Last night I went out to Fritton Lake and went for a walk in the woods for a couple of hours. Yes, I know, I am such a wild card, I really know how to live to the fullest on a Friday night. But after spending this week in a mad rush of marking, launching a blog, writing reports, finishing up moving house and trying to prepare for 6 weeks in India I craved a total relaxation. Something to restore me.
I wanted to try forest-bathing, a positive psychology import from Japan that I read about in this Psychology Today article. It is a practice is professed to lower cortisol (the stress hormone), increase health and longevity and increase feelings of gratitude.
So I left the city life for the evening in pursuit of some soothing solace in nature.
It was nearing sunset by the time I arrived, and my goodness it was beautiful. The golden glow of the low sun dappled through the trees in a way that made me feel privileged to be there to witness it.
I felt so deeply connected with the world around me, the air felt purer and the woody aromas of the of the forest and squidgy crunch of untouched, fallen leaves beneath each footprint.
I began to notice the small things around me that were incredibly beautiful. A perfectly woven spider's palace was completely woven into the grass on the forest floor, spun so intricately that it must have taken days and says of work to construct.