During the pandemic lockdowns, the ‘stay home’ mantra meant that many of us were forced to spend more time indoors and many of us were furloughed; no longer able to go into the workplace.
This resulted in a forced lifestyle change for many and for those lucky enough to have any outside space, getting outdoors, breathing in the air and tending to the garden became a favourite – and much needed – pastime.
Being outdoors calms the mind and when being indoors with the family or alone became too much, we headed for the fresh air. And many of us found solace in the garden or by doing small gardening jobs with the amount of space we had.
The repercussions of this have been a change in people’s outlook on life. When the time comes to go back into the office or other indoor work areas, many have decided they no longer want to be cooped up indoors all day looking at a computer screen.
People’s priorities have changed. In some cases, this career change from office to garden has meant a significant cut in salary but they say the payback they get from working outdoors in gardens makes up for that financial shortfall.
Are You Considering Part Time Gardening Jobs?
We have written in the past about working outdoors and the different types of part time jobs out there. You can find out more here about part time gardening jobs – the types of roles you can do and how to go about landing those jobs.
In this article, however, we are going to look at one of the main reasons why you might want to consider getting out there amongst the flora and fauna – the mental health benefits of doing gardening jobs.
So, if you want a worthwhile part time job that gets you outdoors and boosts your mental health in the process, read on to see how you could benefit.
The Mental Health Benefits Of Gardening
The Garden As A Haven
Gardens are more than just a space for growing plants, trees or edible foods. They are places where we like to spend time to sit and relax and enjoy our surroundings. Just being a in a garden can boost our mood.
Whether you are spending time in the garden alone or with others, gardens are about feeling good. Part time gardening jobs will give you that opportunity to be in a happy place and earn money at the same time.
For some of you, of course, you might be volunteering as a gardener. As well as the mental health benefits of gardening, you will also get the benefits of volunteering. A double whammy!
A Mood Booster
When you are concentrating on gardening tasks, you are not dwelling on other negative thoughts that you may have been preoccupied with before. Concentrating on the details of gardening can give your mood a boost and reduce anxiety.
A Confidence and Self-Esteem Booster
A garden is a living, growing entity that needs your work and care to grow. Imagine that sense of pride when that tiny plant you put in the ground and tended to over a period of time becomes a blossoming tree or a healthy vegetable.
This can give a huge sense of achievement and can boost your confidence and your self esteem because you have been successful.
Likewise if you do a gardening job where you are tending to an unkempt garden that has grown out of control. Even the task of the initial tidy up can boost your confidence and self-esteem when you look back on your work and see the tidy result.
Gardening Keeps You Fit
We know that exercise is great for our mental health and can really give our mood a boost. Whilst you are doing part time gardening jobs, you are also getting lots of exercise so it’s a win win situation.
When we are fit and healthy, we can do more with our family and friends, sleep better and give ourselves more opportunity to have a more optimistic outlook on life.
Exercise can help to reduce the effects of depression.
For some gardening jobs, you will already need to have a degree of fitness but if fitness is a problem for you, gardening at home can still boost your mental health and give you the exercise you need at your own level. Volunteering can also be a way of getting your exercise via gardening.
Physical exercise boosts your serotonin which helps you to feel happy and boosts your mood.
You Can Make Friends Through Gardening
Gardening can also open up a world where you will have the opportunity to make friends and socialise.
If you are doing part time gardening jobs, you will likely be working as a team for at least some of the time. This will give you the opportunity to chat with workmates and make new friends.
If you are volunteering, you are probably there not just because you love gardening but because you also want to make a difference in some way. It also gives you the opportunity to be outdoors and out of the home.
When you meet other volunteers, those people could be there for similar reasons. This will give you the opportunity to speak with others about their situation and also make friends with people who share a similar passion for gardening as yourself.
Stress Relief From The Workplace
If you are someone who wants to work multiple part time jobs and your main strengths and skills centre around desk work and IT then taking on a part time gardening job or doing some volunteering as a gardener can really help to relieve the stress of your desk job.
Sitting at a desk, looking at the computer for hours on end can affect us both physically and mentally. Gardening gets us outdoors, it gets us moving around and improves our mood.
Green landscapes can also make us feel more relaxed than city and town landscapes – or the office environment.
Gardening Gives Us A Sense Of Purpose
How many jobs have you had where you have thought, what’s the point? Why am I even bothering doing this? Those are the types of jobs that make you feel like it is much harder to get out of bed early in the morning to get to work on time.
During the pandemic, lots of us have reassessed our priorities and there’s much in the press about what is being labelled as ‘the great resignation.’ Lots of us are looking to do a different type of work that we feel is more rewarding mentally and that gives us a sense of purpose.
Part time gardening jobs, volunteering or even just spending time in our own gardens or time with our window boxes gives us that sense of purpose. We are concentrating on the task of successfully growing something from seed to flower, bush, tree or something edible.
Gardening Gives Us A Vitamin D Boost
If you are doing gardening jobs, then you are outdoors for much of the time. Whilst there might be times when you wish the British weather was better, being outdoors gives us a boost both physically and mentally by boosting our Vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D is good for our bone strength and also boosts our immune system which will help to keep other illnesses at bay.
Mentally, low Vitamin D levels are linked to depression so being outdoors in the garden and boosting our Vitamin D levels may help some who suffer from depression.
Gardening Is Good for Mindfulness
And finally, a further mental health benefit of gardening is that it is an activity that lends itself well to calming the mind and keeping us in the present. When we are concentrating on planting, pruning and digging activities we are right there, in the present. This helps us not to be anxious about other outside things that are out of our control.
Of course, whilst you are carrying out these activities, you are in the beauty of green surroundings whether that’s an ornamental garden or a patch packed with herbs and vegetables. This boosts your mood at the same time.
Are You An Experienced Gardener?
The mental health benefits of gardening mean it could be a perfect part time job or volunteering consideration for those of you who like to be hands on and also work outdoors.
The great thing about gardening jobs is that there are many entry level roles out there for those of you with no previous experience. There could also be community projects that you can get involved in in your locality. These community gardening projects are increasingly common and will allow you to meet like minded people in your locality as well as giving you the satisfaction of seeing your work and how it is improving the local surroundings.
If you want to go on to develop a career in gardening, there are horticultural qualifications you can do right up to degree level and beyond.
Take a look at part time vacancies in your neighbourhood to see if there are part time gardening jobs or volunteering opportunities to suit you.