Mental Health Benefits Of Lawn Care And Other Outdoor Activities 

When you think about lawn maintenance or care, it’s unlikely that mental health is the first thing that comes to mind. However, if you feel better after mowing the lawn, there’s evidence to support your case. 

Mental Health Benefits Of Lawn Care

Some people enjoy mowing the lawn and may even look forward to it, where others see it as a mundane or tiresome but necessary task. Research shows that activities such as mowing the lawn do indeed have the potential to encourage mental and physical health. Here are some of the benefits of mowing the lawn and other similar outdoor tasks:

  • First, it promotes physical activity. You might not think of mowing the lawn as a stereotypical workout, but it can be a great way to get enjoyable movement into your day, and according to research, activities like mowing the lawn do indeed make a difference. Exercise can decrease feelings of anxiety and depression, improve sleep, and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. No matter how you get moving, finding a type of physical activity you enjoy matters. 
  • It gives you an opportunity to get out in the fresh air. There’s a large body of evidence to confirm the idea that nature is advantageous to your physical and mental wellbeing. Spending time in nature settings specifically can decrease anxiety and rumination, support memory, and improve your mood. 
  • It gives you “me” time. When you’re mowing the lawn, you’re in your own world. This is a unique benefit because, when you’re mowing the lawn, you can’t hear much else in terms of what’s going on around you. It clears your mind and gives you time to think without outside stimuli.
  • It helps you access vitamin D. Vitamin D promotes brain function, supports your immune system, and is crucial for bone health. A lack of vitamin D is correlated with major depressive disorder and other mental health detriments, so it is vital to get enough. You can get vitamin D from food sources, but you can also get it from spending time outside.
  • It can promote creative thoughts. Particularly related to your yard and garden design. Since you are focused on your own yard when you are mowing the lawn, you can think clearly and plan out ideas for how to design or adjust your outdoor area. There is research to back the notion that time in nature promotes creativity. 

Outside of potential health benefits, an added bonus is that mowing your own lawn saves money. It can cost about $60 per hour to pay someone to mow your lawn, so if you’re someone who has the opportunity to do it yourself, you get to keep that money in your pocket. If you don’t have a lawn to mow, it doesn’t mean that you can’t reap the physical and mental health benefits of outdoor activities like yard work. There are plenty of other activities with similar qualities that can help you get outdoors. That said, it’s not something that can replace mental health support when you need it. 

Why Reach Out For Mental Health Support?

Since mowing the lawn only improves mental health by about 12%, it can give you a boost, but it can’t do it all, and it most certainly can’t substitute the help of a therapist or counselor. No one is immune to struggling with their mental health, and knowing when to reach out for additional support matters. You don’t need to be at the end of your rope to talk with a mental health counselor or therapist. If you are facing concerns related to your emotional, psychological, or social health in any other way, it is imperative to talk to someone who can help. Therapy can provide you with skills that you’ll use for the rest of your life, and it’s a non-judgemental space to talk about whatever’s on your mind. We can all use someone truly objective to talk to, and therapy is an evidence-based way to find support for a number of concerns.

 Find A Therapist 

Whether you’re coping with concerns related to a mental health condition, love and relationships, grief, life changes or transitions, family life, or anything else that’s on your mind, a licensed professional counselor or therapist can help. If you aren’t sure where to start, it’s okay. There are a variety of different ways to find a therapist. You can contact your insurance provider to see who they cover, ask your doctor for a referral, search the web, use an online therapist directory, or sign up for a remote therapy platform like BetterHelp. All of the providers on the BetterHelp platform are licensed, and when you sign up, you will take a questionnaire that will help you find the right fit. There’s a wide range of providers who work through the BetterHelp platform, and when using online therapy platforms like BetterHelp, it’s often easier to switch providers if you need to at any point in time. Regardless of how you choose to find a therapist, be proud of yourself for taking this step toward caring for your mental health. 

Guest Author

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.