Winter blues? Garden your way out

The result of being unable to get out in the garden as much, and of absorbing fewer UV rays even if we do, can lead to a lack of vitamin D, S.A.D and depression in some people.

S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder) was virtually unheard of 10 or 20 years ago but now it’s on everyone’s lips as the darker months approach.  A bit like Sick Building Syndrome – where do these ailments pop up from?

We’re fortunate enough at Gabriel Ash to be ever happy at the sight and benefits of our beautiful greenhouses – and the fact that they get us outdoors.  But if you’re unfortunate enough to feel a little down during the winter, here are a few tips to help you. 

1.    First of all, make sure you do get outside.  Even on glum, damp days there are probably jobs to do in the garden or greenhouse and once you start, you know you’ll get stuck in and enjoy it.  Gardening is also a form of exercise and you will be exchanging the stale air that resides in your lungs for fresh air that will oxygenate your blood – so breathe deeply while you’re out there.  If you manage to catch a sunny day in winter and it’s not too cold to bare some flesh – face and hands for half an hour are enough – you’ll also be making your own natural vitamin D.  That will help you to combat any threatening depression or simply low feelings.

2.    Whilst we humans don’t hibernate, our ancestors would have retired into their caves as the sun went down and slept longer in the winter and it is still in our DNA to do so.  So allow yourself an early night.  Our bodies heal when we’re asleep – that’s when cells get repaired  – so don’t resist your natural mechanisms.

3.    You’ll also help yourself if you can eat a healthy diet – plenty of fresh fruit and veg –  organic and from your own garden if possible.

4.    Keep happy.  Don’t kid yourself that hours in front of the TV give you pleasure.  Do you have good relationships with your family, friends and neighbours?  Invite them round or get out and see them.  Go and see their gardens!  Do whatever else makes you feel good – a massage, a long walk, reading a novel?

5.    Winter is a great time to do indoor mending jobs, creative projects or just relax and unwind.

You know what they say – if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others.  At Gabriel Ash we care about our customers and we hope that by gleaning a few tips from this, you’ll be fit to take good care of your garden and greenhouse next spring.