For many people (including myself) gardening in itself is an act of selfcare.
But you can, and should implement some smaller acts of kindness to yourself and your body, to make sure you can go on gardening for a long time.
Here are some rules I try to follow.
1. If your plants need water, so do you.
Gardening is exciting, and it is easy to forget to drink water regularly. Especially on warm, sunny days this can result in headaches and dizziness.
2. Your plants might enjoy full sun, your skin and body will not.
When working in full sun, it is important to protect your skin, using suncream. I also recommend a light cover for your head like a straw hat to avoid sunstrokes. If possible, make breaks at least every full hour to get a glass of water and some minutes of shade.
3. Prune your trees not your fingers.
When working with chainsaws or other machinery always wear the recommended safety gear, be careful and avoid unnecessary risks.
4. Take care of your skin.
Use skin protection cream before, and skin care cream after gardening. The soil and plants are full of stuff that isn’t really skin-friendly, and some things are even toxic. So take care of your skin.
5. Sticks and Stones may break my bones … Literally
When lifting heavy things like rocks or logs, always lift with your legs not with your back, and watch out for your toes. Ideally you should ask for help, but that might not always be an option. Be careful.
6. Enjoy what you are doing, but also enjoy the results of your work.
When you are planting vegetables, take the time to really enjoy the harvest. Make a delicious meal out of it and experience the taste and texture.
In every garden, there should be a place where you can just sit and watch. Watch the flowers in the sun, the bees and butterflies, without planning the next tasks and steps. Be in the moment and enjoy the beauty as it is.