Pressed For Time? 10 Tips for and Benefits of Gardening In 30 Minutes

– Posted in: Garden Musings

Multi-colored rose and red tulipsIf you’re one of those folks who’d like to garden but can’t allocate a large amount of time to doing it, I’ve got some good news for you.

Even if you garden in 30 minute chunks, you can still get a lot done and receive some unexpected benefits.

10 Tips For Gardening in 30 Minutes

  1. Set your intent before you go into the garden. Your attitude has everything to do with how much you’ll benefit from gardening in small chunks of time. If you think of it as a time when you can relax, imagine, be playful, and leave your every day thoughts behind, it will have a positive impact on the outcome.

  1. Turn off all phones and technology and allow for no interruptions. This is your quiet, sacred time. If you were meditating or taking a yoga class, you wouldn’t allow your kids, spouse, or friends interrupt you. Don’t allow it in the garden either. If need be, set a timer to let you know when your time is up.
  1. Only bring the tools in the garden that you’ll need. Keeping it simple and minimalistic is part of this practice.
  1. Do not multitask. Rather, select one area to work on. Don’t let your mind play tricks on you and tell you that you can do a little weeding, planting, and pruning—and somehow you’ll get it all done. Trust me, you’ll walk away feeling frustrated and disheartened if you try to get too many things done in such a short period of time.
  1. Once in the garden, stand erect, stretch, take 3 deep breaths in and out.
  1. Pause for a moment to awaken your senses: Look around you, touch some leaves or bark, listen to the sounds. Believe it or not, a moment of pausing to awaken your senses ‘with intent’ will open your heart, help stop the inner chatter, and get you into a more grounded place.2005-06-20 11.17.46.jpg- long view of back  top level garden with robinias- 768x510
  1. Whatever task you select to do in the garden, do it with a playful attitude. Remember, it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. Weeding can be a great deal of fun when you’re on all fours and you allow yourself to feel the roots being uprooted as they come out of the soil.
  1. Practice mindful gardening. If you find your mind wandering and thinking about the ‘things you need to do’, pull it back and simply focus on what you’re doing,  just like you would in meditation when you focus on your breath. For example, if you’re pulling weeds and are thinking of the errands you need to do before going to work, gently return your mind to the weeding and say something like, “I’m weeding and enjoying every minute of doing this: I know it’s helping to maintain a thriving, beautiful garden.”gardening in 30 minutes
  1. Be aware of your body and practice feeling connected to it while gardening. Feel your hands in the dirt, your knees on the grass, etc. Use the time, if you want, to bend, stretch, and even do yoga poses. When I’m weeding on all fours, I often go into a ‘downward dog’ yoga pose for a few minutes to stretch my body and help prevent back pain.
  1. When the timer goes off, take a moment to experience and acknowledge feelings of gratefulness for having the opportunity to connect with nature in such a profound way.

10 Benefits of Gardening in 30 Minutes

  1. Gardening is a vehicle for individuals to ‘let go’ and enjoy gardening in short spurts of time. This is especially true for extremely busy individuals, perfectionists, and over-achievers, who up until now might not have gardened because they’ve been under the impression that they’d need to spend lots of time in the garden in order to get something concrete accomplished.
  2. Gardening is a tool for focusing in and sharpening your concentration. When you work on only one thing at a time, your mind is able to go deeper and concentrate. It’s not filled with clutter as it is when you multitask.
  3. Being in the garden has a genuine positive effect on your mood. Research shows that plants and flowers improve our moods, concentration and productivity, while they minimize stress, help us feel less anxious, more optimistic and safer. Spending 30 minutes in the garden sure beats Prozac and/or therapy.gardening in 30 minutes
  4. Pausing, taking deep breaths, and slowing down has an undeniable impact on your health. It slows your pulse and lowers your blood pressure, clears you mind, and awakens your senses.
  5. Gardening is an opportunity to get physical activity and connect with your body.
  6. Gardening is a gateway to spirituality. Humankind’s need to connect with nature is wired in us. It’s part of who we are. When we connect with nature, it transports us to a soul-centric place where we can experience grace and a sense of ‘oneness’ with the universe.
  7. Being in the garden helps to access creativity. The combination of working with our hands and being in nature makes it easier to enter into a state of flow or have a peak experience: This is where your creative spirit is ripe for picking and you experience feelings of being outside of ordinary consciousness.
  8. Gardening can instill feelings of pride and productivity. It’s amazing what you can do in 30 minutes when you’re calm and focused. If you weed a part of the vegetable patch before you start your hectic day, it’s a great feeling of being productive and getting something concrete accomplished.
  9. You enter into a nurturing relationship. Gardening is all about relating to and nurturing plants (and them nurturing you). Even when staking flowers or tomato plants, you’re making with them.
  10. The process of gardening enables you to experience feelings of gratitude more freely. Studies continue to show how the practice of gratitude is one of the key factors in determining if you experience a joyful life. When you take a moment to express the gratitude before leaving the garden, it will have an impact on your entire day.

Now it’s your turn. Share your experiences of and tips for gardening in short chunks of time. I’ve love to hear about them!

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Fran Sorin

Fran is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, which Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends as "a profound and inspiring book."  

A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, she is also a gardening and creativity expert, coach, inspirational speaker, CBS radio news gardening correspondent, and Huffington Post Contributor.

Learn more about Fran and get free resources that will help you improve your life at www.fransorin.com.

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Fran Sorin

Fran Sorin

Fran Sorin
Fran Sorin

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