Feed The Soul: In Chaotic Times, Gardening Becomes Therapy
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Feed The Soul: In Chaotic Times, Gardening Becomes Therapy
Dig. Plant. Breathe.

As spring’s arrival in the Northern Hemisphere coincides with government stay-at-home orders, the itch to get outside has turned backyard gardens into a getaway for the mind in chaotic times.

Gardeners who already know that working with soil is a way to connect with nature say it helps take away their worries, at least temporarily.

“I love to see things grow,” Lindsay Waldrop said. “It’s incredibly therapeutic.”

Now more than ever.

Waldrop, a resident of Anaheim, California, has an anxiety disorder. Exercise is supposed to help, but her new job as a college biology professor had prevented her from getting into a routine.

Her grandfather, who introduced her to gardening by showing her how to plant seeds, died about a year ago.

Add the global coronavirus pandemic to all that, and it’s easy to see where her focus is these days.

“Sometimes I just like to sit and dig holes in the quiet with my own thoughts,” she said. “Outside, it takes my mind off. It gives something for my hands to do. It gives you a separate problem to think about than whatever else is going on. It gets you off of social media.”

Waldrop and her husband moved last summer from New Mexico, where she didn’t have much luck gardening in a scorching climate. At her new home, she got rid of the lawn, installed an irrigation system, and recently planted dozens of tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and other vegetables.

Over the years, Waldrop converted her skeptical husband, who initially wondered why digging in the dirt and moving things around was considered fun.

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April 04, 2020