I feel so blessed to be in an era where mental health is a topic that is being more openly talked about. But feel men can still have a barrier to talking about these issues. So Lets explore mental health and ways to encourage its improvement, and how gardening gifts for men can help do this.
There are many reasons why our mental health can deteriorate, stress at work, financial issues, physical health problems, traumas. Relationship issues. Unfortunately leading to problems such as anxiety and depression. Let’s face it – Covid has played a big factor contributing to so many of these issues. And mental health issues are so common these days.
Main signs to watch out for are –
Lack of enthusiasm of life
Withdrawal from activities
Not wanting to go out
Not wanting to mix with other people
Lack of communication, angry or easily frustrated.
How can you help? Do’s & Dont’s of supporting someone with mental health issues
- DO Make a Plan for recovery from the outset
Many mental health professionals recommend that individuals have a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). This can include:
- phone numbers for a therapist, psychiatrist, and other relevant healthcare providers or healers
- contact info of family members and friends that can offer support
- phone numbers for local crisis numbers and mental health organizations
- addresses for walk-in crisis centers and A & E
- a list of triggers and forms of self-care to try when your loved one is in need of help.
- a schedule of community resources, like online support groups.
- DO set expectations upfront, Caring for someone with mental health issues can be a long term commitment, it can be very stressful and can impact your own mental health so make sure you look after yourself too. Make sure you are clear what you expect from them and to have other care options in place too. – saying something like this can help…
“I love you so much and I want to support you. It would help put me at ease if you let me know who you’ll reach out to if I’m not available at a particular time, just so that I know you aren’t doing this alone.”
- DO Name your needs and boundaries clearly – Chance are you wont be able to answer the phone every second of the day and night. – Life still goes on when caring for someone, so if you cant answer the phone while your at work say so and make sure they have an alternative support option for these situations.
- DON’T: Make decisions without their consent
- DON’T: Blame or shame
- DON’T: Personalize their behavior – what someone is going through now does not define their character. – I have heard someone describe supporting their friend through a depressive episode as “being sucked into [their] world.” By defining “their world” as a dark and despairing one, they would be left feeling as though depression was at the core of who they are, and that they are a burden on the people they love.
- DON’T: Wait until any resentment builds up – practice regular self care
How gardening helps to improve Mental Health
Gardening has been proven to lift someone’s mood and actively help them through depression and or anxiety. See this study on the topic.
this is a small extract from the conclusion
Conclusions and future directions There is now a substantial body of research demonstrating that gardening-based interventions can benefit people experiencing mental health difficulties. Such interventions have been evaluated in a variety of settings in Europe, Asia and America, and across a range of diagnostic groups, including participants experiencing depression and psychosis. Although there have been no RCTs in this field, research drawing on a range of methodological approaches suggests that gardening-based interventions can have a variety of benefits for people with an interest in gardening, as an adjunct to existing treatment. Quantitative studies have found a significant reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety following gardening-based interventions
Gardening Gifts for Men
So encouraging gardening would be a great way to help them and purchasing a gardening gift for men can be just what is needed to kick start a new hobby and enthusiasm for gardening and life.
At Chester & Cooke we can personalise most of our products- which gives an added feeling of ownership to the product and more of an encouragement to use it.
Gardening can really be quite physical, with activities like digging and turning over the soil really raising the heart rate which will set endorphins and adrenaline which will create a feel good factor.
One of our gardening gifts for men is our tool rack would be a great starting point. It comes in 3 sizes to store spades forks, and hand tools. Obviously it’s still a great gift for women that love gardening too.
Encouraging ‘grow your own’ either at home or, if they are really enjoying it, applying for an allotment would be a great call. Here is a guide of things to consider when starting an allotment.
There is a real sense of accomplishment and achievement when you have planted and grown your own fruit and vegetables.
Richard Chivers is a organic allotment gardener, who practices the No-dig method. You can learn more about Richard and his gardening through his podcasts and his Instagram account. – This will be a great way to get motivated into grow your own and a great way to learn. Richard is always happy to answer questions via his Instagram account called sharpenyourspades.
Other reasons why gardening helps mental health are –
Connection with nature
Seeing new life
Activating the senses – smell, touch, taste, hearing and seeing – This is a great grounding exercise when anxiety levels are high. – Grounding means returning yourself back to the present. – Read about self help exercises and grounding here.
Being in a Calming and relaxing atmosphere
Slower pace of life
Improved Exercise and fitness
Giving space and time to clear thoughts and emotions.
Gardening Gifts For Men…but can obviously be for women too.
Our seed storage box is a great encouraging gardening gift for men to get your loved one to really get sowing and growing their own produce. Our seed box is engraved on the outside with Sow Grow Enjoy. As that’s what gardening is all about enjoying the fruits of your Labour. Well in fact enjoying the whole process.
The man in your life may be new to gardening or may be a dab hand already.
Encouraging them to take a new direction with their gardening and encouraging them to harvest their own seeds is a really fabulous thing to do. The achievement of harvesting healthy seeds and nurturing them to grow crops the next year is fantastic.
We sell seeds packets for harvesting seeds which a real inspiring gardening gift for men to encourage their gardening passion and keep any mental health issues at bay.
If their not quite ready for the garden we also sell herb planter kits. So you can see your own herbs grow on your window sill. It’s still nurturing and would hopefully kinder the desire to get out gardening. – These come with everything you need to get growing including Peat Free Compost. If you want to know why you should use peat free compost read my blog.
Do you know about Love Languages?
Do you know about love languages- you can read about them here? Find your Man’s love language and show him how much you love him, the way he needs to hear it. It’s not only a great way to improve mental health but will be great for your relationship too.
Gardening is a really great way for us all to help improve our mental well-being, remember baby steps in everything you do. And take any little step as an achievement, don’t expect too much from the man in your life. But really praise each achievement. Encouraging communication is a vital, learn how to become a good listener, tips like waiting for the person to finish talking and asking the right questions are key, but if you need further guidance to improve your listening skills. This may article help …..
If you feel life is at a crisis point and you need more help these contacts may be what you need right now. they are good contacts to put into your WARP action plan too.
Sometimes mental health issues can be a result of addictions. If this is an issue that you need help with, this website is a great place to start to get that support. http://www.rehab-recovery.co.uk
Be prepared to take control and take action- if things are at a stage where decisions and thought processes have become hard you may need to help make the decision to get help.
Remember as a friend or loved one for someone with mental health issues it is vital you remember to take care of your own well being too.
I really hope that through gardening and our gardening gifts for men which you can purchase here you can help encourage your loved one to improve their mental well-being, and find a new passion and zeal in their life to get back on track.