As we care for our loved ones who suffer mental health illness, we can at times fall into depression or suffer anxiety ourselves. Self-care, whilst important for everyone, is especially so for those of us who are carers for others. Unlike paid roles there are no ‘set’ hours, no holidays, no real downtime. So we are perfectly placed to occasionally become depressed or suffer anxiety. Gardening: A Cure For Depression? There has been much written about the steps you can take to help with depression, including various activities that help alleviate the symptoms. Exercise, limiting alcohol intake, surrounding yourself with friends and family to name a few. But have you considered gardening? Yes, getting your hands dirty in the garden can sometimes be the secret to lifting yourself from the darkness of depression according to a recent study. This study found that gardening and horticultural therapy decreases stress, anger, fatigue, and depression and anxiety symptoms. How Does It Help? Gardening helps with mindfulness which is the practice of being aware of the present moment without judgment. For a moment it’s just you and the garden. Your mind is focused solely on this task and it’s a perfect opportunity for mindfulness.