Maintaining a sense of calm helps especially when outside forces are being reactive and anxious. You have a choice to engage with the fear, anxiety, and stress - or stay calm. It is not always easy but if you identify some ways that help when you feel your stress level rising, you can take control of your response.
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What is Forest Bathing?
Forest bathing is the practice of immersing yourself in nature in a mindful way, using your senses to derive a whole range of benefits for your physical, mental, emotional, and social health. It is also known as Shinrin-yoku. ‘Shinrin’ means forest and ‘Yoku’ stands for bathing. The idea took birth in Japan in the 1980’s and proved to be a very effective tool to overcome the ill effects of a hectic life and stressful work environment.
Forest bathing in nature allows the stressed portions of your brain to relax. Positive hormones are released in the body. You feel less sad, angry and anxious. It helps to avoid stress and burnout, and aids in fighting depression and anxiety. A forest bath is known to boost immunity and leads to lesser days of illness as well as faster recovery from injury or surgery. Nature has a positive effect on our mind as well as body. It improves heart and lung health, and is known to increases focus, concentration, and memory. To learn more, click here
The Next Walk You Take Could Change Your Life
From the New York Times…”Barry Lopez, nature writer extraordinaire, once remarked that one of the first things he did when arriving in a new landscape was lace up his shoes and have a stroll. But Mr. Lopez didn’t walk the way most of us walk. Open ended, without rush, bird books in his suitcase and his entire body tuned like the stiffened ears of an arctic fox, he felt the dirt crunch under his toes, ran his fingers through dew on the leaves, noticed what’s growing in the nooks, listened to what birds were yapping and — I’m speculating here on this last one — welcomed notes of sunset-mud up his nostrils, as from a ’96 bottle of Chateau Margaux.” To read the full article, click here
A Mindful Garden Walk – Awareness in nature
From Mindful.org –experience a mindful garden walk.- a mindfulness practice that can be done anytime and anywhere. This is an example of simply being in a natural setting and shows how we can be refreshed by the qualities of nature. So, enjoy the video on this site and/or find a garden or park and explore on your own or with a friend.
"Recess Therapy," where little kids answer big questions
What's on the minds of kids ages 2-8? Armed with a microphone, Julian Shapiro Barnum finds out in his viral online series "Recess Therapy," in which children discuss such weighty issues as climate change, money, and peeing in your pants. From CBS Sunday morning – these are refreshing and reassuring thoughts from our young, future leaders. Check out the segment here. You can find more recordings of Recess Therapy here.
Employee & Family Resources (EFR) – Caring for Your Mental Health
EFR offers many ideas to care for your mental health and remember isn't just something you should do from 9 to 5. It's a lifestyle change that helps you produce your best work and live your best life! Here are a few ways you can care for your mental well-being:
- Value yourself. Be kind to yourself -- you truly deserve it!
- Take care of your body. Healthy habits strengthen your mental health by helping combat stress.
- Calm your mind. Mindfulness practices quiet your mind.
- Create a support network. Have, or find new people, you can relax and have fun with and lean on in difficult times.
- Switch it up. Break up a tedious schedule with new activities.
- Deal with your stress. Aim to practice good coping skills.
- Get help when you need it. Your confidential and free EAP benefit is a 24/7-accessible resource. You and your household family members can access your EAP's services by calling 800.327.4692