With the recent occurrence of the Covid-19 Pandemic, many people were forced inside to prevent the spread of the airborne illness. The virus has forced people to isolate themselves from their loved ones and the general public. Isolation for an extended period can eventually lead to anxiety and depression. To stay occupied and fight the feeling of loneliness, people go outside to take in nature and help benefit their overall well-being, as “many scientists have concluded that humans depend on nature for their physical, spiritual, psychological, and emotional needs” (Hassan 2018). Research supports that nature can help decrease stress and anxiety and improve mood and physical health. If those isolated indoors have limited access to the outdoors, why not bring the plants inside to help with their mental states?
 Potted Green Indoor Plant
Why Easy Access to Plants is Helpful
According to research, “having plants outdoors was associated with improved well-being during the confinement period” (Garrido, 2023). Gardening or walking outside to witness plants was associated with improved mental health. In addition to plants calming effects for mental health during confinement periods, being able to care for a living organism can bring a sense of purpose and accomplishment. This can be especially beneficial for those who may be feeling lonely or isolated during this difficult time. The researchers obtained these results by distributing surveys to households with little exposure to green life and others with lots of green space. This study was conducted in 2020 and saw overall elevated well-being for those surrounded by green space during the pandemic compared to those not. Having access to plants in general increased overall psychological health.
 Man Window Black and White Spring
Maneuvering the Plants Outside to Inside
Furthermore, an epidemiological study was conducted in 2022 on indoor plant exposure and mental health. A questionnaire was distributed to people asking how many indoor plants they owned and how their anxiety and depression were. There were “beneficial associations between having indoor plants and mental health, such as reducing stress, depressive symptoms, and negative emotions” (Zhao, 2023). By bringing plants into living spaces, people can not only improve their mood and create a more inviting space, but they can also benefit from the many health benefits plants provide. Indoor plants have an overall beneficial effect on those with high anxiety can help with the mental recovery that comes from isolation.
 Succulents Hands Pot Potted Plants.
Easy Plants for Beginners
Compared to before COVID-19, the interest in indoor plants increased by ~78% during COVID-19. More than 70% of the surveyed people exhibited anxiety during COVID-19 (Yan 2022). This study also found that 61% had alleviated stress thanks to house plants in their homes.
What type of plants are low maintenance and easy for beginners to grow? These can include Aloe Vera, ZZ, snakes, and spiders (Hubbard 2020). These plants require little care and attention yet can provide valuable indoor green space for households.
 Aloe Vera Succulent Cactus Botany.
Bring the Plants Inside
Ultimately, research has showcased many ways nature benefits humans’ mental health. Plants can be an invaluable addition during periods of indoor isolation. They can improve air quality, reduce stress, and add beauty and life to any space. Incorporating plants into homes can help create a healthier, more inviting environment to live in. Despite a large amount of research presented to the public, many households have no greenery inside– Plants can add a sense of beauty and vibrancy to any space. A home with plants can be more inviting and enjoyable to spend time in which is why this would be a beneficial addition. Check out some other articles on the Humans in Nature website for inspiration!
 Phan, H. (2019, October 4). Potted Green Indoor Plant. Pixabay. https://www.pexels.com/photo/potted-green-indoor-plants-3076899/
 Sikunav, R. (2022, April 21). Man Window Black and White Spring. Pizabay. https://pixabay.com/photos/man-window-black-and-white-spring-7145528/
 DomPixabay. (2017, May 29). Succulents Hands Pot Potted Plants. Pixabay. https://pixabay.com/photos/succulents-hands-pot-potted-plants-2347550/
 WandererCreative. (2015, March 18). Aloe Vera Succulent Cactus Botany. Pixabay. https://pixabay.com/photos/aloe-vera-succulent-cactus-botany-678040/
Garrido, C. M., González, M. A., Correa, F. J., Braçe, O., & Foley, R. (2023). Can Views and Contact with Nature at Home Help Combat Anxiety and Depression during the Pandemic? Results of the GreenCOVID study. Brain & Behavior, 1. https://doi-org.proxy2.library.illinois.edu/10.1002/brb3.2875
Hassan, A., Chen Qibing, Jiang Tao, Lv Bing-Yang, Li Nian, Shu Li, Li Yu Tng, Jun Zhuo Li, Shang Guan Ziyue, & Tahir, M. S. (2018). Effects of Plant Activity on Mental Stress in Young Adults. HortScience, 53(1), 104–109. https://doi-org.proxy2.library.illinois.edu/10.21273/HORTSCI12447-17
Hubbard, Ashley. “11 Low Maintenance Plants for the Forgetful Type.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 24 June 2020, https://www.healthline.com/health/forget-you-have-plants-11-types-that-will-forgive-you.
Yan, L., Liu, F., & Meng, X. (2022). Questionnaires assessing the anxiety alleviation benefits of indoor plants for self-isolated population during COVID-19. International Journal of Low Carbon Technologies, 17, 300–307. https://doi-org.proxy2.library.illinois.edu/10.1093/ijlct/ctab102
Zhao, T., Markevych, I., Buczyłowska, D., Romanos, M., & Heinrich, J. (2023). When green enters a room: A scoping review of epidemiological studies on indoor plants and mental health. Environmental Research, 216, N.PAG. https://doi-org.proxy2.library.illinois.edu/10.1016/j.envres.2022.114715