I recently visited Peru, and as fun as it was, it also came with its own challenges and pretty high stressors.
You are probably wondering why one would have stress in PERU? It’s simple... I have many family members in Peru and spent quite some time reconnecting with my culture. I'm a heartfelt feminist, and Peruvian culture is still a little behind the curveball regarding the evolution of women in leadership. Naturally, I got into many heated discussions with uncles, aunts, and cousins about my life. I was honestly speaking for all women when I say I refuse to be belittled and conformed into something I’ve fought so hard to overcome.
Needless to say, that wasn’t all… my businesses at the moment wherein a fire drill, my pet got sick, and my relationship was a bit bumpy.
I decided I needed to get out of my chair, talk less, and reconnect with nature without all the stressors.
Here is why gardening reduces stress levels:
Mindfulness: You get to exist and concentrate on breathing. Ever heard the term “smell the roses”? Well, this is definitely where it comes from. Living in the moment and smelling nature.
Physical activity: According to Harvard University, mowing, digging, and planting for two to three hours can help burn off up to one pound a week.
Creativity: If you aren’t naturally a creative person doing things with your hands reduces your cortisol levels that are often elevated by stressors. Studies show that a positive mood was fully restored after gardening if you find yourself in a bad mood.
Vitamin D: Some sun can do wonders for your immune system; many doctors prescribe the sun to elevate your levels and deficiency.
Now you know why it’s good for you, but let me tell you how it can change your relationships…
I had enough stress on a Thursday afternoon, so I put on my sneakers, sweatpants, and a tank top. I asked my aunt if I can re-do her garden; since I was visiting, she didn’t say no. a Side note, my grandfather also lived in this house, and since he passed away, no one has really been taking care of the garden.
As she gave me the tools, I took out my speaker played some music and went to work honey!!!!
30 minutes later, my aunt started helping me pull weeds from the ground, then another aunt came and started cleaning the pots, then my cousin joined us and started helping me pull some plants and dig new holes.
After an hour in silence, we started talking about life, my grandfather, family jokes, and what my aunt would call “dumb women duties,” it truthfully became a memorable moment where we just laughed for hours while gardening.
So if you are looking to reconnect with family or build new solid friendships, give gardening a try! I promise you with a little bit of music and sunlight; you will be laughing and enjoying memorable moments.
Here are the essential tools I used for this project:
I have a toolset back home, and it is incredible for small projects; you can check it out here.
I hope you enjoy gardening as much as I do. Remember, when we spent time outside in our gardens, we regulate our emotions that would otherwise be cooped up indoors. Let me know if you try out gardening. I would love to hear about your journeys!
Ps... Here is a book that saved me when I first started gardening!
Jenny Ramirez - a business leader, mental health advocate, women empowerment activist, and writer on women issues across the globe. She is an adventurous soul who enjoys exploring different cultures and connecting with women from different walks of life during her free time.