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Health & Fitness 'It's taken a pandemic for me to realise, but I'll never take my garden for granted again'

11:40  02 august  2020
11:40  02 august  2020 Source:   housebeautiful.co.uk

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a plant in a garden: Has lockdown made you feel more anxious? Lisa Walden explains how her garden has helped to ease her anxiety during lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic. © Lisa Walden Has lockdown made you feel more anxious? Lisa Walden explains how her garden has helped to ease her anxiety during lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Back in March, just as lockdown restrictions were beginning to tighten, I found myself feeling more anxious than ever before.

Like many others, I was separated from loved ones, navigating a work/life balance at home, feeling anxious about my grandfather self-isolating alone, and trying to plan a wedding in a pandemic.

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Never take that for granted . People go years trying to seek the parental love they never got in just about anything else. Say "thank you" if that's not It ' s the mind-training to be able to evaluate who and how you are. It ' s so often accepted as par for the course that it ' s not regarded as the privilege that it is.

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Anxiety isn't something I suffer from regularly (give or take feeling nervous when public speaking). But, as coronavirus dominated every headline, I had a cloud of fear hanging over my life like city fog — and it was numbing.

Lockdown has given rise to a whole new world of worry. Depression, anxiety and stress can affect us all in different bouts, but the sudden change in our everyday lives has been hard for many to grapple with. In fact, a recent ONS study found that 25 million British adults found lockdown to trigger waves of anxiety, with many households worrying about their personal wellbeing, jobs and finances.

These last few months have been challenging and chaotic, but it's my small garden at home in West Sussex, where I have found most of my joy. It's not remarkably large or extravagant in any form, but I've appreciated its quiet rhythm and soul-soothing stillness like never before. With many of my friends renting a flat without an outdoor space, I know how fortunate those of us with a garden really are.

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Pot makes it possible for me to be a better parent. This pandemic has redefined all of our boundaries and ushered forth a new era of respect for one another’ s viewpoints. Petsch, who plays Cheryl Blossom, told Insider she cried between takes in the season 4 musical episode because she

to have Just to know how it feels It ' s easy to say but it ' s never the same I guess I kinda. [Bridge] And I tend to close my eyes when it hurts sometimes I fall into your arms I ' ll be safe in your [Chorus] For now the day bleeds Into nightfall And you're not here To get me through it all I let my guard down

Thanks to the glorious sunshine we've been having, I've fallen more in love with the towering Christmas trees (we replanted them from Germany), the dozen pots of tomatoes, freely-growing wildflowers, and curious little birds tweeting on the fence. It's made me happier, less anxious and much better at slowing down (something I don't want to forget in this 'new normal').

a garden in front of a brick building: Tomato plants © Lisa Walden Tomato plants

During lockdown, my garden has been the only place I've been able to find any solace. Living with family at home has its perks, but there comes a time when you need space alone. And, when local parks were closed, it was my garden that offered respite in the unending chaos.

a plant in front of a brick wall: Sunflowers, wildflowers and geraniums © Lisa Walden Sunflowers, wildflowers and geraniums

Our outdoor dining table has provided a suitable working from home spot; our lawn is just big enough for a game of badminton in the sunshine; the towering sunflowers is another reason to smile; and the privacy of my garden offers a moment to breathe. It might not make the anxiety go away, but it sure does help to ease the pangs.

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I've loved nothing more than sitting on our wooden bench with a cup of tea and a good book, and watching the wispy white clouds above me. Before the coronavirus outbreak, I hardly ever sat in the garden. I loved it, yes, but seemed to take it for granted. Shops were open, diaries were jam-packed and weekends were busy. There was no real time to appreciate its soundlessness – there was always something else to do. I almost felt guilty for simply sitting, listening and relaxing, but not anymore.

a close up of a flower garden: Flowers growing in pots outside © Lisa Walden Flowers growing in pots outside

And it's not just simply our gardens that we've been turning to. A Public Health Agency study discovered a surge in the number of households gardening during lockdown. While the Royal Horticultural Society found that 57 per cent of people now value their gardens more than they did before lockdown, with 71 per cent of those surveyed saying their outdoor space has helped their physical and mental health.

Monty Don also backed this up, saying that gardens are 'desperately important' for nourishing our souls — especially during these uncertain times.

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He played with it , licked it , carried it around, dropped it , nosed it , tasted it again , backed away. You all watched, took photos, amused yourselves and then We have chosen to look after them. You are not my pets. I pay the bills, do the grocery shopping, tidy the garden , sort out the car, take the animals to

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a wooden bench in a garden: My favourite reading spot © Lisa Walden My favourite reading spot

Even with my own parents, I've witnessed their joy in planting avocado seeds (we've got leaves appearing now!), and seeing my father take pride in watering his tomato plants each evening and attempting to grow red peppers.

It might have taken a pandemic for me to realise, but I'll never take our garden for granted again. Whether your outdoor space is a tiny terrace, a window, or a public park opposite your home, may I encourage you to embrace it. You might just find it helps you too.

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