Categories: Community Blog

Taking a bath in the forest

He’s the guy who said: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams,” and a bunch of other profound things. His classic book Walden, published in 1854, tells the story of Thoreau’s two-year experiment in simplicity living on his own in the woods near Walden Pond.

How much time do you spend outdoors?

When was the last time you took a walk in the woods?

When I think about my most restorative places and experiences, they always involve nature and the outdoors…the sounds of the birds in the morning, walking the Tuscan countryside, sitting on the deck at the beach house watching the world float by or tending to the plants in the garden.

Being in tune with nature helps us to be more in tune with ourselves.

It also helps us have a greater sense of life balance. In the outdoors, things just seem in better perspective. There’s a sense of being grounded as we are reminded about the interconnectedness of things.

When you are in the forest, it’s simply quieter.

You are able to hear the sounds of nature that get drowned out in the midst of a busy world. It’s something I always notice after a walk in a park or on a path in the woods. Once you re-emerge, the sounds of urban life just seem a little loud and jarring.

So how can you take a forest bath?

Go for walk where there are trees. Find a nearby park or a path and get closer to nature.

Walk at a contemplative pace.

Indulge your senses.

Listen for the wind in the trees, the singing of birds, and the sound of water.

Notice the smells.

Touch the leaves, run your hands over the bark, pick up a stone.

Stop for a bit. Take an inspiring book to read. Write in a journal or sketch a drawing.

Or simply sit for a few minutes.

Here’s the thing:

You already have a habit of taking a bath – or shower – to wash away the accumulation of dirt from the day.

Think of this as a new habit that lets you cleanse away your stress.

St. Albert Gazette: The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.