What??? Getting naked in the woods? Ummmm, no! For many seniors, that would be frightening in of itself…..although………..I’ve seen some really good lookin’ senior men but I digress. No bathtubs required either.
Do you ever get stressed? I know, you’re retired, what’s there to stress about right? I have a list if anyone needs ideas. However, I’m sure most of us, at times, still have something that we stress about. If not, you’re either dead (go ahead check your vitals) or not really of this world.
So what am I talking about here? I’m talking about spending time in nature. It can be as simple as a walk in a tree lined park or preferably walking in the woods. It costs nothing to do and the benefits are countless. In Japan, it is actually a form of medicine.
In 1982 Japan introduced a program called Shinrin-Yoku which means spending time around trees. This is a brief You Tube video . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUfbMIGcxkM
that explains Shinrin-Yoku. Don’t fall asleep watching the video. It’s very calming. There is even a coalition you can join to promote this practice if you’re interested.
This doesn’t mean that you’re walking or hiking through the woods with your head set on. Not only is that dangerous these days with all the weirdos out there, it’s not the point of this whole process. Instead, be in the moment. Pay attention to how your body responds to the environment. Listen to the birds and observe everything around you. The environment doesn’t judge you. It doesn’t care how much money you earn, what you look like, what your gender or race is. You can just LET GO and feel the freedom to just BE!
We are bombarded by technology today between the TV, cell phones, IPads, computers, fitbits and everything else. Many people don’t even read real books. They use a Kindle. I understand there are benefits to that but where does it end?
Many times people don’t even talk to each other directly. How many times have you emailed someone instead of visiting? I admit I’m guilty of this. I’ve seen people text each other from within the same house though! How bad is that??? I have another article I’ll share about the “blue screen”
Sometimes we need to step AWAY from all this and get back in nature to relax and unwind. You don’t need a lot of time to reap t benefits. Start with 5 minutes if you have to. It’s not wasted time. It’s an investment in your well being which will only improve your day.
So, what ARE some of the benefits? This is a compilation of several articles that I’ve read and just some of the top benefits.
- Reduce stress
- Increase Vit D (which most of us have a deficit of)
- Improve mood by decreasing depression and anxiety
- Immune boosting (via compounds released by many evergreen trees)
- Reduced blood pressure
- Improve sleep
- Increase energy
I don’t know about you, but I think the Japanese have it right. Instead of reaching for a pill, this looks like good medicine. I can tell you from experience that I DO feel better when I get out into the woods for a short walk. I usually do about 3 miles but you don’t even have to do that. I sleep SO much better too. It just gives my brain a rest and allows my body to absorb some of the earth’s energy. I love that it’s free too.
Give it a try and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you.
Founder of Not Your Mamas Senior