Gardeners are tough stock. You spend time outdoors hauling dirt, yanking out dead plants, turning soil, and doing all that needs done to make a harvest. In the process, your body gets sore, fingernails dirty, and hands, dry and cracked from use. Here are 5 ways to exercise self-care in and out of the garden.
Self-Care is Necessary for Everyone
Though you might feel like a hard day’s work in the garden and the fruits of your labor are all you need, your hands, body, and mind need care, too! No need to forego a little pampering while you relax after working in the garden. A little change in attitude about self-care and you can make a haven for yourself in and out of the garden.
Care for Your Hands and Skin Well
Number one on the list is caring for hands and skin. We gardeners are so focused on planting, fertilizing, and caring for the garden soil and we forget to care of the hands that make it all possible. Using an essential oil-based insect repellent will keep the bugs at bay as well as calm your mind and feed your personal well-being when you use essential oils like lavender, sweet orange, or lemon in the recipe.
Using a thick, luxurious lotion to massage into hands and body each evening will go a long way to keeping your skin from cracking and drying out. As an added bonus, the massage that you give your skin as well as the fragrant experience will ready you for a great night’s sleep.
If you tend to handle a lot of weeding or handling of dry branches, a good pair of gloves with leather palms and fingers will protect your fingernails (and keep the dirt out from under them), as well as the skin on your hands.
Protect Your Knees and Joints
Splurging on “special” items such as a gardening bench or a kneeling pad for your garden work isn’t special at all! These are needful items that help you do your job better because you are protecting your hips, joints, and knees.
If you are younger and don’t feel you need them, think again! Soreness in the joints and punctures in the knees by prickly things can be an issue for anyone if you are in a position long enough.
And in the event that you do experience joint soreness, you can whip up a batch of arnica balm to rub on your knees, hips, and elbows. This balm smells fabulous and it’s great for bruising, too!
Pamper Your Body and Soul
Even if you are not spending all day long out in the garden, skin can burn, bodies can get sore, and injuries can happen.
While you are in the bath, how about some meditation? Spending time just focusing on the breath or some other
“home base” for 5-10 (or more) minutes is a wonderful way to center yourself after a hard day’s work.
Get Proper Rest
Outdoor work can be hard, so try not to push too hard out there especially if you are middle aged. The work will always be there, and unless you are trying to get plants into the ground on the last day of spring, take it easier than you think you need to.
Also, getting proper rest and relaxation after physical work is a wonderful luxury after a satisfying work day. Be kind to yourself and get the proper rest so your body can be ready to get back out there tomorrow!
Use the Right Tools
This one might seem out of place because it’s not necessarily self-care, but it does belong. Here’s why.
When we use improper tools for our gardening and outdoor work, we have to work harder to make the tool do what it wasn’t intended to do. When you need to remove smaller tree branches, using a pair of loppers is going to offer you the extra foot of reach, not to mention the leverage needed to make an easy cut. Try this with pruners and you’ll be working harder, not smarter.
The right tools can save your time, strength, and muscles from unnecessary use, and they make it loads easier to complete your gardening tasks quickly and efficiently.
Looking for a way to pamper yourself without all the shopping? Try the Pampered Gardener Box! Watch my unboxing video and learn more.