Day 1: On the 7th day of my 30 day yoga challenge, it’s helping me move and stretch my body from being on a couch or bed all day.
Day 2: Had Zoom meetings and classes all day. I had a hard time maintaining focus because I was locked in my bedroom from morning to night. I put a 10-hour Ocean YouTube video to keep my room serene. I did my 8th day of yoga before bed which was nice.
Day 3: Finally reached Friday. My friends and I decided to Zoom and have our own mini happy hour while playing interactive games with our phones. It was hard and did not have the same feeling, but it was nice to see everyone’s face.
Day 4: Missed yesterday’s yoga challenge so I did day 9 and 10 today. Today I am just doing basic apartment tasks. Having a possible game night with my roommates tonight.
Day 5: Sunday is still the day of more homework. My daily routine has become yoga and homework and more stretching when I don’t feel like doing homework anymore.
Day 6: Monday was more class and meetings. I had a hard time focusing today. My roommates and I went on the quad to soak up the sun and play cards.
Day 7: Besides yoga and homework, I’m starting to experiment with more recipes. I am enjoying my new found hobby for cooking and yoga.
In an accelerating world, we often have to remind ourselves to stop and smell the roses. If you live in an urban environment as I do, smelling the roses might be a hard thing to come by. With 55% of the world population living in urban environments, the closest roses we may encounter might be at the nearest convenience store (“UN World Population” 2018). The depletion of the natural environment and global climate changes have encouraged many people to interact and immerse themselves in nature. By 2050, the “UN World Population” (2018) projects that 68% of the world’s population will be living in urban environments. Unfortunately, our natural habitats and ecosystems suffer to accommodate human living spaces. Despite growing urban concentrations, many cities are recognizing the need for natural spaces because of the benefits nature has to humans.
and engaging with the natural environment has proven to
have many benefits for people. Although it’s not quite the
same, you can receive some of those benefits within your
own indoor space. There are many reasons for going
outside. It can often be difficult to leave the comfort of your
home when there is a blizzard or a heat wave outside. It
can also be hard when you work a 9-5pm job and want to get home and
enjoy your couch. Sometimes bringing the outside in can make you feel
better from the inside out.
have dried out or overwatered your plants, but there are
many reasons to keep these marvelous plants alive. More times than I
would like to admit, indoor plants have not survived while in my care. I often
wonder how I manage to keep myself on my own two feet, functioning on a daily
basis, when I cannot water my plant once or twice a week. But indoor
plants are not just a pretty sight to have tucked away in the corner.
They can reduce our stress levels (and the amount of
sick days we might take from
work), improve our air quality, and lift our mood. Just as
we take care of them, they may help with taking care of us.
Benefits: Mind and
plants can provide psychological benefits. Research as linked indoor
plants with less nervousness and
anxiousness, fewer symptoms of health issues, and better
air quality (Deng& Deng 2018). Indoor plants are
correlated with reports of less depression and anxiety, lower
levels of stress, and increases in work
productivity (Hall & Knuth 2019). Indoor plants
seem to improve outcomes for employees, students, and
patients. One literature review of
various studies found
that indoor plants in the workplace decreased the amount of sick days
taken and the stress levels among
workers. Hospital patients recovered faster when there
was a variety of plants in the room versus not having plants.
Students with plants in their classroom
had faster performance productivity: 10%. The
review also found that indoor plants decreased stress and increased
pain tolerance (Bringslimark, Hartig, & Patil 2009).
Benefits: Air Quality
The NASA Clean
Air Project found that there was a
correlation between air quality and the reduction of volatile organic
compounds (VOCs). Some common VOCs that we may interact with on a daily
basis include: Acetone, Benzene, Butanal Ethanol, and Formaldehyde. These VOCs
are found in everyday products such as your laundry detergent, nail polish
remover, burning candles, and stoves. These chemicals can be harmful and
hazardous to your health over time. The Clean Air Project found that
low light house plants aided with improvement of air
quality. However, the findings were not significant enough to support any
of the other claims that were mentioned within the review
literature (Moya, Van Den Dobbelsteen, Ottelé, &Bluyssen 2019). After
reading this study, I personally found myself rethinking everything that I use
around my apartment and reflect on how many plants are there to help
with improving my air quality. That number is zero. As an avid candle burner, I
may need to start looking into bringing home some indoor house plants
to make sure my obsession doesn’t get out of hand.
plants around to look at might be good for you but being actively
engaged with them may provide an even better benefit. Some research suggests that
active involvement in indoor gardening and viewing indoor plant life was better
than nature installations or nature inspired photographs in
improving psychological and physical well-being, social
engagement, and life satisfaction (Yeo et al,. 2019).
gardening could mean growing your own herbs or vegetables
but could alsoinvolve just maintaining indoor plants in your
space. This would include watering the plant, adding soil, moving the plant
into different pots, and cleaning the plant from any dead leaves it may
have. This allows you to interact with the plant inside of just having a fake
plant in the corner.
are limitations to many of the studies mentioned above, but
the evidence is growing that adding indoor plants to your homes has
potential advantages and no real disadvantages.
plants can be relatively cheap and easy to maintain. NASA’s Clean Air
Project recommended medium-low light house plants to complement air
filters and carbon filters in your space. Some suggestions for
beginners that are low maintenance and cost effective include:
Spider plants, Ivy, Maidenhair Fern, and. These plants could
be the gateway to exploring more of what indoor plants
have to offer.
If you are
just beginning the indoor plant journey, you might
be overwhelmed with all the options to choose from and may
face problems along the way. Some common challenges are
underwatering or overwatering. After determining which indoor
plant, you want and discovering how often it should be watered, you
can start a routine by setting-up a reminder on your smartphone.
example indoor plant that requires minimal watering is the spider plant. The
plant is forgiving and should be watered once a week. The spider plant is a
low-light and low maintenance plant, perfect for leaving near a window that
occasionally lets in the sunlight every indoor plant needs. If
the indoor plant does not come in its own pot, it would be good to invest in a
pot to help contain the soil and drain water properly. This helps with
maintaining and setting up your routine to make taking care of your new friend
routine would be to water the plant every Monday night when you return from
work or school. Another routine could be Sunday night right before you go to
bed. All plants are more likely to store and conserve their water consumption
when watered at night. A helpful tip for knowing when your indoor plant
should receive a little more TLC is if the top 1 inch or so of soil is dry.
Simply add some water. The soil should always be moist, not overly wet. It can
be easier to determine when you are underwatering rather than
you are overwatering your plant include: the soil being wet, but leaves are
wilting, browning leaves, and yellow falling leaves. A few ways to determine if
you are is by taking your finger and place it into the plant’s soil
so that it reaches near the base of the pot. If you feel that it is still wet,
and leaves are brown and wilting, you are most likely overwatering. Obtaining
low maintenance and low light plants, can help my fellow over waterers to relieve
some pressure to take continually water our indoor plants.
of indoor plants can help reduce stress, increase
productivity, and help keep us physically and psychologically healthy. If
you choose low to medium light houseplants, you’ll find that
caring for them is easy. Why not bring plants into your
home or office? It’s more than just a pretty green
thing it’s a life that can help you improve yours.
Want to find out more about how you
can start your indoor plant journey? Check out these links below for a
Bringslimark, Tina, Hartig, Terry, Patil, Grete G. The
psychological benefits of indoor plants: A critical review of the experimental
literature, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Volume 29, Issue
4, 2009, Pages 422-433, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2009.05.001.
Deng, L., &
Deng, Q. (2018). The basic roles of indoor plants in human health and comfort. Environmental
Science and Pollution Research, 25(36), 36087–36101. doi:
Hall, Charles, & Knuth,
Melinda (2019) An Update of the Literature Supporting the Well-Being
Benefits of Plants: A Review of the Emotional and Mental Health Benefits of
Plants. Journal of Environmental Horticulture: March 2019, Vol. 37, No.
1, pp. 30-38.
L., Elliott, Lewis
R., Bethel, Alison, White, Mathew P., Dean, Sarah
G., Garside, Ruth.Indoor Nature Interventions for Health and
Wellbeing of Older Adults in Residential Settings: A Systematic Review, The Gerontologist,, gnz019, https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnz019