3 Ways to Shed Holiday Stress

The holidays are a time for families and friends to come together and share in happy times and find meaning, closeness and love. So we are told.

For most people finding that meaning and love takes a lot of work, social events to attend, shopping, lots of cooking and baking, and promises to keep all within a couple months starting with Thanksgiving. With all that comes stress.

Now that the shopping is over and the resolutions have been made and clean up still to go perhaps it is time to come up for air. Nothing can bring you back to your center better than Nature. It is the very root of your existence, home.

As a part of our Get In Touch With Your Roots campaign we would like to start with releasing stress.

There is a lot of talk about mindfulness and staying in the moment. That is the very heart of living in and with Nature. Being aware of your surroundings at any moment is the very existence of every creature in Nature. It is a way of life, not something they have to read in an article or take classes in it.

We humans have taken ourselves out of that. Out of our nature.

The purpose of our Get In Touch With Your Roots campaign is to reconnect you with Nature, with home.

What better time to start than after the holidays when you couldn’t feel more stressed and disconnected and off balance?

Here are three ways to get you started on the way to reconnecting with your roots and shedding your stress at the same time. Coming home is always a relief.

  1. Take a Bath
    Go for a walk in the woods. If you cannot get to a park with woods go to any park or even a walk down your street. Find trees and birds and animals to spend time with. Taking time in the woods is a form of Forest Therapy developed in the 1980s in Japan. It is called Shinrin-yoku a term meaning “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing”. It is now a cornerstone of preventive healthcare and healing in Japanese medicine.Studies have shown, what we at Forgotten Nations already knew, the benefits of just being outdoors in Nature include reduced stress, greater physical health, more creativity and improved concentration to name just a few. Just five minutes in green spaces improves mood.

So take a prescription for your holiday stress without any side effects, go Forest Bathing.

  1. Listen
    Yes, you have to go outside. Find a forest or green space to walk or sit. Even in your back yard. Develop one of your senses. Reprogram your hearing. With the holidays comes a lot of noise and hustle. Slow down and instead of trying to drown out all the noise of shoppers and people enhance your hearing with Nature. Walk or sit outside in a park or your yard, uninterrupted, and listen. How many different sounds do you hear? How many are sounds of Nature? What are the sounds? A bird? The wind? What direction is each sound coming from? If you like you can take a paper and pencil and write down the sounds after five minutes of listening.This is one of the skills humans had in Nature. We have lost it and altered it. We have become oblivious to what little Nature might be around us even in the city. It is important to be aware of sounds around you even in the city. In Nature it gave us important information for our search for food, awareness of danger, or even indicators of the seasons. Get that back and relieve your stress.3.Draw
    Outside of course. Find a nice place to sit among trees and draw. It doesn’t matter if you are good or bad at drawing. As children we did not judge our drawing we just relished the time we had to draw and paint. You are not creating a work of art to be hung in a museum. It is for your eyes only or to share with your family if you choose. Just enjoy the experience.

    Draw something simple like a leaf or stone or be more daring and draw a tree, animal (very difficult unless they pose) or the whole landscape.

    Drawing is creative and refocuses you brain helping to relieve your stress. Drawing nature gets you to focus on your surroundings and the beauty around you which is very relaxing and makes you more observant and aware. And, of course, it is just fun.

Shed your holiday stress by reconnecting with Nature. It is time you are willing to take just for you. It is where you are from. It is home. Remember, it is always there for you. Everyone needs to come home once in a while.

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