19 Jul Forest Bathing
Forest bathing is a new trend within the wellness community. This method of self-care goes far beyond its literal meaning of taking a bath in a forest. Forest bathing focuses on becoming one with your environment and the nature that is around you.
In honor of Purposeful Parenting month and Parks and Recreation month, try forest bathing with your family. You don’t need to go far to immerse yourself in nature – find a local park or hiking trail in or around your community to get started. Plan wisely and be sure to pack comfortable shoes, sun protection, and water. Forest bathing has many benefits, such as clearing your mind, reducing stress, and reducing your blood pressure (Aubrey, 2017). It’s also a great excuse for your family to bond and to get off of their electronics.
As useful as forest bathing is for personal and familial purposes, it is also deeply beneficial as a mental health intervention. North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center offers a need-based program to at-risk youth which utilizes the theories that underlie forest bathing to help adolescents cope with stressors in their lives. The Wilderness Respite Program provides its participants with a gateway to the mastery of social skills and youth empowerment through outdoor activities.
A parent of a Wilderness Program participant adds “Therapeutically speaking, this program teaches my son the tools to handle his negative combative thinking through hiking in various land and weather conditions. During each hike my son participates in, I have observed positive changes in his attitude and behavior which last for several days. His thinking appears clearer, his mood swings lessen. This program has definitely increased his self-esteem. The benefits of this program are endless.”
If you or your child is in need of support, contact the Guidance Center at 516-626-1971. Our trained clinicians can help you navigate any struggles that you may be experiencing.
Aubrey, A. (2017). Forest Bathing: A Retreat To Nature Can Boost Immunity And Mood. Retrieved July 19, 2017, from http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/07/17/536676954/forest-bathing-a-retreat-to-nature-can-boost-immunity-and-mood