How has that winter of yours been going?
Here where I live in Toronto, February was declared the coldest month EVER in recorded history. In related news, the month of February also broke records for the most miserable people.
You can chock that up to the discomfort of cold, snow and wind, but I think it has more to do with how we get when we are disconnected from our most powerful stress-reliever and rejuvenator…nature.
Hundreds of studies show the potent effect nature has on our mental/emotional health – everything from decreasing anxiety to optimizing mental functioning to improving self-esteem. We humans are so deeply soothed by elements of nature like trees, bodies of water, sun, plants, and rain because of their survival value to our species. For example, we have innate love of flowers because our primal brains know that fruit and seeds follow flowering.
But being with nature gets a lot tougher when exposed skin freezes in minutes. Even the beauty of snow can get lost when you have to shovel it every day. So, we hole up in our offices, homes, and cars, yearning for a tropical getaway that never happens.
Introducing The 5-Minute Holiday…
Luckily, research has shown that even just visualizing being in nature can produce many of the same positive results as actually being in nature. So, closing your eyes for 5 minutes in the middle of your busy indoor day to go to a beach/forest/meadow/waterfall/mountaintop/lake in your mind can be surprisingly rejuvenating.
Each day, you can go somewhere different. Maybe you go to a turquoise ocean one day, and into the heart of a rainforest the next. Or choose just one favorite place, and go there every day. Sky’s the limit!
The other day when I was feeling particularly beaten down by winter, my virtual nature excursion was walking down a long road lined with cherry trees in blossom and I immediately felt the surge of new life again. However, I often return to my standard nature sanctuary — a forest clearing right by a river that has an instant calming effect on me.
If you’d like some help discovering YOUR virtual nature sanctuary, here’s a 5-minute visualization in which I’ll guide you to do just that…
Or just shut your eyes now and see where you go.
Spring will be coming soon, Darlings, to usher warmth and life back into our landscapes. In the meantime, how about taking some visits into the nature of your inner world to keep yourself juicy and inspired!
“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.” – Rachel Carson