Sunday 26th September is National GetOutside Day in the UK, an initiative by Ordnance Survey.
Embrace GetOutside Day by Savouring the Approach of Autumn
Guest Blog by Katie Robinson, Co-Founder of Harmony in Nature
Once the days start to feel cooler and shorter, it’s very tempting to stay inside with our heating, rather than add on extra layers and step outside; but it’s well worth the effort! If you can go out into a clean natural environment, that’s ideal, but observing plants in a pot, listening to the birds as the sun starts going down, feeling the breeze or sun are all ways to feel a sense of connection with nature, which soothes our mind and body.
When we have the right clothing and footwear, usually plenty of layers, and a spare, we can happily stay outdoors for hours. Even longer if we take a hot drink and a snack! If you have the company of a young child, you may want to let them lead you, as they know what to do in nature, by following their instincts.
If you want to amuse yourself, then here are some things that we at Harmony in Nature enjoy doing outside, as the cooler weather approaches. Take your time, and really notice the details with your senses. When we become completely present in the moment, rest, recovery and healing is triggered through a different branch of our autonomic nervous system operating than during our daily ‘doings’. Being outside, and especially in nature, has been shown to benefit us in all areas of wellbeing.
- See what draws your attention when you step outside: is it the temperature, the light, colours, shapes/angles, movement? Follow one of these qualities for a few minutes, and see how you feel.
- In a clean area in nature, appreciate the quality of the air, breathing slowly in and out through your nostrils (especially important in very cold weather, as the nose warms the air). Notice if the air seems the same temperature as it goes both in and out, or is it different?
- Feel the air on your face, hands and skin - does it change if you turn, very slowly, in a full circle? Do you feel some breeze/warmth/cold/movement across your skin, or not?
- What can you hear? If it’s a jarring sound, take a few slow breaths in and out, and listen even harder to find a natural sound - maybe birdsong, wind, water from a small fountain? Cup your hands round your ears and see if that makes the sound louder.
- Smell as much as you can! As there is more moisture in the air, the smells get stronger, so make the most of this, by looking for some areas where leaves have come down. Rubbing them between your fingers increases the smell, as does ‘sniffing like a cat’, taking in several shorter sniffs before inhaling more deeply; but not so deeply that you get bits of leaf up your nostrils, though! Do deeper layers smell different?
- Leaves are fun for all the family! You can scuff them along to make a great swishing sound, or throw them, kick them or, if you find a nice layer in a safe place, even lie down and make ‘leaf angels’ with your arms, so you don’t have to wait for snow!
- Have you walked on grass in your bare feet? Not only is the damp grass a lovely feeling, but being in contact ‘skin to skin’ with the ground has wonderful health benefits, too. It sends to the earth all the excess positively charged ions, which we are absorbing from all our tech and electronic equipment, and sends us back the negatively charged ions, which bring us more health. Some say we need at least 10 minutes of uninterrupted contact, but others feel it is instant. Certainly, we feel often feel tingling after a while, and sometimes feet even warm up! (You can always put something like towel on the top of your feet, and that keeps them warmer, for a luxury version!)
Whatever you do outside, ensure you have fun, and rediscover the pleasures of having the curiosity of a child again.
Forest Bathing+ Sessions with Joanna & Katie
We have Harmony in Nature forest bathing sessions at:
Horsell Common, Woking, Surrey, 11-1.30 on Tuesday 12th October
Cannon Hill Common, London SW20, 11-1.30 on Thursday 14th October
Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary, Shere, 11-2 on Sunday 17th October
Newlands Corner, Guildford, Surrey, 10.30-12.30 on Saturday 30th October
Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary, Shere, 11-1 on Saturday 13th November
Newlands Corner, Guildford, Surrey, 10.30-12.30 on Saturday 4th December
Newlands Corner, Guildford, Surrey, 10.30-12.30 on Saturday 27th November
Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary, Shere, 11-1 on Saturday 11th December
Book any of the above sessions via Harmony Healing Shop
Important News about Newlands Corner
Newlands Corner, our beautiful site in Guildford Surrey, have put up our site rental price so much that we don't know if we will be able to continue working there. We will be forced to cancel Newlands events one week before if numbers are low, so please don't leave it to a last minute booking or you stand to be disappointed. So, if you want to join us Newlands Corner, please book in ASAP for one of our pre-Christmas dates as it ls unlikely to feature as a public destination in 2022.
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