I went the woods because it rains like everyday lately and I had to get outside. I visited 2 local parks, Fenton-Ruby Park in Willington and Mansfield Hollow State Park in Mansfield. I was greeted by rain & overcast skies but a fair amount of green given the lack of sunshine we've experienced in April and May so far this year in Northeast CT. If you are not familiar with the term forest bathing it is a decades old Japanese practice that in our neck of the woods we would refer to as a more mindful nature walk, hike, or walk in the woods: all of which are highly recommended for one’s mental and physical health.
Forest bathing is exactly as it sounds (with your clothes on.) Total immersion in nature. There are no skills or expensive gear required for immersion in the beauty of the natural world (with the exception of decent shoes). And it’s free. If you prefer, you can even pay for it at a yoga retreat if you need the support of a group to make it happen. Be mindful and present. Breathe deeply, relax and listen as your cortisol levels drop, your energy returns and your immune system is boosted by phytoncides, essential tree oils that are released into the air. Disconnect from the mother ship and reconnect to Mother Earth.
Nature therapy is now widely prescribed to heal what ails us: Nature Deficit Disorder. A hike into the woods of Eastern CT today can yield you turkey, deer, birds, bees, rabbits, bobcats, turtles, ducks, bears and a renewed appreciation of the beauty of unadorned nature, up close and for real. No filters. No screens.
A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson’s hilarious tale of hiking the Appalachian Trail
Last Child in the Woods – How to Reunite Your Child with Nature