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SNAP! Love a Houseplant

My husband says I'm capable of killing an artificial plant. "Not fair" I say. The fake ficus tree has been dropping leaves for years. I finally mastered African violets, and my grocery store orchid actually has buds!

Staring out the window through the winter months can be pretty dull. The yard often looks like an Ansel Adams black-and-white photo.

Being outdoors exposes us to sunshine and Vitamin D, but bringing nature indoors can make us calmer, happier, and healthier. Studies show that indoor plants’ psychological and physical benefits include improved mood, reduced fatigue, and lower stress and anxiety levels.

Caring for houseplants on a window sill provides physical activities that distract the mind. It’s not hard to achieve a mindful, meditative state. While watering the plants, stay in the present moment. Don’t rush through it. Take a few deep breaths. Really pay attention to what you’re doing. Focus on the leaves and flowers; touch them; talk to them!

Haley Neidich, a St. Petersburg, Florida–based licensed clinical social worker, has been recommending gardening to her clients for years. She finds that it can be an effective tool for self-care. “We have become so accustomed to multi-tasking and being totally plugged in during our everyday lives. Gardening requires that we focus only on one thing at a time and that we are fully present in the moment.”

Most grocery stores have easy-to-care-for house plants. Bring one home, talk to it, and show it some love. It will love you back.

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