We are blessed to live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and it is more of a benefit than you may have previously considered.
Wise counselors and therapists are now recommending something that is actually being called Nature Therapy, and the good news, is we have plenty of open and beautiful green spaces to accomplish all the glorious benefits that nature therapy can bring.
So who is an appropriate candidate for Nature Therapy and how should one go about pursuing it?
Really anyone who notices they feel more relaxed, calm and at ease can benefit by the stillness and solace that being out in nature affords.
However, for those suffering from depression, anxiety, autism, or challenged with ADD can also find some tremendous benefits in addition to the inherent stress relief.
Studies are now showing that being out in nature, whether on a nature walk, hike, or even just being at a park or in the forest listening to nature sounds like a gurgling brook, waterfall, or the wind blowing through the trees, can bring comfort and calm.
Additionally, Here’s some of the specifics –
According to Therapist.com, ADHD symptoms in kids may be helped by spending time outside.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD) symptoms may show improvement through nature therapy along with quality of life, hope and basic functioning improving.
People with eating disorders may be able to connect better with their own bodies through nature therapy activities.
And many physical health problems can be minimized or helped through outdoor activities and moving your body while in nature.
Here’s some ideas for you to begin to both enjoy the great outdoors and many beautiful places we have available to us right here in Kitsap County.
1. Take a walk at one of many paths on the Clear Creek Trails, including joining us for a community hike (nature walk on Saturday 4/29 at 10a)
2. Take your kiddos or grandchild, your partner, roommate, friend or neighbor to enjoy walking along the waters edge at the Silverdale Waterfront park in Silverdale’s Old Town.
3. Head over to Klahowya for a lovely hike through the trails that invite beauty, exercise and movement.
4. Spend time outside walking around your own neighborhood, taking the time to notice the flowers, trees, or birds that you might otherwise not notice in your haste of getting somewhere.
5. Plan a day to kayak or canoe with some friends or family and enjoy the scenic landscape from your kayak, canoe or sailboat.
6. Take a walk along the water at Liberty Bay Waterfront Park where you can enjoy some art along the way in addition to some beautiful scenery.
7. Plant some flowers, shrubs, veggies or an herb garden on your own property where you can dig in the soil, and enjoy the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of gardening outdoors.
8. Make time to grab the kiddos or just yourself the next time it rains and go dance in it! Feel the beauty of the water as you enjoy some creative expression outside in nature.
9. Consider looking into a forest bathing experience. Enjoy a serene experience surrounded by nature.
10. For those that are more active, see what additional sports or outdoor activities you might add to the mix, such as cycling, outdoor pickleball, or tennis, camping and hiking in new places, or try something new like paddle boarding.
And a bonus idea… take your journal or drawing book or writing outdoors and set up outside where you can breathe the fresh pacific northwest air while inhaling all the beauty that surrounds you.
Lastly, we encourage you don’t wait for the days of sunshine- make it a point to build in nature activities and events all year so you can reap the benefits of increased calm and reduced stress year round.