Did you know statistically people are spending most of their waking hours staring at their screens?
I know you’ve already heard the scientific research that too much screen time stresses our eyes, our necks, spines and brain. Too much screen time also makes it easier to feel disconnected from nature, and even with our true authentic selves.
I know, I can already hear you saying:
“But I have to stare at a screen for work, it’s how I make my money.”
I get it, and yes I agree this is the reality of every-day busy living and communicating in a modern world.
So what can we do to bring a little more balance and bliss to our overly electronic lives?
Here’s the GREAT news: It only takes a few minutes to reverse the negative effects of too much screen time, and reconnect with nature and our true-selves!
My research into health and wellbeing has led me to learn about shinrin-yoku, a Japanese word that means “forest bathing,” or “absorbing the forest atmosphere.”
Forest bathing isn’t about bathing in a literal sense.
It’s a low-impact practice that encourages people to spend time in nature and live in the present moment, “bathing” in the sights and sounds of nature as spiritual medicine.
It’s become recognized as an important part of preventative health in Japan, helping to reduce stress levels, enhance your mood, increase your focus and uplift your energy, while helping you to tap into even greater creative energy.
It’s great to do forest bathing at a forest, a beach or a large body of water, but you don’t have to go a long distance if there aren’t any nearby.
You can also do it at a local park, or garden.
Have you ever noticed how the world’s biggest cities always have parks?
Some of them are quite large, like New York City’s Central Park, which is about 1.32 square miles!
So even if you’re several miles away from the nearest hiking trail, there’s usually going to be a small park or another pocket of nature near you – a place where there are trees or other plants where you can reconnect with nature.
Recently I visited NYC with my best friend Jessica, and we enjoyed a beautiful walk around a Central Park jogging trail. Even after just 30 minutes we felt happier, refreshed, and energized. Here’s a make-up free, natural pic – but the best part is the joy on our faces!
Here’s what NOT to do in the forest.
Ideally you do NOT want be looking at your smart device!
And when spending time in nature, or forest bathing, it’s important to do it without an agenda.
The experience should be sensory, not intellectual.
If there is a goal, it’s to detach from the world, while creating a practice that you enjoy and look forward to!
It’s good to do forest bathing for 20 minutes a day, but any amount of time spent enjoying fresh air and the outdoors is time well-spent.
And if you can have a friend join you, or your kids, pet or family, that will also boost your feel-good hormones.
It’s funny that this is “now trending.”
I have been drawn to investing time in nature, walking, hiking, stopping to smell the roses and even dancing on the beach my whole life.
People in general have always been drawn to decompress and relax in nature, hence beach and mountain resorts.
I have frolicked in Lake Tahoe under the full moon, walked the ocean beaches in Seaside Oregon, skipped the waves in Mexico, floated in the Dead Sea in Israel, and walked Ubud Monkey Forest in Bali, and I LOVE hosting retreats in vortex centers like Sedona and Tulum.
And you really don’t have to go to far off places to get the positive benefits of nature.
Some of my favorite times in nature have been right outside my front door, like stepping out to play tug of war with my dog Jessie in our backyard, or taking her for a nice walk in the neighborhood.
When my kids were little, I would almost daily put them in their stroller or onto our bicycles for some fresh air and healthy movement in a nearby park.
As a health and wellbeing expert and transformational life coach, I love supporting my amazing clients to enjoy kayaking, rock climbing, water rafting, bike riding and many more adventures.
And also supporting the super-busy clients who feel strapped to their desks, by suggesting they pause their day and go outside for some fresh air during lunch vs working straight through it.
This might sound like a small thing – but it makes a HUGE difference in the big picture of living a healthy lifestyle.
Are you ready to unleash your nature-lover, like taking a stroll through a nearby park, a hike, or some forest bathing?
Have you ever dreamed of going on a transformational health & wellbeing retreat?
Each year I take a small group of 15-20 women on transformational health & wellbeing retreats of a lifetime.
My two favorite locations are Tulum, Mexico, and Sedona, Arizona, mostly because of the powerful spiritual vortex energies found in these locations.
My Sedona retreat in July is currently sold-out…(Yay).
But you can still check out my Vibrant Healthy Woman Transformational Retreat in Tulum, Mexico, coming up this November.
Here we are on retreat at the Tulum Mayan Ruins
Also, below is a picture of us strolling through the forest of the Muyil ruins.
We first strolled through a soft, winding path until we arrived deep within the forest where I found some secret Mayan ruins.
Talk about forest bathing, wow!
Our guide, a Mayan “curandero” (Medicine Man) guided us through a spiritual ceremony, where we had a surprise friendly visit by both spider monkeys and howler monkeys, who just wanted to come watch our sacred ceremony from the tree tops.
It was so cool to see them peaking through the branches way up in the trees and our guide said this was a true blessing and represented good luck.
The sacred ceremony ended with the blessing of a tropical rain shower.
It was breathtaking and a memory to last a lifetime.
This is just one of the dozens of amazing experiences that await you on retreat in Tulum!
Here we are strolling through the forest, drinking in the fresh air, and soaking in the sun rays peeking through the treetops.
Hard to express in words, it was so refreshing, rejuvenating and soul inspiring to say the least!
We’re more than half way sold-out for this TULUM retreat already – so don’t delay checking it out today! Click here to learn more.
Do you feel called to spend time in nature? Have you experienced forest bathing for yourself, or dancing on the beach, or healing in nature? Would you like to make forest bathing a practice, or do you have plans to? I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments section!
Here’s to inspiring you to enjoy even more nature in your life today and possibly join us on retreat in Tulum!
P.S. There are only a handful of spots left for Tulum, and our retreat sells out every year, so if you feel this retreat might have your name on it – simply click the button to discover more details, you have nothing to lose except tropical forest bathing, sun-bathing, white sandy beaches, swimming in crystal blue waters, connection with soul sisters and life enhancing transformation!