By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS
Nature therapy is often touted for its ability to help us disconnect from the stressors in our lives and improve our well-being. However, Covid-19 has left so many of us stuck indoors, unable to practice nature bathing or even just get out into the natural world. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to combine nature therapy with at-home hobbies, bringing the beauty and healing power of plants right into your house.
When we think about de-stressing and healing the mind, body, and soul, we tend to think of things like yoga, massage, aromatherapy, and the like. However, the fact remains that simply exposing ourselves to nature can have profound impacts on our well-being. Common houseplants can reduce stress, build self-confidence, and even transform lives.
Which houseplants should you choose, though? How do you keep them alive if you lack a “green thumb?” Don’t worry, these easy houseplants require little in the way of care beyond a little sunlight and regular watering.
A staple of the aromatherapy world, lavender is renowned for its ability to help the body and mind relax. It’s even used to help improve sleep quality. It’s also easy to grow, although it does need a bright, sunny spot inside your home.
If you’re looking for a way to clean the air in your home for physical wellness, the bamboo palm can be a great choice. In addition to removing chemical contaminants like benzene, it can also moisturize the air. When you plant bamboo palm, your gardening hobbies have a positive impact on the health of your home!
With its beautiful, bold flowers and easy-to-care-for nature, this plant is excellent for reducing stress levels and adding natural color to your indoor world.
Looking for a plant that delivers health benefits and is hard to kill? The humble spider plant (named for its growth habit, nothing else) is a great choice. It can remove formaldehyde and carbon monoxide from the air, requires very little light or water, and can even be grown from cuttings, so you can propagate it easily without spending much money.
While it might grow well outdoors in tropical areas, the majesty palm is an excellent indoor plant in other regions. Its swaying fronds provide privacy, while also filtering the air and removing toxins that can damage your health. When young, it can fit on your desk, but as they grow, you can re-pot them and create stunning indoor vistas. This planting hobby of yours can turn your home into a beautiful plant paradise!
These hardy plants are related to cacti, but many feature interesting flowers throughout the year. Their beauty can offer mental health benefits, but these plants do much more. They can filter VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from your indoor air, creating a healthier, safer environment while connecting you with nature.
There’s something undeniably lovely about ferns, and the Boston Fern in particular. In addition to being beautiful, it can also add moisture to the home, and it removes most indoor air pollutants, too. However, you’ll want to take an active role in caring for this houseplant, so it might not be best for inattentive growers.
These are just a few of the best houseplants to grow at home for indoor air purification and environmental wellness. However, there are other options to connect you with nature and improve your health as well.
Take a look at our wellness wheel and you’ll find maintaining a healthy diet is featured pretty prominently. Indoor gardening allows you to enjoy nature therapy while also growing plants that will help improve your diet. Which are the best choices for beginner indoor gardening? Here’s a quick rundown:
Whether you want them on a sandwich or to add to a salad or smoothie, sprouts are jam-packed with nutrition. They’re also perhaps the simplest of all indoor plants to grow. They don’t even need soil. A little water and some sunlight are all you’ll need.
These tiny trees are easy to grow, and they produce delicious fruit that’s high in vitamin C and other nutrients to support your health.
From cilantro to rosemary, basil to oregano, herbs pack a ton of flavor, but they’re also loaded with antioxidants and flavonoids that support bodily health. They can also easily be grown indoors with the right tools and supplies. When you grow herbs at home, your gardening hobby can help you level up your cooking hobby, too!
Okay, so tomatoes will need to be grown both indoors and out if you want to naturally pollinate the blooms. However, you can manually pollinate them with a cotton swab or two if necessary. Self-pollinating varieties are becoming more widely available, too.
While it’s often lumped under herbs, garlic is actually a scape. It gives that incredible flavor you love, but it’s also important for heart and brain health and can easily be grown indoors.
From sandwich toppings to salads, greens like spinach, arugula, mustard greens, collards, and leaf-type lettuces pack a nutritional punch and deliver amazing flavor. They can all be grown indoors, too.
Another plant often lumped into the herb category, ginger is a rhizome. It’s also easy to grow from the roots, even those you purchase at the grocery store. Plus, ginger offers well-known health benefits, can help treat nausea and inflammation, and it tastes amazing too.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways that a hobby can be transformed into something that allows you to connect with nature and improve your mental and physical health. Whether you’re looking for a way to add natural beauty to your home, purify your indoor air of toxins, or grow some of your food to support a healthy diet, it’s not just possible—it’s simpler than you think. Follow the tips we’ve outlined above and see just how green your thumb truly is!