CONNECTING WITH NATURE
+ why embracing the season of change is so refreshing & energizing
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Spring! A season of rebirth that reminds us how beautiful and delicate our world is. The days become longer as the earth warms and defrosts. Suddenly the quietness of winter is replaced by the chirps, tweets, and chattering of the birds returning. Little sprouts start to prepare themselves to shoot out of the soil, as thunderstorms start to roll through and quench the dry earth. This season gives us the perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature after a cold and icy winter. Simply being in nature is the oldest remedy in the book when it comes to healing, restoring, and embracing change, and that's why this month we are focusing on just that! Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.
Here are a few ways to get in touch with nature this March.
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Let the outside in.
According to Marco Mencagli and Marco Nieri in the Secret Therapy of Trees, negative ions have been proven to positively affect air quality and the physical and psychological function of animals exposed to environments rich in negative ions.
Where is the environment particularly rich in negative ions? In nature: in the forest, in the mountains, near waterfalls, before and after rainstorms, and basically any environment where there is minimal electrical devices to "steal" negative ions from the air. Subsequently, office spaces, cars, and any atmosphere with electrical equipment tend to have more positive ions (associated with accelerated aging and cellular degeneration) and fewer negative ions (associated with good health and good vibes). Get a dose of negative ions by doing the following...
- Open windows in your home or office or drive with the windows down
- Liven up an indoor space with plants that will release negative ions and oxygen
- Walk vs. driving whenever possible
- Take meetings, lunch, and breaks outside so you can soak up negative ions from the suns rays
- Walk barefoot outside so you can absorb negative ions from the earth through your feet
- Forest Bathe
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Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is a practice derived in Japan. Shinrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge. By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world.
How Do You Do it?
- Leave all of your technology at home, in your car, or in a backpack out of sight. Pick a spot in nature: your favorite hiking trail, a park, or even just your backyard will do.
- Wander around and let your body guide you; savor the sounds, aromas, and sights of nature.
- Listen to the birds singing and the breeze rustling in the leaves of the trees. Look at the different greens of the trees and the sunlight filtering through the branches. Focus on inhaling the aroma of various plants and breathe in the natural aromatherapy all around you.
- Take your time getting into a calm state of mind and focus on feelings of joy, peace, and connecting with nature.
Let food connect you to nature.
Eating foods that are naturally grown is one of the easiest ways to connect yourself to nature, and it does wonders for your health. Enjoy a diet that embraces nature by doing the following...
- Grow herbs or mushrooms on your counter top to use in your cooking
- Make food by hand, so you can ensure your food is made of whole ingredients direct from nature
- Craft colorful dishes with a variety of veggies, fruits, and herbs
- Start seeds indoors in preparation to plant a thriving garden this May, so you can grow more of your own food at home
Start your garden with these seed starter kits:
While you're at it, plan to plant some food for the bees this spring!
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Bee populations are critical for ensuring a healthy environment and one of the easiest ways to do your part in supporting the bees is to plant a bee garden! One of the largest threats to bees is a lack of safe habitat where they can build homes and find a variety of nutritious food sources. By planting a bee garden, you can create a habitat with plants that are rich in pollen and nectar and watch nature come to you without leaving the house! You don’t need a ton of space to grow bee-friendly plants. Gardens can be established across yards and in window boxes, flower pots, and planters.
Here are some super cute and easy flower seed starters to welcome spring and the bees!