It’s normal to feel a little sad when your kids move out and begin their adult lives. After all, your children have been with you for so long, so it’s okay to find yourself missing them when they’re gone. But the good news is that there are plenty of ways to transform your empty nester’s life for the better.
For example, you can embark on a new hobby that allows you to tackle some of your challenges while enjoying the fresh, outside air. If you can’t imagine anything more rewarding than getting your hands dirty, then why not pick up gardening?
You don’t have to be a professional gardener or botanist to enjoy improving upon Mother Nature’s design. But you can enjoy the benefits of increased exercise, more focus on something other than your kids, and the satisfying feeling of working hard to create something beautiful.
So here are some more reasons you should get out there and get involved with gardening:
1. Improve Your Mental Well-being
Spending time in the fresh air and sunshine is always good for your health, but did you know that it can also have a positive effect on your mental well-being?
Gardening is an excellent way to reduce stress, overcome anxiety and improve overall mood. It can put you in touch with nature, which has been shown to have the same mood-boosting effects as receiving social support. And if your garden is also your place of work, you’ll likely feel a greater sense of pride in your achievements.
2. Save Money and Time on Groceries
The expenses of living continue to rise, but fortunately, there are plenty of ways to save, one of which is by growing your own food. With your garden, you’ll never have to rely on impulsive grocery purchases again.
Start with the basics like tomatoes and lettuce, then work your way up to more exotic fruits or veggies. Not only will this help you cut down on costs, but it also means you’ll always have a meal waiting to be prepared.
Also, you can save money by growing your own flowers and adding some visual aesthetics to your backyard. This can also be the perfect opportunity to install some patio sun shades to make your backyard area more welcoming to friends and family.
3. Maintain Your Physical Health
It might come as no surprise to hear that gardening can also improve your physical health. It will encourage you to spend more time outdoors, which has been shown to have similar effects as being involved in a physical exercise regime.
Gardening can also be a great way to maintain strength and fitness levels—whether you prefer weeding, digging, or planting new plants. And if you’re still feeling energetic afterward, you can take a stroll around the local neighborhood to catch up with friends.
4. Encourage Your Emotional Well-being
It might be a cliché, but there’s no doubt that gardening can make you feel happier. Those who spend time outdoors are known to have greater emotional stability and experience less anxiety, which makes them more likely to bounce back from difficult situations.
So it’s no wonder that many parents who go through the empty nest period find themselves drawn to horticulture. Not only does it allow them to take a step back from the day-to-day, but they also feel more peaceful and calm due to regular exposure to sunlight.
5. Build a More Rewarding Lifestyle
How can gardening help you build a more rewarding lifestyle? It might sound a bit obvious at first, but there are plenty of ways in which you can benefit from it. By becoming more connected with your surroundings and spending time in the fresh air, you’ll enjoy better health.
Plus, you’ll feel more positive about your achievements after spending time nurturing plants and growing flowers, which might lead to other opportunities further down the line. This could include getting involved with local environmental initiatives or even earning a little extra money from selling homegrown produce at local markets.
When you think about it, gardening really can transform your empty nester’s life. Don’t make the mistake of putting gardening in the too-hard basket just because you lack the time or manpower. There are plenty of simple ways to get involved.
You can always start small, for instance, by making a few flower arrangements or pot plants. You’ll be surprised at how much positive impact this can have on your overall well-being and feelings of self-worth. So, what are you waiting for? After all, you’re not getting any younger.