With #mentalhealthawareness week upon us, we might find our newsfeed inundated with different ideas, thoughts, and suggestions around mental health and its various and varying impacts. All of it has its place. And as true as that is, it can be equally overwhelming.
Wherever you find yourself in your experience and understanding of ‘mental health’ and/or your changing and challenging relationship with self, one thing remains true: Nature has its own way of bringing us back to our-Self.
The why’s and how’s can (and have) filled books, but for now, we will leave you with 5 simple ways you can connect, re-connect, or add a new layer to your day to day flow using Nature as your guide.
1) Take your morning beverage outside
Whether you’re a coffee, tea, or protein shake consumer, consider enjoying your drink of choice outside (even if it means you have to take yourself down the hall of your apartment building and pass your neighbours in your pyjamas). As you drink, let yourself listen to the birds and bugs, feel the wind on your skin and the sun (or rain) on your face. Let time be measured by the emptiness of your mug.
2) Touch A Tree
Or touch as many trees as you can. Maybe that touch even becomes a hug…?! When you make contact, let yourself take 6 full breaths in and out. Give yourself time to explore the tree – the shape and feel of its truck, each leaf and all those roots (especially the ones you can’t see, hidden deep down beneath the earth).
3) Walk Barefoot
Why not remove all the barriers between you and the earth? As your feet feel the earth beneath you, let yourself sink down deep (metaphorically speaking). Pay attention to how the earth feels beneath you – its texture and temperature; if it feels cold, let yourself be cold. Stay still for a few moments and imagine roots growing from your feet to the core of the earth – anchoring you, rooting you.
Take your time. Move Slow. Breathe Deep.
4) Bring Some Green Inside
Allow yourself to invite some plant friends into your living space. Not only will they add some colour, dimension and life, but they can help purify and cleanse the air. Taking care of a plant can give us the opportunity to step outside of ourselves for a moment and nurture something else (especially if nurturing ourselves can seem too challenging at times).
Just for fun: give your new housemate a name 🙂
5) Open A Window
Perhaps the above suggestions are too much too soon. If so, go ahead and open a window. Sit, stand, lie or kneel by it. Feel the air on your skin, listen to the sounds of the birds, watch the shadows at play or the way the leaves dance in the wind, smell the fragrances of flowers in the air (or your neighbours lunch). Whatever crosses your senses, welcome it, and give it your full attention.
If you decide to try all of the above suggestions or just one of them, when you encounter something in nature that asks for your attention, that sparks a second of curiosity, send a note of thanks. Say it out loud, in your mind or in your heart and notice how that feels. Giving our attention and gratitude back to nature connects us to something bigger, something greater; something so full of wisdom and simplicity that we can be left full of awe and wonder if we let it…Give yourself permission to let it.
At Re-Tribe, we support businesses, communities and individuals through our programmes of wellbeing and transformation. If you’d like to find out more about ways we can help you, your organisation or community, you can contact us here or find us over on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.