Allotment spaces can be so much more than growing your own, and for me this space provides me with everything I need to keep my mental health and wellbeing on track. Suffering from a breakdown in my mental health just over 2 years ago after the birth of my second daughter, I went from having a wonderful day out with my family to 24 hours later being in a totally different situation. It was just like someone had switched of the light. I was suffering with panic attacks, anxiety, night terrors, physical pain, nausea and I was extremely poorly. I was soon diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
I was sent for Cognitive behavioural therapy and it got me back on my feet, but I was soon looking forward to find a way of helping me cope in the future. After reading about PTSD and ways to help it, a reoccurring theme was gardening therapy, so I decided to apply for my own allotment as I have always had an interest in growing my own.
It wasn’t long after spending some time on my allotment that I saw improvements in myself. I was feeling well, functioning better and able to spend time with my family again. The allotment provides a wonderful environment for us to thrive, providing us with nature, nurture, fresh air, exercise, focus and community.
The allotment is not just a space where I have gained knowledge growing my own fruit, vegetables and flowers. It has been a place where I can educate my children about the importance of growing food and the reasons for creating an environment that wildlife can flourish beside it. My allotment has been a healing haven for me, a place to unwind, recuperate, relax, focus, and most importantly a place where my mental health struggles have time to heal.
If you have ever wanted to grow your own I really advise you to give it a go, even if you just try growing your own herbs on a windowsill. Once you get started you will soon get the bug. With the benefit of it helping with wellbeing, plus the added benefit of wonderful home grown produce, is there anything better than that?
Author credit: Kirsty Ward