Forest bathing, lockdown-style
How to connect to nature in your own backyard, the forest or at home.
With the lockdown not getting any better, some of us might feel more isolated than ever. Not leaving the house nor feeling the outside world on their skin. Luckily not much nature is needed to reap some of its bountiful benefits. A tiny forest bath can be done almost everywhere, even in your backyard.
I’ll share an easy practice you can do in your garden, in a park or the deep wilderness.
You can do this forest bath for 30 minutes or a couple of hours, it’s up to you!
Forest bathing is a wonderful self-care tool; it might minimise anxiety, social isolation and depression, while boosting inner peace and wonderment and relaxing your nervous system.
So let’s start with our (tiny) immersion into nature!
If you’re taking these instructions with you outside, please put your phone on flight-mode to limit distractions. Or print the pdf (get it through the form on the right).
If you’re taking these instructions with you outside, please put your phone on flight-mode. Or print the pdf, which you can download through the form on the right side of this page.
Take a blanket to sit on (add a plastic bag when the floor is too wet) and wear comfortable clothing. Feel free to keep wearing that working-from-home-sweatpants 😉
Take off your shoes (the rubber sole inhibits the grounding effect) and feel the Earth under your feet.
Take a couple of deep breaths.
Now, sit down and close your eyes. Be still and take this time to land in your spot. Thoughts might still come up, but let them pass like a cloud in the sky.
Now, focus your attention on your physical sensations. How does it feel to sit on the ground? Can you feel a sensation on your bare skin? Use your fingers to touch your surroundings, but keep your eyes closed.
After a while, focus on your buttocks and your connection to the ground.
Feel how the Earth is carrying you and simultaneously you’re carrying yourself.
Keep your eyes closed but open your ears. Focus on this wonderful sense of yours.
What do you hear? Which sounds are the loudest, or the most subtle? What can you hear far away, and what nearby?
Do this for a while, while breathing naturally.
Slowly open your eyes again and try to look with a fresh perspective.
What can you see around you? Try to stay away from judgements and just observe. You might notice new things in a familiar place.
Notice the colours, the textures, the depth.
Pick up something that’s within your reach and look at it with the same look you had when you were a child filled with curiosity and wonder.
For this step you can walk around if you need to.
Use your sense of smell to experience the world around you. Close your eyes while smelling so you can focus on this sense. Notice what you can smell, and did you expected this particular smell?
Return to a steady and calm breath when finishing up.
You can taste your environment by sticking out your tongue and breath in. But you can also lick or bite on natural objects.
Ever licked the bark of a tree? Or chewed on a tiny bit of moss? Feel free to try tiny bits of leaves, but stay away from berries you don’t know. If uncertain in general, just taste and spit it out.
Try to do this step in a calm and meditative manner. Roaming around curious and being open to new flavours.
To end our nature experience, I invite you to sit down again on your spot. Close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths.
Feel the Earth underneath your body. Feel your connection to the planet ánd to the vibrant world around you.
Feel your body and observe your mind. Has anything changed since you began? Do you feel more connected to the world around you, and or to yourself?
To finish, place your hands on your heart.
Be grateful for everything that’s surrounding you and be grateful to yourself for taking the time to do this practice.
That’s it! I hope you feel more grounded, more at peace and more connected. We are part of nature, even if we are isolated and restricted. Let’s keep remembering and feeding our connection!
Lots of love,
I would love to keep you in the loop and up to date with future projects and news. My first newsletter will see daylight somewhere in the first months of 2021.