Getting out of the house does wonders for our mental health and it is well known that children’s wellbeing increases when they are out in nature.
Have you tried Forest Bathing or ‘Shinrin-yoku’’? It is Japanese for absorbing nature’ and is all about getting out in nature to reduce stress, improve mood and increase energy levels and sleep.
It’s important to get children outside as much as possible, to stimulate their brains away from all the technology distractions they face in today’s world.
Here are some Forest Bathing tips:
Go for a walk, after school, on the weekend, or in the evening.
Feel the crunch of the ground beneath your feet, listen to the birds chirp and admire the beautiful colours.
Feel the wind on your face.
Look up at a tree and notice the shapes of the branches and leaves.
Breathe in the fresh outdoor air and feel invigorated.
Pick up a leaf and notice every detail on it.
You may even like to play an outdoor scavenger hunt where children have to find something green, something made of wood, something hard and something soft etc.
Try these Nature Exercises – indoors or out
Green Breaths – Lie or sit down and place your hand on your tummy. Breathe in and out gently and feel your tummy rising and falling. Now, as you breathe in, imagine you are breathing green light. It feels very calming and peaceful. Now breathe the green light out into the room. Fill the whole room with soft green light. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out.
Butterfly Massage – You may like to try these massage strokes on your child’s back or encourage siblings to give each other a relaxing massage. Imagine your thumbs are a caterpillar crawling up your child’s spine. Slowly and gently walk up the sides of the spine like a caterpillar. Walk right up to the neck and down again. Now, rub the back to warm it up. Finally practice some butterfly strokes and flutter your fingers all over your child’s head, neck and back.
If you can’t get outside, our Nature audio brings the quiet of nature inside children’s heads and is like Forest Bathing for the mind – without even needing to put on their coats!
The Nature audio includes 16 calming nature relaxation that help soothe anxieties and calm the nerves.
Examples include: lying in the soft grass, sitting in a peaceful cave and flying like a bird.
These relaxations aim to develop confidence and creativity.
The Nature audio is the ultimate endorphin kick and immunity boost. The tracks on this audio will help children feel amazing, by releasing the same positive endorphins as a trip to the sea side, while teaching them important relaxation techniques that will help them manage their emotions as they journey through life.
‘My 10 year old son was finding it difficult to get to sleep and was often still awake at midnight. After success with the Nature meditations CD, we now have 2 more and Jack really enjoys picking which one to listen to and choosing which track to start on. Each night is a new meditation adventure for him instead of being a nightmare’ – parent