Vacation. Whenever I think about vacation I think about going to the beach to play in the salty ocean, soak up the sun, and cover myself in sand; or the mountains to hike or ski; or to the river to sail and swim. What all these vacations have in common is immersion in nature. Vacation is about relaxing, removing ourselves from the pressures of our everyday lives and enjoying downtime. My best vacations are spent in nature. Stepping into nature is a vacation-mental, emotional, spiritual.

I love nature so much, I moved across the country, away from large cities, congestion and noise to a place of quiet, small town, limited resources, really crappy access to internet(!) and somewhat remote. I live close to skiing, tons of hiking and backpacking, cycling and kayaking. Once I got over the shock of poor internet and cell service, I was good. Seriously, that detox took a while. Satellite internet isn’t what its cracked up to be when you live in the mountains.

What happened when I moved west was tremendous healing. With easy access to nature, nature where you must concern yourself with wildlife, you can disconnect from electronics, social media, TV, people, noise, etc quickly and easily. In less than an hour I can be deep in the woods, alone. Just stepping into the forest is, well amazing. As Zarrine Flores says in her blog: “You don’t need to go far to experience the bliss of the natural environment. Even a brief walk in the woods, or sitting quietly in your garden can do the trick. However, the further from the pollution and noise of human settlements you go, the more likely it is you will experience the true pleasure of being one with nature.
There is something very liberating and therapeutic about the wilderness – the sheer beauty of wild unspoiled spaces, the chilly morning air echoing with birdsong, the peace and solitude, the clear, deep night sky and the sudden simplicity of life – atmosphere loaded with meaning, inviting you to reflect, contemplate and look within.”

When I cannot get out, deep into the woods, my garden is my healer. Watching the commerce of the bees, insects, birds, butterflies, lizards, etc will take your mind from your troubles. It is beautiful to see the efficiency and gentleness of nature.

Being in nature will help you relax. You’ll get more oxygen which will increase your energy. You’ll get vitamin D from the sun, even if its behind the clouds. Vitamin D is a pro hormone so its used to synthesize other hormones you need to support your wellbeing. It also improves your mood and supports your immune system. I recently read a study on trees. Like us humans, trees have pheromones. They can sense danger and relate it to other plants. I personally find trees offer great support and are very kind. Losing your mind in nature will give you time to process on a different wavelength. You’ll come back home refreshed, with a new perspective and likely have a solution to something you’ve been working on.

It doesn’t take long to gain these benefits. Start with an hour. You’ll find renewal. If you are really stressed and struggling, I recommend a whole day in nature, taking off the shoes here and there and getting the feet into the earth.

Here’s to your health & wellbeing!