What better way to dig back into life and activity than to put one’s hands in the soil and help nurture plants in the garden? Gardening is a powerful tool for wellbeing. It provides an opportunity to exercise, enjoy sunshine, release stress and take time for oneself.
Women at Brookhaven Retreat may decide to tend the garden as an independent or communal project. We have found that time spent outdoors speeds recovery from mental health and substance abuse issues. Gardening has been shown to reduce levels of depression and anxiety while promoting inner tranquility and positive thoughts.
Caring for plants helps women manage stress and anxiety and encourages mindfulness, a skill that helps women regulate emotions. Digging into the dirt is a joyful activity that uplifts spirits, boosts optimism and promotes feelings of appreciation and positivity.
Our garden is planted with a variety of vegetables, culinary herbs, berries and ornamental flowers. Women have the opportunity to provide input about the types of plants that go into the garden and, ultimately, the type of food that is prepared from the fruits of their labor. The garden enhances our menu with fresh, quality ingredients that are grown on site.
Women who tend the garden feel a positive emotional reward and better realize how capable they are. Tending our serene garden is an invaluable tool for promoting the mental wellness, self-esteem and inner peace necessary to move forward during treatment.