‘What’s nature bathing?’ I hear you say. Well, very simpley it’s: being in nature, and it has some good research to show that it’s really good for us! On this basis, I think its a good thing and so I had a look at it as an experience and concept. I’ve been practising it for some months and really enjoy it and the sense of wellbeing it brings – also it’s VERY eco-friendly, so I wanted to share it with you.
Nature bathing is all about spending quality time in a natural environment. It’s a little bit more than a quick stroll around your park or garden, but, it can be acheived in most environments. The benefits to your health and wellbeing have been researched and they’re real and significant. We can all do it, so here’s the 5 easy steps to getting the most out of your nature bathing.
Find or create a natural environment. Ideally, the deeper the natural environment the better, but, that being said, many of us live in urban environments and don’t have easy access to the countryside. The important aspect is that you can access the sights, sounds, smells and sensations of nature, so a woodland, the seaside, the countryside, local park, garden, backyard, balcony or even an open window can all work for your nature bathing.
Get yourself into your ‘natural environment’ If you’re in a confined space position yourself so you can seeas many plants and sky as possible.
Now get bathing! This means being in your natural environment, without distracting yourself with other things. It’s best to avoid, all devices, no coffee, no excercising, no chatting – just be in your natural environment.
Get comfy – stand, sit, lie down, stroll or even a very gentle jog are all good, and it’s fine to change position during your nature bathing time.
Here’s the really important part: pay attention. Notice and experience each of the different aspects of your natural environment. Take some time to really enjoy the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations of the natural environment. Engage with the ‘big picture’ experience and also take notice of the tiny details within the environment. If your natural environment is limited try to guide your attention towards the aspects that are natural, so that you’re not distracted by the none natural elements. For example: if you’ve got traffic noise, take your attention to the colours and textures of the plants, watch the movement in the sky. Finally, engage with your naturing bathing as often as you can and for as long as feels natural – Relax & Enjoy!
Gone to the heather – As we gear back up to our ‘new normal’ things are really busy right now, so as the jobs stack up and the ‘to-do list’ lengthens I’m trying to remember to incorporate Emily Brontre’s fantastic habit into my own daily routine and you should too!
When all the duties and chores got a bit much, she’d take herself off to the place she loved best – the moors to re-charge herself and seek inspiration. She’d ‘gone to the heather’. Here’s Charlotte’s quote about Emily’s habit, it explains, beautifully, just why it was so important to Emily and shows us how important it is to us today.
So get out there and go to the heather – wherever yours is….
Hello again, yes it’s definately been a while since I last blogged – over a year!
I’m so sorry I haven’t been able to get to do this for such a long time. We got embroiled in a serious amount of family stuff. My parents health, which is tricky at best, really went off-the-boil, big style and we needed to actively intervene to help them get to a better place (no, I did not bump my parents off). We helped them move to a lovely retirement flat, where they now have the daily support they need and are much nearer to us and their grandchildren – all good.
It did take a heroic physical and mental effort on the part of the whole family to achieve this. We sorted through the entire contents of my mum & dads home, where they’d accumulated nearly 40 years-worth of stuff – which was very exciting! We found a mumified dead mouse, 12 axes (yes really!), 3 microwaves (also yes, three – who needs three?!) and an actual mountain of interesting things. Not a suprise, as my parents are pretty intersting people: my dad used to keep his biscuit stash in his wellies!
Whilst embarking on the mamouth house sorting I did channel the brilliant Marie Condo and used her mindset (keep what you love, everything else can go) and many of her tips and techniques to scale the 5 bedroom house into a 2 bedroom flat. If, as we were, you’re faced with a seemingly ungovernable home environment, then I really recommend that you check out her book – it really did help us. In any case, we did get them downsized, removed the axes and excessive microwaves and into a comfortable & safe new home, so good job (she pats herself on the back).
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Now, I have some time to enjoy doing a bit of blogging, creating, walking, and exploring again, so you’ll be hearing from me a bit more often. I might even make some time to clear out my own clutter now!
Spring has finally sprung, even here in Yorkshire! To celebrate the longer days and better weather I’m having a good Spring Clean and getting some stuff sorted – Including looking at ways we can be a little kinder to the environment. I have to admit to being really quite lazy, so I’ve found that if I want my new eco-habits to stick then they need to be easy to do and keep up with. So, I’m going to share some of my super-easy eco-friendly living ideas to make your Spring a little greener!
Turn off the lights – as the days are longer, make sure that everyone in your house got the memo that we do not need to replicate Blackpool Illuminations and that natural light is best – the lights stay off! You’ll save loads of energy and money too!
Get an Eco-egg! A what now? I hear you yell! An eco-egg is a small egg shaped thingy that you put in your washer, it contains two types of environmentally friendly minerals that when in contact with water create oxygenation in the water and all the little air bubbles losen and help remove the dirt! It is so easy to use just fill it and it can be re-used again and and again and again! By using an eco-egg you can eliminate a HUGE amount of chemical & soap based pollution, no to mention all the plastic containers and it is mcuh more economical that detergents, so you’ll save some money too – bonus! Eco-egg can be refilled and re-used almost indefinately and it washes well for a standard wash (I have been using one for a couple of years). For help getting really dirty clothes or stains clean, eco-egg also do a booster gel. A super-easy way of making the laundry a bit quicker for you and cleaner for the environment.
Put a re-useable bag in you coat pocket and bag, so you never need to buy a plastic bag again.
A tumble dryer is tempting if you live in a climate like the one we enjoy here in Yorkshire – we get ALOT of rain, but, they really guzzle energy and all the hard-earned pennies that costs, so get some ecozone dry cubes! They reduce drying time for clothes in a tumble dryer, soften clothes without needing chemicals or single use dryer sheets and reduce wrinkles and creases, meaning less ironing. All resulting in less energy usage, chemicals, products and cost!
A washing line or airer in your garden, on a balcony or in a sunny window, can save a massive amount of energy and money and it also means you don’t need to find the cash and space for a dryer. An airer will last for many years and it folds down to nothing when not in use.
I use this plastic free solid conditioner bar by alternative, it smells great and works really well, also I have sensitive skin and this does not irritate it – which is good. The conditioner bar lasts about 4 months (I store it in an aluminium tin, which is rust free, in the shower). So it’s really economical and eco-friendly!
Put a recycle bin upstairs – it’s a forgotten recycling goldmine. It’s amazing how much we can recycle from upstairs. Plastic bottle and containers from toiletries and cosmetics, cardboard loo rolls, waste paper.
As the warm sunny days return, it’s time to bust out the picnic gear, for Picnics and BBQs save your money and the environment – stop buying single use plates and cutlery. Invest in some cute eco-friendly bamboo based reusable picnic-ware, the planet will thank you. It’s much more stylish and who really wants to eat with bendy plastic forks and soggy paper plates?
Swap from single use makeup remover cloths and cotton wool to reusable cotton or bamboo facecloths and make up remover pads. If you find flannels and washcloths too rough or thick, then try using some cotton hankies, they are fine, gentle on the skin, they wash well and they’ll last for years.
It’s salad season, so we’re buying more fruit, veg & salad, but it can go off quite quickly and that’s a massive waste of resources and money. So instead of grabbing random plastic wrapped fruit and veg at the supermarket, why not switch to an organic fruit and veg box from Riverford. They are dedicated to sustainability and have almost no plastic packaging, all their fruit and veg is organically grown and they have loads of delicious recipies ideas to help reduce food waste – great for your tum, pocket & the environment!
Go for a walk, rather than taking the car or bus. As the days are longer and finer, make the most of it and get some fresh air and excercise. Walk or bike to work, it will help keep pollution in check, you’ll be super-fit and it’ll save a bit of cash too!
I hope I’ve given you some ideas to help you do a little more for the environment and it should be also be said that all of these will help you save money too – an added bonus!
Thanks & Enjoy
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As I write this; we’re 10 weeks into isolation, my dad’s health is failing, my mum has dementia, I used to visit them 3 times a week and for the last 2 and a half months I have not seen them, it is very, very hard. However, we have to carry on and so I’d like to share what we’re doing.
Aside from spending a lots of time on the phone to mum and dad, I am eating my own body weight in chocolate and re-reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (both of which have done their bit to maintain the spirits). I’m also attempting to channel my creativity into my reclaimed vintage bead earrings and writing this blog and as Johnny’s also feeling pretty rubbish he’s doing the same with his art and it is helping….
We’re also doing colouring-in, it’s a great way to relax at any age and a good family activity. I’ve also made lots of pom-poms and some cushions, As we face each day, a little time spent creating something feels like a small acheivement and it’s great to have a few wins at the moment.
It feels good to create something…… the slow, tiny sparks of inspiration gently easing the worries and anxiety, opening up the mind to reveal a world outside of our daily concerns.
So keep the faith, I say and go create something, anything: a cake, a poem, a picture, a cushion, a mudpie, take your pick ….