If April showers bring May flowers then it's safe to say that May is filled with a potential boost to your mental health. If you're anything like me, something as simple as leaves coming back on the trees and dandelions in my yard gives me a much needed boost, not to mention I just started little baby seeds in my bathtub. (Its sunny and the only place I had room.) I'm ready to get dirty!
I'm a self-professed tree addict. Every year I swear I'm not planting any new trees and every year I find myself planting again with big dreams of a Christmas tree farm. Sometimes the trees make it and sometimes they don't but the process and the feeling I get from digging in the dirt when I plant them, as well as when I get to put in my little garden, makes me feel darn skippy. And yes, I actually do skip! I get all fired up digging and getting dirty, imagining what the tree will look like long after I'm gone or how many flowers or squash I'll have later in the summer. Planting my new trees, dropping seeds or baby plants in my garden and even just walking in the grass barefoot will fire me up and totally zen me out at the same time. Here's the cool part, there is actual science to back up why this feels so good so if you've been looking for a reason to do some dirt work, maybe today is your day. In the last however many years, we'll say 20, we've spent more time indoors working, playing on our phones, and keeping clean or avoiding germs. Now consider this, we've spent a year now dowsing ourselves in hand sanitizer, washing everything including Amazon delivery boxes and the bottoms of our shoes and killed every speck of good bacteria in our homes, cars and workplaces and in our gut. For proof, I've already had two killer colds this spring and I rarely get sick. It's going to be crazy rebuidling the good bacteria that we've killed off since Covid came to town.
We have spent so much time trying to keep our hands and homes clean with antibacterial hand soaps and cleaners while we binge watch Netflix that we have obliterated our gut biome and killed off all of the magical flora that used to live there. You see not all bacteria, fungus or parasites are "bad". The words are gross and not anything we want to think about touching, much less having living in our intestines, but we need the good bacteria inside our gut to keep us healthy, resistant to things like food poisoning and colds, to fight allergic reactions, to keep inflammation down and yes... to boost our mental health.
The connection between your gut and your brain are enormous. When your gut biome is off, your brain will also feel off with symptoms of anxiety, depression, AD(H)D, and even more serious diseases such as Parkinson's Disease. Keeping the good bacteria thriving in your gut isn't hard and has incredible impacts on your belly, your mood, and your overall health. When I'm working with coaching clients, I'm always sure to ask about how and what you're eating, and how your belly feels, right along with your mental health so I get a clear picture of how I can help you feel your best while you're learning how to allow your anxiety to pass on through.
For now, let's focus on getting dirty! Here are 5 fun facts about flowers, trees and gardening that might encourage you to get dirty this spring. 1. Gardening is great exercise and exercise keeps us fit, nimble, energetic, and relieves stress. 2. The color, smell, and act of picking, giving and receiving flowers can boost our mood and lower rates of depression and anxiety. 3. Walking under a canopy of trees has been linked to "amygdala integrity" which is a fancy way of saying it improves your brains response to stress. 4. A UK study found that hospital patients who had flowers in their rooms felt less anxious and were more positive about their recovery.
5. "One bacterial strain found in compost and soil, M. vaccae, has been clinically studied for the way it supports mood.1 Research indicates that serotonin synthesizing neurons are activated upon exposure to this microbe, as well as neurons related to immune response—two great reasons to dig your hands in the dirt!" -Translation: this bacteria can make you happier and less anxious!
I'm curious; how can you incorporate more dirt into your life?
Will you plant a garden, take a walk in the woods, or even bring home a potted plant or fresh flowers after work this week?
Double points if you give flowers to someone else or take a walk in the woods with a friend!
And of course, if you're ready to make changes, including healing your gut and finding other fun ways to start feeling fantastic, SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION right now. We'll spend an hour talking on the phone about what you really want for your life, what is holding you back, and come up with a next step to get started working together.
Go get dirty!