Taking Care of Plants Helps Me Manage Stress and Anxiety

Columnist Alliah Czarielle recently realized the benefits of having a green thumb

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by Alliah Czarielle |

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I recently bought an unexpectedly large number of indoor plants. After previously having just one living room plant and a dying cactus, I suddenly had an epiphany about redecorating with multiple houseplants. I managed to create a relaxing sanctuary, and now every day feels like a tiny vacation!

Since my husband, Jared, and I both work from home, we felt that home improvements were essential to our well-being.

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I’ve never had so many plants before. When I was in college, I tried growing six plants, but they all died one summer. Perhaps my low attention span (thanks, ADHD!) was to blame.

We’re all thriving

Today, somehow my plants are thriving. Despite my busy schedule as a mom, freelancer, and wife to a person with chronic illnesses, I manage to tend to them and remember their specific care requirements.

Could this be a sign that I’m growing and thriving, too? That I’m now able to make space for multiple living things in my life and give them equal love and attention? I hope so.

With all of my roles, life can become overwhelming. A single routine-changing event, such as when Jared suffers from a debilitating bleed, can instantly “flip the switch” in our household. Our mood can suddenly shift from jolly to lazy, and before I know it, I’m sucked into a spiral of stress, anxiety, and depression.

When I was younger and had fewer responsibilities, it was easier for me to just go with the flow. Now that I have a husband and daughter, this is no longer the case. I need the comfort of routine and stability.

I find that tending to my plants helps to ground me. It gives me something to look forward to each day. Watering them, fertilizing them, and moving them to the sunlight or shade is a routine that gives me a sense of control.

As a bonus, Jared, who has his own herb garden, and I get to bond over our plants. Having them brings us closer to nature and boosts our mental health.

Here in the Philippines, we have a term of endearment for people who like tending to plants — “plantito/a” — which also refers to people who are easygoing and pleasant to be around. No surprise there, considering the mental health benefits of gardening.

Of course, nothing takes the place of professional help in the most clinically severe cases. But for a daily mood boost, I’d say having a plant or two is worth considering.

Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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