yet another school of thought about the benefits of “Earthing”.  Just as the sun gives us warmth and vitamin D, the Earth underfoot gives us an eternal, natural, and gentle energy. The natural flow of electrons from the earth has healing and energizing properties. There is a movement aground, so to speak, you just have to get out of your boots and gloves to make the physical connection.  www.Earthing.com

So the next time you are sitting around being unhappy, grab your jacket, sans gloves, and head outside to the garden to get dirty!

Here is another sure-fire “Get Happy” event.  Saturday, February 23rd is the Guilford Horticultural Society’s Annual Symposium!  Invitations just arrived in the mail and you must register early to attend.  It had been a 300-seat sell-out for years!  It is a day filled with outstanding speakers, unique plants for sale and wonderful door prizes. You do not have to be a member to attend.  I will be there as your emcee.  It is still bargain-priced at only $45 for the whole day including lunch.  For information on how to register, call Sue Hughes at 336-292-0227 or go to the website at Guilford Horticultural Society.

Happy Gardening!
Ellen

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