Stress plagues so many women. My life felt so busy yet I didn’t do anything. The minutes just seemed to go by and I couldn’t slow down but I couldn’t catch up either. I always felt like I was under pressure to hurry up.
I remember my mother going outside to do a little yard work. It sounded boring to me when I was younger. Who cared about weeds or picking up sticks? But my mother knew something I didn’t.
In later years, when I got a home of my own, yard work happened only because that was expected of home owners. Mow, edge, trim, every weekend. Great…another chore was now added to my hurry-up list.
After a bad day at work, I sat in my backyard totally exhausted and frustrated. I actually wanted to scream at the top of my lungs. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of purple.
Nothing in my yard was purple, I had to investigate. Some vines growing close to my house were sprinkled with tiny purple flowers. I didn’t remember flowers ever-growing on it before.
I checked out the rest of my backyard to see what I was missing out on. All I’d ever done out there was mow. But this time, I really opened my eyes to my own backyard.
At the time, I lived in Texas and most yards had trees for shade and St. Augustine grass to deter chiggers. My yard was very typical and it had a good layout. Thick grass grew close to the house and a large tree-shaded it from the harsh Texas sun.
It was from that day on that I fell in love with doing yard work. It gave my mind something to do. The exercise I got wasn’t even noticed because I was having a good time. That was a bonus!
One weekend and ten dirty fingernails later, I had given my backyard a mini makeover. The large tree was trimmed, some bushes were planted and a small flower garden was started.
This yard work turned into therapy for me. It gave me something to look forward to everyday. I also developed a sense a pride because of all the compliments I received.
I’m not anywhere near an expert gardener, but I do love pretty flowers. And I enjoy the many colors that a garden has. Maybe what excites me about planting things are the possibilities.
You could do this too. If you suffer from stress like I did, give this yard work a try. Instead of it being a chore, view it as you being creative.
Winter time breeds the blues for me. Being confined in the house or office all the time will give anybody cabin fever. My advice; if you can walk, get outside. Move your legs.
Some of you don’t have a yard like me that you can go to. Even if you live in an apartment or condo or whatever the case is, there’s still a way for you to get yard work therapy.
Ok, now to evaluate the yard you have. What is one thing you could do to improve anything about it? Focus on one area at a time. Devote your efforts to accomplish one task.
After you conquer one yard job, think to yourself; how do I feel? Does your yard look nicer, I bet it does! Tell yourself Nice Work and pat yourself on the back.
Being out in the fresh air clears my head, does it do the same for you? Moving around, lifting or raking might not come easy. It’s exercise, surprise! Did you get your heart rate up? Awesome!
Do a little everyday and do it for YOU. If somebody wants to go outside to help or keep you company, good. I’d make a rule that crying and fussing aren’t allowed outside while you’re in your therapy garden.
Keep a timer. Promise yourself that you’ll spend 20 minutes doing yard work because it’s your therapy time. This is important mommy time. Beautiful flowers in your garden because of your hard work is an amazing reward.
You deserve time to yourself. But it’s up to you to schedule it. I think every mom I know should treat herself and her yard to a little bit of TLC. My mother was definitely on to something.
Our minds and hearts are so full of caring for our families, we tend to forget that we might need a little Garden Therapy for our souls.