December can be a time of busyness and stress. How easy it is to get totally “wrapped up” (so to speak) in holiday projects and plans! One of the best antidotes to pre-holiday stress is to spend a bit of time outdoors in a natural setting.
Scientific studies continue to confirm that our bodies experience measurable physiologic benefits from being in a garden or natural setting. These benefits include lowered blood pressure, decreased heart rate and decreased levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). The results of these changes lead to feelings of decreased stress and a sense of well-being.
The thought of carving out yet one more activity in an already-booked schedule can be daunting, yet very possible. Do you have a yard or green space near your home? Do you live near a park or other public green space? Even small amounts of time in the presence of plants and nature can create just enough of a break to relieve stress. Better yet, our area is surrounded by state and local parks and gardens. Strolling through these natural areas can lead to a much-needed boost of happiness.
This holiday season, won’t you consider taking time to find a garden or park to visit? It’s peaceful out there and quiet too. Spending time in nature with family, friends or even quiet time for yourself is a great way to bring holiday joy!
This blog post was written by Master Gardener Volunteer Molly Griner, under supervision of the Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator and Residential Horticulture Agent Anne Yasalonis.
For more information, contact UF/IFAS Extension Polk County at (863) 519-1041 or visit us online at http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/polk. The Plant Clinic is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-4:00 pm to answer your gardening and landscaping questions. Visit us in person, give us a call, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a volunteer-driven program that benefits UF/IFAS Extension and the citizens of Florida. The program extends the vision of the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, all the while protecting and sustaining natural resources and environmental systems, enhancing the development of human resources, and improving the quality of human life through the development of knowledge in agricultural, human and natural resources and making that knowledge accessible.
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