Now that we’re officially well out of winter, it’s time to shed the gloom that came with it. For people with chronic illnesses, it’s the perfect time to soak up some vitamin D and find ways to bring a little joy back into their lives. Plants — whether indoor or outside in a garden — are the perfect way to combat depression, lower your blood pressure and distress. Finding the right plant, however, is half the task. Not every leaf is created equal, and not every plant will be a good option for someone with a chronic disease.
This little trooper is the classic houseplant. Walk into any nursery and tell the person running the show that you’re a habitual plant killer, and this is what they’ll give you. The plant is just fine going for long periods of time (say, when someone is feeling too fatigued or foggy-brained to remember) between waterings. It won’t drown easily either, so if you ever get anxious and perhaps overwater it, you should be just fine. All you have to do is poke the soil a bit and add water when it becomes dry. Oh, and another benefit is that it’s great at cleaning up the air inside!
Even people who can’t keep a basil plant alive can grow mint in a garden. It’s fun to grow something edible, and as an added bonus you could try whipping up some interesting healthy dinners or pleasant teas with your garden addition. The only downside to this plant is that it’s sometimes too good at staying alive. If you’re trying to plant an entire garden and you’re afraid of the mint taking over, just keep it in its own little pot.
Don’t laugh! These are so many fun varieties of cacti, and they’re the quintessential plant for someone who can’t always remember to give their plant exactly 3 spritzes of filtered water at 2:07am. Cacti are hardy, they’re interesting to look at, and they have a natural defense system from your cat.
Keeping plants around you is a fun way for chronic illness sufferers to boost their mood and give them something to look forward to each day.