Life can be hard. Life can also be fun, exciting, beautiful, spiritual and full of surprises, but we’re here to open up the conversation about those moments that are less than perfect. When change is on the horizon, needs aren’t being met, and purpose or direction seems uncertain, we can shut down, retreat and internalize our emotions.
We’re not saying these are the only solutions. We know that a combination of positive thinking, medication, therapy, diet and self nurturing can all contribute to a healthier mental state. But one thing is for certain: we all need nature.
Nothing feels as good as warm rays of sunshine. Scientifically speaking, “exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of serotonin [the feel-good hormone].”
But in the winter or on rainy days, it can be hard to receive the benefits of our good friend. Solution? Make time for sunshine. Catch it if you can. And wear a minimum of SPF 15 just so you don’t overdo it.
📣 Challenge: Join the mission of our friends Chasing Sunrise. Wake up extra early one day and watch the sun rising.
We are strong believers that “the cure for anything is salt water.” Sore muscles? Salt bath. Sore throat? Salt water. But seriously, water is life. When we sense negativity building, we take a sip of water to hydrate and cleanse. After all, dehydration can negatively influence your mood and energy levels. Drink up!
📣 Challenge: Spend an extra 5 minutes every day by the nearest natural body of water. Drink 1 extra glass of water every day.
3. Deep Breaths
If you’ve ever stepped inside a yoga studio, you’ll understand. Breathing is instinctual and we can go all day without even noticing that we’ve been doing it. But whenever we are sad or anxious, we always forget to breathe. How something so innate can be forgotten, we have no idea, but it constantly happens when we feel overwhelmed or stressed. Clear your mind by focusing on your breath. Be mindful about how deep and how often you are breathing.
📣 Challenge: Take 3 immensely long and deep breaths. When you think you can’t inhale anymore, inhale some more. Pause. Exhale.
4. Fresh Air
Nature is the original chicken soup. It is healing, comforting and the ultimate pick-me-up. But knowing and practicing are two different things. Sometimes we need to force ourselves just to get out the door. And when we do get outside? Instant chicken soup.
According to studies, “being outside in nature for just 20 minutes in a day [is] enough to significantly boost vitality levels.” (Source: Richard Ryan via Huffington Post). So what are you waiting for? Get outside.
📣 Challenge: Spend at least 20 minutes outside every day. You don’t have to go far, but try to get as much fresh air as possible.
Just like the app store has a solution to everything: if you’re feeling bad, there’s a plant for that. Naturopathic doctor, Amelia Wachtin, says: “Many plants have an incredible ability to ward off stress and lift our spirit. It doesn’t take long to find peace of mind with lavender essential oil in the bathtub, a relaxing cup of tea, or foods rich in healthy fatty acids. We can utilize plants every day to bring peace and happiness to our minds!”
📣 Challenge: Add more plants to your life, whether by having an extra serving of veggies or taking a relaxing essential oil bath.
Now our favorite part of this list is obviously animals! They have healing powers. It’s true. Try to keep a straight face when you look at a llama. There is absolutely no way that spending time with a furry friend will not make you get at least a tiny fuzzy feeling. Go ahead, try it. Look at a picture of a llama right now.
📣 Challenge: Change your spirit animal to one that makes you happy.
If we listen closely, we can hear the sounds of nature’s orchestra. There is life in every sound, from the babbling brook to the whistling wind. Waterfalls, waves and whales singing below the surface are some of the sounds that bring us sheer joy. If we had to choose, they would play on repeat in our minds all the time. What will you choose to be the soundtrack to your life?
📣 Challenge: Make a mental playlist of nature’s sounds. Listen for them on your next adventure.
Do you ever notice how much better you feel after doing something active? Even simple movements like walking and stretching help release endorphins. There are so many ways to move! What are your favourite activities? We love it all… but there’s nothing as fun as getting upside down in handstands and cartwheels.
📣 Challenge: Get upside down. Click your heels. Jump! Because you’re alive and all is well.
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