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Keep safe, healthy and calm during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the government is asking us to stop all non-essential contact with others and to work from home where possible. 

This unprecedented action has also resulted in the cancellation of events, such as all RHS Shows and garden events until at least June 2020. The social isolation of millions of people may further cause anxiety, boredom and mental health issues.There is good evidence that there are positive steps we can take at home and that just looking at a green space has positive effects on people’s mental health, helping them relax and de-stress. 

At Shoot, we have created a list of positive actions you can take to stay safe, healthy and calm during the pandemic and social-distancing. 

  1. Take a break from the news. If you find that the news is causing you huge stress, it’s important to find a balance. It’s best that you don’t avoid all news and that you keep informing and educating yourself, but limit your news intake if it is bothering you. 
  2. Practice mindfulness and walking meditation right in your own garden. Walk around your garden and notice each step. Each step made in mindfulness can bring us back to the here and the now. Go slowly. To be grounded in the earth is to feel its solidity with each step. Each mindful step reminds us that we are alive on this beautiful planet. Notice the sounds, the scents, the sights of plants, the touch of textures and if you are growing edible plants the taste.
  3. Keep active. Build physical activity into your daily routine, if possible in the outdoors. Gardening is a great way to keep active, to keep learning new skills and to beautify your outside space at the same time. Gardening efforts also result in a real sense of achievement, boosting confidence and self-esteem.
  4. Get as much sunlight, fresh air and nature as you can. Spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. It can improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress or anger, and make you feel more relaxed.
  5. Stay connected with others. At times of stress, we work better in company and with support. Try and keep in touch with your friends and family, by telephone, email or social media, or contact a helpline for emotional support. On Shoot, you can make use of our popular community forums to connect with other gardeners. You can ask for help identifying all the plants in your garden.
  6. Start a new hobby or project. You can start to learn new skills such as knitting, crochet, learn how to cook or paint. Identify all the plants in your garden, learn how to care for your garden plants or plan your garden out  using Shoot's award winning garden planning software.

If you want to help friends or relatives to keep busy and active, why not consider gifting them a new Shoot subscription.