The Great Outdoors

Being outside anywhere, going somewhere, planning something, and entertaining people are all big things right now. And rightly so as we make our way out of sheltering at home, quarantines, and for most a very long fifteen months of worry, isolation, and a long period of time away from family, co-workers, and friends. My husband and I have a very tight circle of friends and we are all very healthy and active. We have missed being able to get together to have Saturday board game night, book club, bbq’s, and celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. Apart from those type of events hubby and I spend most of our time with each other and out in nature. Some of our friends want to wait awhile longer before entertaining and such and we respect their reasons for wanting to do so. For many, it is still not safe to get together, be around others not in their bubble, and may remain so for a long time to come. Not everyone is out having a good time exploring the great outdoors.

Another way to enjoy the great outdoors is in the privacy of your own home. You can build an entire outdoor area–big or small for your own family fun and entertainment. We have that too in our garden on our deck. We have some beautiful plants, veggies, and flowers and we love sitting on our deck among them listening to the birds and croakers. Some of our neighbors have built fairly elaborate outdoor areas filled with projectors, big screens, pools, and massive bbq grills- which is cool too!

If you’re unable to go outdoors right now, I found an awesome YouTube channel last year that really helped me to relax, escape when I needed, and overall “feel good”. The channel features Jonna Jinton who lives in a remote forest area in Sweden, her home, work, and life. I love watching her videos and I think you will too.

If you spend a lot of time walking in the woods, I wrote a post about Forest Bathing here

Whether gardening in a little city lot, on a deck, in a window sill–anywhere really, gardening puts you in touch with nature and nature is a balm to one’s soul. I promise you that anytime spent outdoors, spent in nature, with nature, will help ground you and prepare you for whatever you’re dealing with or about to deal with.

Until next time be well.

Forest Bathing —therapy and healing in the forest

I’ve spent at least half my life in the forest/woods among trees. Starting at the young age of 13, I sought refuge there from the stress of school and the overprotectiveness of a parent.  Many a time I lay on the ground without a worry of ticks, or spiders, or whatever creature insect might be crawling around me. Listening as I lay there to the trees speak.  If you are reading this and find yourself hesitant, curious, doubtful, or interested–I invite you to make time to go somewhere, anywhere there is trees and quiet. Sit. Release your worries, stress, anger, hurt and relax in the sway that is a tree. Now at 55, I am still among trees and will be long after this “trend” and certainly from a time long before. Forest bathing or Shinrin -yoku (“taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” ) has been around since the 1980s and originated in Japan as a form of therapy in nature. I say trend because “suddenly” it’s the new thing, which you know new or old, I hope it encourages people to try it, connect with nature, and make a vital connection between  planet earth and their health igniting in them a sense of motivation to protect both.

The scientifically-proven benefits of Shinrin-yoku include:

  • Boosted immune system functioning, with an increase in the count of the body’s Natural Killer (NK) cells.
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved mood
  • Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
  • Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
  • Increased energy level
  • Improved sleep

The National Institute of Health concludes and accepts proof—it works!  Read here

Science facts here

Forest bathing in Canada  here

Health study articles concluding forest bathing is good for you here

Shinrin-yoku explained here

Trees communicate with each other article by New Scientist here

Books about trees:

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben here

Article about this book in The Guardian UK here

Walks in the Wild by Peter Wohlleben here

**these books are the best and most informative books on trees & nature that I’ve read and I know you’ll love them**

Plant a tree –here is an organization that can help you

One Tree Planted here