NATURE AS THERAPY
We are all struggling with surviving this pandemic as well as being stressed out by some of the political, social and environmental challenges facing our society. Some of you may be suffering from grief, addiction, chronic disease or mental health issues. Try these activities to experience how Nature Can Heal:
1. Mindful walking at the park
2. Sitting quietly at a special place
3. Observing birds or other animals
5. Creating a naturescape
6. Exercise outdoors or near a window
7. Design a pollinator garden
HOW TO MINDFULLY APPRECIATE NATURE
When walking or sitting out in nature try to focus on what your senses are detecting. If your thoughts drift back to stressful events try focusing on your breath.
SIGHT - Find a focal point such as birds at the feeder, leaves, water or whatever your eyes go to. Concentrate on the details of what you are seeing. Stay with it.
SOUND - Listen for a soothing natural sound. Is the wind blowing through the trees? Can you hear the water of the stream? Are the birds singing? Try to focus on one sound.
SMELL - Does the earth smell fresh while gardening? How does that flower smell?
TOUCH - Have you ever felt the bark of a tree, run your fingers through the soil, became aware of your footsteps in the soft forest floor?
TASTE - Try chewing on a piece of dandelion, clover or mint. Drink natural tea on the trail.
"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order."
CREATE YOUR NATURESCAPE
A naturescape is a setting you create to give yourself the experience of being in nature. It can consist of native pollinator wildflowers, bird feeders and a small waterfall. It is best positioned outside a commonly viewed window. Hopefully it will attract and support birds, frogs, butterflies, caterpillars and other insects. Seeing this biodiversity can be very therapeutic for people.