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Home activities that are surprisingly good for your health

health gardening

Wellbeing has been front and centre of our minds in a much more acute way than normal. While things are changing, we still have a lot of time to spend at home. These places of sanctuary are places that can offer lots of opportunity for wellbeing in the everyday however. Here are just a few.

Get your hands in the earth for your health

For those fortunate enough to have a garden, they have become a huge source of focus, joy and entertainment over the last year. Even if you don’t have a garden, nurturing plants in the home can be extremely fulfilling. It turns out however, that it’s not just the oxygen they generate or being outside that’s good for us. Literally getting your hands in the earth has been shown to be good for your wellbeing.

The Independent reported: “So effective is soil in making us happy that recent research studies prompted scientists to ask whether dirt could be the new Prozac. The studies found that treatment with a specific soil bacterium, mycobacterium vaccae, can alleviate the symptoms of depression.” It went on to say: “The benefits of regular contact with soil extend beyond mood improvement and mental agility - it can also improve our immune system function. In 2012, researchers at Harvard Medical School published a study showing the health benefits of contact with dirt.”

So put aside the gloves once in a while and don’t be afraid to get your hands a little dirty!

Start knitting for peace of mind

For those days when the weather isn’t so appealing, an indoor activity that takes us away from our phones is just the ticket. We’ve all had enough banana bread to last a lifetime and not everyone has grand plans to become the next Matisse. Knitting and crocheting however offer some seriously underestimated value.

CNN reported that: “Repetitive activities that put your hands to work can help relieve stress by getting you out of your head. Plus, a 2013 survey of 3,500 knitters uncovered a link between knitting and cognitive function: the more people knitted, the better brain function they had.”

Colouring for health and stress relief

A few years ago colouring books for adults made their way onto the scene as a source of stress relief. If you haven’t already, now’s a good time to get them back out again. Research from 2017 reported therapeutic mental health benefits, including “including reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.”

An article in the Guardian reported: “psychology researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand have found there are definite mental health gains for adults colouring-in for as little as 10 minutes a day.” It’s cheap, it’s simple, it’s mindful and it’s something you can do any time.

30 second dance party

Stolen straight from the oldest of Grey’s Anatomy episodes, if you need to shake things up but are short on time, stop for a ’30 second dance party’. Dance is recommended by mental health charity, Mind, for bolstering physical and mental health. You don’t need an occasion or to have any special skill however to get joy from this. Pop on that music and dance it out for a few moments.

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