Forest bathing may not be that familiar to the western world, but connecting with nature is universally known as a way to attain physical, mental and even spiritual well-being.
As the weather gets colder in the autumn months leading into winter, we may have the impulse to disconnect with nature by staying indoors 24/7. What we should do, is bundle up and embrace the outdoors—in a way, to embrace the Nordic way! The Mental Health Foundation in the UK did a survey recently that showed 75% of adults experienced an improvement in their mood after being close to green spaces!1 So let’s make an effort to keep summer outdoor habits going through autumn and into winter! We just have to take the right precautions!
Here are some ways to reconnect with nature through autumn:
• Go foraging for leaves, pebbles, wild berries and anything that catches your eye. Create an art project, such as a collage or a miniature terrarium, with items such as feathers, bark, pine cones, acorns and anything natural. Take advantage of the most colorful season of the year!
• Take photos as you go on a walk around your neighborhood or take a hike on a trail.
• The UK is the leader of “green social prescribing,” which links people to nature-based activities to help reduce stress and other mental health issues.2 The US, Canada, Brazil and New Zealand also have government programs that help people find non-medical ways to address health, especially mental health. Continuing research shows reconnecting with Mother Nature is the way to less stress and therefore fewer challenges both physically and mentally!
• Guided walks in the UK, or nature walks as they’re known in North America, encourage the benefits of breathing fresh air while learning about the natural environment, ecology and your local ecosystem. Search for these types of educational walks (or hikes) in your local area, as they have grown in popularity over the last decade.
• Do you live where a bit of a drive can take you to an orchard or a berry patch? Autumn is apple and berry season! Many local areas allow you to go pick your own for a small fee, and you’re even allowed to eat as you pick!
• Do you like the introspective hobbies, such as reading, knitting or painting? Take it all outdoors! Find a comfy bench or a scenic spot and enjoy yourself with the benefit of fresh air.
• Many shelters allow people to volunteer as dog walkers. Some will require that you undergo some training first. You’d be helping a homeless dog for sure, but you’d also feel a sense of giving. And if everything aligns, you may have found a best friend and end up giving that dog you bond with through repeated walks, a new home!
• Are you a morning person? How about going outside to watch the sun rise? And if you’re more of a night person, watching the sun set is just as breathtaking.
• When you’re indoors, use the KenkoGround® to keep you connected to nature. All you need is a grounded outlet.
Use your imagination, put on a sweater or a warm coat and head outside, even if it’s only for a few minutes each day. You’ll find it invigorating and easily start a wonderful Active Wellness habit. To make it more fun, invite a friend or someone you’d like to befriend, to join you. The buddy system helps good habits stick. Time spent with someone can be a gift in and of itself.
As we enter the season of giving, Nikken is happy to share the 2022 Something for Everyone Gift Guide. Items in the Gift Guide are available through 2022. Check it out here: https://issuu.com/nikkeninternationalinc/docs/holiday_gift_guide_2022.