Hey Everyone!  Wow, it’s been so hot here in Maryland. I knew the humidity was terrible, but goodness it’s thick! So I’ve been getting up extra early to get out into the garden before it gets hot and while it’s totally worth missing some sleep, even at 6:30 it’s been hot and humid.

Gardening is my best weapon against Lyme Disease

Let’s be honest, I hate mornings, and I really struggle to get out of bed early. Sometimes it is physically painful to get up and move, and I want to lie there and take it slow. And yes, there are days when I do.  And that’s okay, I forgive myself for being angry about the pain and frustrated that my body doesn’t work the way I want it to.

However, I love gardening more than I hate not feeling well. Gardening forces my body to work, distracts me from the pain, and getting some sunshine and time in the dirt is actually healthy!  Not to mention gardening actually lowers cortisol levels and reduces stress!

Why does the grass always grow better where I don't want it??

Gardening is my workout and meditation.

There is something magical about being out in the garden early in the morning.  I love the sound of the birds singing, digging my toes in the mud as I tend to the plants and pick the morning fruit.  This is my time, and I love when I’m finished being able to stand back and see all that I’ve been able to do.

I used to go to expensive yoga classes, try to follow along as nimble 20 somethings twisted and turned into impossible pretzels. And then I’d suffer for the rest of the day and even into the next because my fibromyalgia would flare up and I’d be in pain until it would settle back down.

Then I discovered therapeutic gardening, meaning taking gentle movements and appreciating them for what they are, and pushing myself just a little bit to feel my body working as well and working the garden at the same time.

Sometimes it’s moving heavy bags of mulch or soil, bending down low to plant or pull weeds, even a nice long stretch as I pull the hose from place to place is how I feel like my morning routine works for my physical health.

Pushing it a little too hard, means I need more time to rest.

I love this house, this yard, this garden that is coming together day by day.  I’ve always been a gardener, sometimes waking up before the little ones would stir so I could steal a few minutes out of the day for myself and my sanity.

4 Exercises to Relieve Sciatica Pain

Gardening has actually been shown to lower your BMI.  Studies have found that women community gardeners had an average BMI 1.84 lower than their neighbors, which translates to an 11 pound weight difference for a woman 5 feet 5 inches tall. For men, the BMI was lower by 2.36 for gardeners — a difference of 16 pounds for a man 5 feet 10 inches tall — compared to the neighborhood cohort. Gardeners were also less likely to be overweight or obese; 46 percent less for women gardeners, and 62 percent less for men gardeners.

Even NASA knows the power of a good gardening day!

I read this article recently about the “Gardening Glow” that basically means that working with plants provides positive sensory stimulation and NASA has done studies on this to help their astronauts sane and happy in space.  Because planting and caring for seeds and plants has such a powerful impact on your mental health.  That scene in The Martian is a real thing!

Do what you can!

I get tired easy, need to sit, and take breaks.  I know that I need to be careful about overdoing it. My heart issues are worse now that I’m older and cardio is out.  Gardening is hard sometimes, and it can’t be ignored for long.

I’ve learned to take my CBD vape out to the garden with me, along with a cold drink, a broad hat, and recently my husband got me a little fan that you can wear around your neck.

I’ve overdone it a couple of times this week. But thankfully it wasn’t terrible.  I took some time to go sink into the tub with some Epsom salt and mentally let go of the pain. That’s usually the hard part for me, letting go of the fear and frustration of pain.

Getting over the pain and seeing the flowers is the reward for the hard work.

After a long winter, I was so excited to get out into the garden and get started. The house took a lot longer to finish than we had expected, so my garden got started pretty late.  So I pushed myself like crazy to try to get the grass to take root and get some flowers in the empty beds.

I think I’ve got most of the front finished now, and I’m really happy now when we go out to sit on the front porch, and I can see all of the flowers are blooming and everything seems so happy.

 

My Favorite Garden Items:

Sunnydaze Utility Steel Dump Garden Cart with Liner Set, Outdoor Lawn Wagon with Removable Sides, Heavy-Duty 660 Pound Capacity, Blue

I LOVE my garden wagon. It changed the way I garden and helped me to do more without asking for help. 

The Sunnydaze Heavy-Duty Dumping Utility Cart with Removeable Sides and Liner Set is multi-use cart so you can carry larger items that may not have fit with the cart sides up. The durable polyester liner lines the garden dump cart ensuring smaller material such as wood chips, mulch or rocks do not fall out of the cart during transport.

I love this wagon. My wagon has all of my tools, my fertilizer, and my outdoor speakers. 

Sunnydaze 10-Foot Offset Cantilever Solar Patio Umbrella with Outdoor LED Lights, Crank, and Cross Base, Navy Blue

During the warm weather, we eat outside, read outside, and even nap out there! Our umbrella is a lifesaver!

Enjoy the comfort of cool shade protection during the day and illumination at night with the multi-tasking Sunnydaze Steel 10-Foot Offset Solar LED Patio Umbrella. Our Sunnydaze Decor umbrella has been thoughtfully designed for style and function. Unlike cumbersome, hard-to-use umbrellas, this patio umbrella features a cantilever and a crank for the smooth and easy opening and closing of the umbrella. Two handy twist knobs on the umbrella pole can be loosened allowing you to rotate the center of the umbrella as needed when the sun shifts throughout the day rather than having to move the entire base. Once the sun sets, light up your space with the integrated 24 LED lights. Each umbrella features eight steel ribs with three solar LED lights on each rib along with a solar panel on top of the umbrella. With a simple flip of a switch you can turn the lights on and off.

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