Did “bathing in the forest” catch your eye? While that would be an experience, I don’t mean it literally. Shinrin-yoku, a Japanese term meaning “taking in the forest” or “forest bathing” is an age-old solution to modern problems.

There is a statistic that shows that we are currently the most divorced generation from the outdoors. We have traded nature for screens and walls. I am not saying that social media is the root of all evil, but it can be good to unplug to reconnect–firstly with yourself, so you can connect with others. Let me tell you a quick personal story about how unplugging became a routine and what it has done for me.

Two years ago, we got a puppy, Mochi. I quickly learned that she didn’t like being inside all day and needed more activity than I was accustomed to. So in an effort to appease my puppy, I googled hiking trails around Mill Valley (where I live). I quickly realized that even though this desire sprang from wanting to be a responsible dog owner, I grew to love being in the woods and mountains for myself. Now, I go to drop my kids off at school and not 5 minutes later, I am on a trail with Mochi breathing in the fresh air. It has become an essential part of my daily routine – a form of meditation.

This is the spot on Blithedale Canyon, where I stop and say my affirmations and set my intentions for the day.

Mochi leading the way. 

Disconnecting while out in nature allows me to leave the fog of craziness and the hustle of daily life behind. I go into the mountains with life’s burdens on my shoulders, create the space to work through things, and I leave so much lighter.

Have you considered this union with nature for yourself? Did you know it can be a form of self-love? There are studies that show an increase in mood and a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure when being outside, and how the smell of soilincreases your serotonin. Be kind to yourself and consider working the outdoors into your daily life if you don’t already. You deserve this natural boost to well-being.

This Earth Day, this April, and for the rest of your life, may you find the simple joys hidden in the great outdoors, just outside the reach of your four walls. I would love to hear what creative ways you have of getting outside, and what the local area has to offer you! Let me know on IG here!

With love and authenticity,