Good Vibes in Pandemic Times: Houseplants and Your Family’s Mental Health

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indoor plants

It’s easy to get distracted by all the things that the news is trumpeting today. That America has lost its slowly losing its clout as a world leader is getting every politician on their toes, up and about. That may be true. But the things happening outside won’t hold much weight unless it affects your family. The problem is there’s a good chance all the negative talk that’s circling around since the virus hit the town can trickle down to the members of your inner circle in the form of anxiety and depression.

And truth be told, the pandemic is a perfect storm. Imagine a situation where food and work are scarce. Plus, you can’t just go out with your friends and hang out. Put in the mix a deadly virus. Small wonder, suicide risks and suicide rates are increasing during the pandemic.

Luckily, there are ways you can tone down the negative effects of the virus on mental health. The best part is it’s really not hard to do. To boot, we’re talking about introducing houseplants in your personal space. Not only do you boost the aesthetics of your precious abode, but you also ensure you get as many good vibes as possible.

Mental Health Booster

It’s easy to focus on the usual DIY and repairs while you’re holed up at home. Indeed, improvement is the biggest room in the house, they say. But you could be forgetting one important factor in making your precious abode as livable as can be.

A study done by the School of Agricultural Engineering of the University of Seville in Spain explored how plants at home can have an impact on the emotional welfare of people during the pandemic.

What they did was go through 4,205 people of different origins, from over 40 countries. The results show that an overwhelming majority, about 3 in every 4, felt that plants had a positive impact on them during the pandemic. And that they wished there were more plants at home.

Additionally, more than half of the participants increased their interest in maintaining houseplants. They spent more time with them during the pandemic. Such growing interest has made these people express their desire to spend more time with plants even after the crisis.

Although the survey was based on self-reporting, dubbed by pundits as highly unreliable, the large size of the samples should make up for such a downside. Even better, there are other studies that detail spending time with plants during the pandemic is beneficial to one’s mental health.

indoor plant

Plants to the Rescue

Of course, spending time with plants brings about a different focus for you, far from all the negative aspects of the current situation. Take note that caring for plants takes time and attention.

Not only do you have to ensure a plant is getting its needed nutrients such as water and sunlight, but also you have to protect it from pests. One of the most destructive, for instance, is aphids. For one, these sinister tiny pests weaken plants by removing their saps. Needless to says, a heavy infestation can lead to plant death. In which case, direct intervention such as using a proven-and-tested aphid control spray should be taken. The sooner you can take care of the problem, the better.

You might find it surprising but interacting on a regular basis with plants has proven to be an effective method to reduce not only physical stress but emotional stress as well. This is done via the reduction of the sympathetic tone and the lowering of the person’s blood pressure.

Moreover, experts point out that the health benefits we get from nature can be traced to our psychological adaptations from man’s evolution itself. We have had positive memories linked to urban green spaces. Thus, when you have an indoor plant you are gloriously reminded of those positive memories. All in all, it brings about emotional as well as physical release.

Caring Beyond Ourselves

Then, the act itself is a selfless act. You are caring for something other than yourself. The same effect can be achieved through caring for pets. By doing so, you get a sense of connectedness that in turn can alleviate your negative feelings such as loneliness and anxiety.

It’s like doing yoga and deep-breathing. Nurturing plants by watering them and making sure they’re free from pests serves as a mindfulness exercise. Such self-less caring can give you a sense of purpose. That gives us certain satisfaction that we’re making a difference and is contributing something positive to the world.

Doing so calms people. It can calm you. Best of all, it can calm your family.

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