The faster the pace of our lives becomes, the more important it is to give ourselves and our bodies regular time out. From sitting down to enjoy a cup of tea to practising yoga or going for a long walk, there are plenty of options for getting away from it all for a little while. Spring is the ideal time, since the greener our surroundings become, the more we are drawn outside.
Find out here what you can do to reconnect with nature and find yourself again.
Spending time in the great outdoors has positive effects on our overall health and on our physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing:
Spending time in nature
Immersing ourselves in the rhythm of nature soothes the soul and makes us feel alive. It gives us a feeling of connecting with one another and being part of a bigger picture, providing fresh perspective on our place in the world.
Here you will find a few suggestions as to how to make the most of your time in the great outdoors so that you can get close to nature and to yourself.
If you want to connect with nature, it’s usually enough just to leave the car at home and walk. But if you already walk a lot anyway, how about extending your walks into the nearest forest or woods?
Forest bathing is a Japanese practice, which has a positive effect on our general wellbeing and mental health and boosts our feelings of happiness and our creativity. The most important thing about forest bathing is to experience rather than to think. Concentrate fully on using all your senses to take in your impressions of the forest. You might hear the rustling of the leaves in the wind, birds singing and the crunching of the leaves under your feet. Can you smell the nutty bark of the trees, various grasses and weeds? And can you see the way the sun shines through the canopy of leaves and the different shades of green around you?
Be present in the moment and experience your environment with all your senses. Switch your mobile to offline mode and concentrate on your breathing and staying focussed.
Move all your social appointments outdoors wherever possible. Instead of meeting up with friends in crowded bars or restaurants, organise a picnic or take a thermos of tea with you and go for a walk in the park. This is a great way of having a chat and stocking up on vitamin D at the same time.
Without the distractions of everyday life, it’s much easier to switch off if you meditate outdoors in natural surroundings. So it’s really no wonder that many monasteries and meditation retreats are located in the mountains or forests.
Find a quiet place to practice your mindfulness routine, somewhere you feel safe and secure, like in your own garden or in the local park, for example. Take a few moments to stay in the present.
There is no better way of getting in touch with yourself and with nature than going barefoot. Walking through the soft grass or along a sandy beach and feeling the ground underfoot with the soles of your feet will make you sense how you are connected to the ground beneath you.
Grounding yourself in the most literal sense of the word is a good way of maintaining your inner harmony. You can also achieve this by lying flat on the ground without anything between you and the earth and looking up at the sky.
How will you make the most of the springtime to find a mindful way back to nature, back to yourself and to ground yourself? We hope our tips have given you some new inspiration to enjoy your time in the great outdoors.
If you would like to continue with us on a journey of the mind, take a look at our blog post on “Finding a vacation within yourself”.