Mental Health & Getting Outdoors


Michelle's Outdoor Office

 

Today, I chose to do a little nature bathing while writing in a new location. Do you like my new natural office? I sure do! It's 7 a.m. The weather is about 73 degrees outside and feels comfortable in the shade. The bullfrogs and birds are very active and I'm convinced that this forest & river is the perfect place to catch up on work. It sure doesn't feel like work when I'm outdoors! Plus, I think it makes for a much more interesting read. Don't you think?

 

Additionally, May happens to be Mental Health Awareness Month! Here's a little peak into my life to see how I stay mentally healthy. Feel free to borrow any ideas as a spring board for you.

 

All my stress and anxious thoughts take a vacation in this secret place and this is also my tip for a more peaceful & balanced life- forest bathing. Getting up early to take a nice run, eat breakfast here at my "desk" and catch up on my blog writing while birds sing me songs. It's the perfect de-stress activity- and it's free!

 

Mountain Laurel

 

As I opened up my lap top to begin writing this blog, a little grey finch-like bird with the highest pitch chirp I've ever heard (almost dog whistle like) landed right next to me on the wooden bench I am sitting on and then it hopped up onto my picnic table where my lap top is. She darted around looking right into my eyes as if I knew what she wanted (I think she wanted a treat). So adorable!

 

So, I obliged and crushed a few almonds for her to nibble on. Then I snapped this photo! I had been hearing this strange sound for a few weeks and had been wondering what kind of bird makes such a high pitched strange sound? You practically need dog ears to hear it!  I'll try to find out what kind of bird it is and share it (one sec)... Found it! Tufted Titmouse! What a name! What a sound! Friendly little bird! Funny name!

 

Tufted Titmouse Bird 1

 Tufted Titmouse Bird2 Eating Michelle's Almonds Forest Bathing

Michelle's Forest Office

 

This is the first time in days that my tinnitus has been so low that I actually had to plug my ears to hear it. The outside noise helps but I am calm and that makes a difference too. I think it's worth mentioning because stress, and an imbalanced diet, lack of water, and hormones all affect tinnitus.

 

Mental health improves when we feel physically good so, it's important to get to where you need to in order to feel calm and relaxed- this is it for me~ nature.  Lately, I've been taking more opportunities to soak up the outdoors while working and it has helped me feel more connected to my own sense of self. 

 

The colors of the new blooming flowers, and all the chirping sounds of the birds, the bullfrogs, jumping fish, baby deer, and squirrels chasing each other, frolicking chipmunks (yes I spotted my very first!), and the lazy swirls of the pollen that collect on the the top of the lake, relaxes my mind. It's like a reboot. I've found my panacea. 

 

There's something revitalizing about being immersed in nature. Forest bathing, (as it's called) is soaking up the sights, sounds and scents of the natural forest. The idea of spending time in the forest works on many levels and one is that that it helps to calm the limbic system (which is responsible for all of the functions of the body)- something important for all human beings. We all need a little calm to recover from daily stress. Gardening does the same for many as well.

 

The subtle scents (aromatherapy) from the trees and flowers, sights and sounds, have a recharge the mind and body. When we tune into natures pulse- we synchronize our whole body in a healthy connection to the earth. 

 

Using our senses to observe nature and be still is healing indeed. I feel so much gratitude in nature. You don't have to believe in anything to get the benefits but I think it's even more powerful when you believe in something greater than yourself. 

 Lazy River Water Michelle Touchstone Me and a Tree Skincare all rights reserved

 

Remember that May was mental health awareness month so don't forget to take that time you may need to care for your mind, body, and spirit. You'll be so grateful you did. If it's too hot be sure to get up early or head out just before sundown and catch some nature bathing time- it really helps with anxiety and improves mental health. See you soon!

Be blessed!
Michelle Me and a Tree
Skincare in Harmony with Nature & Earth
www.MEANDATREE.com

 

 


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