Five reasons gardening can get your through addiction recovery

Addiction is affecting more and more people these days, and in all manner of forms. The likes of drug, gambling and alcohol addiction are all affecting thousands upon thousands, with seeking help being the only real way out.

At the various alcohol and drug rehab centres up and down the country, a host of coping mechanisms are taught to people, often suiting their hobbies and interests and gardening is something that comes up time and time again.

But why is gardening so beneficial for people going through alcohol recovery? We explore the reasons…

Physical Activity and Health Benefits

Firstly, there’s no secret that gardening can be great for your physical health. It works a wide range of muscles and promotes cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles and enhances flexibility.

As a result, this can reduce stress, improve mood and help combat the lethargy that is often associated with withdrawal.

The health benefits continue with being out in the open, with boosted levels of vitamin D, which again contributes to overall wellbeing.

Therapeutic and Stress-Relief Properties

As well as physical health, gardening is also great for mental wellbeing too. Engaging with plants can have a real calming effect on people, helping reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, while also being meditative.

That’s largely due to the repetitive nature of gardening, which lulls people into a meditative state, in which mindfulness comes to the fore.

Building Routine and Structure

Recovery from addiction requires a lot of routine and structure, from wake up calls and meal times to the activities you undertake.

The cyclical nature of plant care provides you with that structure, helping people develop discipline and accountability, two crucial elements in maintaining sobriety.

It can help fill the void of what you’ve left behind, and be an important part of the framework for your life moving forward.

Connection to Nature and Grounding

One of the profound benefits of gardening is the reconnection it offers with nature. The act of tending to plants and watching them grow fosters a deep sense of connection to the earth. This grounding effect is particularly beneficial in addiction recovery, where individuals often feel disconnected from themselves and their surroundings. Working with plants can help rebuild this lost connection, providing a sense of belonging and stability. The sensory experiences involved – the smell of the soil, the texture of leaves, the sight of blooming flowers – engage the senses in a healing manner, reinforcing the recovery process.

Boosting Self-Esteem and Accomplishment

Finally, addiction can really erode self-esteem and confidence, but gardening can help bring that back.

Watching a garden flourish can really improve self-worth and seeing flowers bud can be fantastic for boosting pride and delivering a sense of achievement.

It’s the nurturing nature of growing a garden that can help combat feelings of inadequacy and help you believe in yourself as you work your way through recovery.