This morning I went forest bathing – and sea mist bathing. Okay, so I made up that last term – but sea mist bathing should be a thing!
As I walked, the sun glowed on a thousand shades of green. I met only patient, friendly people (who when Copper, my exuberant half-grown pup, lunged at them to be petted, just thought he was cute). When I reached the ocean, I deeply breathed the sea mist rolling in off the strait, and found some blooming Periwinkle turned wild. I came home happy and at peace.
Forest bathing started in Japan, where it is called shinrin-yoku, and to do it, you just ‘be’ in the forest, taking in the sights, smells, sounds, feel, and even the occasional taste (the Miners Lettuce was delectable today). The benefits of forest bathing include stress relief, relaxation, mind clearing, mood restoration, and increased vitality. While forest bathing, you’re not required to exercise or hike or jog. You simply connect to your surroundings. I’ve heard the practice likened it to a bridge… forest bathing bridges the gap between the natural world and us.
I can’t say that my life is very removed from nature because of where I’m blessed to live, but still, like most people, I spend the majority of my time indoors. An hour in the forest and mist is literally that breath of fresh air that allows me to reconnect, refresh, and rebuild my joy.
Even better, when I’m ready to head back into my little house, I feel like I have a bit of the magical wild within me. And Miner’s Lettuce too.