As we enter another month of lockdown how many of us are feeling the effects of ‘cabin fever’? One way to help manage anxiety is to focus on nature and what is around you as a practice to quieten the mind and body. I am lucky to have access to walks and trails that take me to trees and waterfalls, but you do not have to be in a forest to gain the benefits, there are ways to connect with nature from inside your home.
I offer invitations on my forest bathing walks, to sit and feel the breeze on the skin, to notice sounds near and far, to smell the scent of leaves, bark and flowers and to taste the sweet freshness of the air. Water invitations are a lovely way to awaken all the senses and relax.
To observe water in a natural setting and listen to its sound can put our overloaded minds at rest. Whilst you are not required to actually swim, one of the most powerful elements of a forest bathing walk is being invited to sit or stand by the water and notice how it flows and what the sensations are that you feel when placing your hands or feet into the water. At home you could create a foot spa by using warm water with a drop of lavender or peppermint essential oil and soak your feet, close your eyes and notice how it feels.
Negative ions generated by waterfalls, ocean waves, and thunderstorms can give us a boost because negative ions in the atmosphere accelerate our ability to absorb oxygen, they can balance our mood and the stress hormone, serotonin. Negative ions can help rejuvenate the mind and improve our sense of wellbeing and even bring about a good night’s sleep.
So, as you sit with water notice its movement, the ripples or shapes that the water makes as you gently move your feet through it. As you sit with your eyes closed, notice the scent and breathe in, and breathe out. This could be done in the same way just soaking your hands in water. Imagine you are sitting by a river or waterfall and imagine the sound and sensations. If you are feeling any tension in the body gently stretch it out and slowly allow your body the time and space to just sit with the feeling of water and notice how it feels.
I invite you to sit with my waterfall and notice how the water flows. Follow the lines of the water as it falls from the top to the bottom. Watch the movement, the light and the shapes. Listen to the sound and breathe…
Sip on a warming herbal tea or a refreshing glass of water if you prefer with a slice of cucumber or lemon and let the healing power of water wash over you leaving you feeling revitalised and rejuvenated.