Not everyone is blessed with a big backyard. If that resonates with you, I urge you to find a park or some public land close to where you live and make it your sanctuary. Nature is a highly accessible, free resource that can be your one-stop-shop for mental health, fitness and joy. Let me explain…
Right now, I’m in awe of my new backyard: Glacier National Park. Before you roll your eyes, know that the tradeoff for these spectacular views means living in less than 200 square feet in my vintage Airstream in a rafting outfitter’s employee parking lot without power, water or sewer hookups. But I’m OK with that because I’m a bicycle ride away from the “Crown of the Continent.” I have more than 700 miles of hiking trails in my new neighborhood, gorgeous turquoise lakes and snow-capped peaks to gaze at when I’m walking my dogs. I’m not complaining.
My point is, it’s a matter of perspective. The big backyard might come with a hefty mortgage. I’m content with my little postage stamp of a camping spot if it means low rent and easy access to a National Park. It’s not where I’ll stay forever, but it’s already shaping up to be a pretty epic adventure.
I’m betting you have some pretty stellar parks within a 15 to 30-minute drive of your house. This summer, I urge you to go out and explore – find your park. When you do, make a point of spending at least one hour per week there. Find a tree, sit with it, and let the healing power of nature soothe your soul.
I would love for you to join me for a remotely guided forest bathing and nature therapy experience on June 3 at 5 p.m. MDT. We'll meet on Zoom, but just long enough to get your instructions and start wandering and exploring the land where you are - hopefully your newfound park or your backyard. I will guide you live from the mountains of northwestern Montana. Click here to register and select "Virtual Forest Bathing and Nature Therapy." This one-hour experience is offered by donation and free to veterans, health care workers and those experiencing financial hardship. To request a scholarship code, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tree hugs and kisses,
About the Author
Kelly Bruce is a Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide/Trail Consultant and the founder of Natural Wanders. She leads forest bathing and nature therapy walks in the mountains of northwestern Montana in the summer, and in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina in the winter. Subscribe to her e-newsletter for more inspiration from nature and to learn about upcoming walks, workshops and retreats. Each Wednesday, she’ll provide inspiration to help you wander into wellness, naturally. In the meantime, follow along on Instagram and Facebook. This article originally appeared in The Swell Life, the official blog of Portfolio Vero Beach Magazine. Photography by Kelly Bruce.
Welcome! I'm Kelly Bruce, a certified nature and forest therapy guide. Join me each week for Wander and Wellness Wednesdays, where I provide inspiration to help you improve your overall wellbeing, naturally!