Self-Care Ritual: Get Outside

ON February 9, 2017

This month, our focus is #SELFCAREACTIVISM. Our Namaste teachers have shared how they choose to love and care for themselves.

For the rest of February we’ll be calling out some of the best ways to practice self-love, from hiking to hiding away with a good book, all of our tips will be highlighted here.

First practice? GET OUTSIDE. Read on to hear from them and see some awesome research on why nature therapy is self-care gold!

The Bay Area is known for our immense amount of hiking and natural spaces, more than almost any other city in the US. We are cradled by the ocean and bay to our west, rolling hills full of red wood groves and chaparral meadows to the east. Getting outside can be a big adventure or a stroll to your neighborhood park. Need motivation? Here are some awesome benefits of being in nature:

    1.  Japanese researchers have shown that forest bathing, the practice of sitting in the forest, lowers your blood pressure, pulse, and heart rate variability. It has also been shown to decrease stress hormone levels.
    2. People who live close to nature experience less anxiety and depression. Walking in nature has been shown to improve mood and short-term memory in people with depression, as well as decrease rumination (repetitive, negative thoughts) and brain activity associated with mental illness.
    3. Being outdoors, and away from artificial lights, helps synchronize your biology to natural circadian rhythms. Scientists investigating chronobiology, the study of biological rhythms, have shown that our connection to natural light/dark cycles helps to regulate our sleep, our moods, our stress levels, and our hormones.
    4. One study found that children with ADHD showed significantly better concentration after taking a 20-minute walk in nature, compared to a walk in an urban setting. Another study showed that taking a walk in the park (or even just looking at green space) helped to ease brain fatigue and increase participants’ abilities to concentrate. Spending time outside makes us feel connected to a bigger picture of life.

We are excited to share in this collective experience. Cheers to a new month full of self-care inspiration.

Join our community Facebook group, Year of Empowerment Club  for weekly tips and journal prompts.

Keep up with us on the blog, Instagram, and Facebook where we’ll be sharing tips from your favorite Namaste teachers.

Research Sources via MindBodyGreen. 

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