Plant Care is Self Care

Plant Care is Self Care

I am a compulsively busy person. There is a long list of obligations and, like many of us, where there is a gap, a spare moment to give, I always seem to find a way to fill the space.

Taking the time to decompress and recharge sometimes slides low on the list. My extensive collection of indoor plants also pull for a piece of my time. My blessing is that, for me, caring for my indoor jungle really is a way to take time to care for myself.

In cultivating greenspaces in our lives we reap an abundance of rewards. Recently a plant friend walked into the shop and I greeted her, asking how she was. She looked around, taking in the jungle vibes, and replied “I was having a bad day, but just being here feels better.”

This is the same feeling I get just sitting in my living room, surrounded by over 100 indoor plants. It brings me a sense of calm and relaxation. I know it’s not just me, a robust body of science shows that being surrounded by plants can do things like increasing our creativity, boost our moods, reduce background noise, and have a calming, healing, and immunity-boosting effect.

And then, there is the actual physical act of caring for our plants. For me, plant care is a meditative process. The background noise falls away as I lose myself in my plant care rituals. I can’t seem to have a plant near me without running my fingers through the leaves and feeling the moisture in the soil. It’s where my personal connection to the Earth begins.

I know that sometimes our plants bring us stress when we can’t seem to make them happy. But even in my many plant care failures, I have come to see it as a gift. A point of growth for me. A lesson in patience and in humility. I learn how to listen more closely to what this plant might need, to watch more carefully for those early signs of trouble. We learn as much… we learn more… from these struggles.

How very lucky for me that plant care really is self-care.

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