It’s once again time for some spring cleaning…the annual chore of brushing off the cobwebs that collected over winter. Why not take the time to shake off the mental, physical, and emotional cobwebs winter leaves us with? Self-care and wellness are one of the keys to health and happiness, and there are always new trends in this area. Here are four trending wellness activities you need to try.
1. Forest Bathing
In a loud and busy world where our digital devices demand our constant attention, unplugging and reconnecting is essential. Take time to enjoy the simple pleasures offered by natural spaces. Enter forest bathing, also known as shinrin-yoku. It’s a beloved Japanese “nature prescription” that’s been around since the 1970s and is now making a comeback.
This simple cure improves moods and increases the speed of recovery from surgery and illness. It also increases all-around energy levels. The prescription itself couldn’t be easier: visit a natural area, and “bathe” in it by walking in a relaxed and unfocused way, surrounded by nature. Enjoy being present in the moment and soaking up your surroundings. Leave your cell phone behind, and bask in the fresh air, sights, and sounds of your environment.
There’s nothing new about the practice of breathing deeply and trying to quiet your mind. People have been meditating for millennia. What is new is the scientific research that shows the magical benefits of meditation. It’s an effective way to make significant changes to your brain that can reduce your stress responses and beat depression.
The best part? You can meditate anywhere and it’s free. You’ll find plenty of meditation apps, online resources (both free and for purchase), and workshops that can help you achieve Nirvana. You can start anytime, anywhere by focusing on your breath and attempting to clear your mental clutter. Go a step further by creating a personal wellness space in your garden. Add lights and comfortable seating to create a warm space encouraging you to meditate daily.
This ancient, traditional Indian medical practice has gained broad support in recent years. That means finding an accredited practitioner near you should be a breeze. The system of Ayurveda is oriented around the concept of three human profiles, or “doshas”: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The aim is to balance all three through diet, activity, and traditional herbs. Ayurvedic massage is also recognized for its soothing and therapeutic results. So go ahead and discover your dosha today to get started.
One current wellness trend is something you’ve been enjoying since you were a kid: walking barefoot outside. Earthing or grounding has been scientifically shown to have some serious benefits. Researchers found that walking barefoot boosts immunity, improves sleep, speeds up healing, and reduces stress. The reason? Free electrons flow over the surface of the earth and we can “tap into” them by connecting to the earth’s electric field…through our bare feet.
Basically, this is an invitation to spend some time outside without your shoes on. While you’re doing your spring cleaning, sweep off the patio, put out some lawn chairs, kick off your shoes and press your soles to the ground.
Whether you’re a self-care expert or just getting started, these are some trends that will never get old. Wellness activities are an investment that always pays off richly. No matter what path your wellness journey takes, you will thank yourself for taking the first step.
Katie Marie is a writer, avid yogi, and outdoor explorer. She spends most of her time practicing meditation and wellness using organic elements within nature.
Image via Warshaw Girl on WeHeartIt.