As the longer, warmer days drive us into action, it’s important that we continue to nurture ourselves so we can give more fully to the world. To most people, self-care might involve baths, saunas, yoga, massage, meditation, and other practices that require advance planning or money. How about we pause and instead look to the free and bountiful natural elements for inspiration? In our fast-paced world, we often times forget to access the simple beauty of nature all around us.
Have you ever observed a dog or cat savoring those magical moments soaking in the sun, fully stretching their body, sniffing the air, sitting still, and simply observing? My dog loves to sunbathe and lay in the grass, his nose sniffing the fresh scents of flowers and his eyes gently following a buzzing bee. And then he’ll joyfully chew at a fallen pine cone. So simple, right? Humans have a lot to learn from animals’ appreciation of nature and of the present moment without any technological distractions.
Our team came up with some ways that you can bring nature into your daily life:
· WATER: roll up your pants and walk through a stream or creek, taking in the cold sensation of the water against your skin. Your feet will appreciate the stone massage too!
· EARTH: let your hands connect to the soil – plant flowers, help in a community garden, anything to access the richness of the underworld! Or kick off your shoes and simply walk barefoot (known as “earthing” or connecting to the Earth’s natural energy) which activates the many muscles in our toes and helps restore us back to our natural state, usually blocked by the materials in shoes and in buildings.
· AIR: lie on the grass, close your eyes and truly feel the breeze on your skin, while also taking advantage of any bird or nature songs. Or sip on your morning coffee while watching the vibrant colors of the sunrise unfold.
· SUN: find a sunny spot to indulge in for up to 20 min a day. Try to let as much of your body soak in the vitamin D as possible as you take in the healing warmth and nutrients of the sun.
So get out there and expose your body to the elements! Sometimes, it takes a mindful moment away from the busyness to reset our minds and come back feeling more vibrant and recharged.