Over the course of the next few days I’ll send you an email with a nature connection practice designed to help with stress and anxiety. They will be a mix of text and audio.
I use these practices on a daily basis myself as part of my own self-care routine. So I thought I would share them with you.
I talk about the importance of developing self-care routines in my introduction to the Pathways to Peace Stress and Anxiety course – click here.
My self-care practices need to be easy to do. They can’t take very long and more importantly they need to be gentle and effective. They need to support me being kind to myself.
So that’s what I will be sharing with you over the next few days. The same things I do to keep me calm and serene most of the time.
When I teach these practices on my courses, I tell people they are about: “getting out of your head and coming to your senses.”
Let me explain what I mean by that.
Whenever I experience stress and anxiety I find that my brain starts fizzing. I have obsessive and fixated thoughts. It’s extremely painful as it feels like I am going to snap. Often there is a lot of tension in my body. It’s very uncomfortable and I find myself agitated and anxious. I just don’t know what to do with myself and usually I end up locked into my brain with its obsessive thinking.
Does this sound familiar?
So each practice I will share with you is designed to do one thing. They are designed to bring you back into your body. Into the present moment. When this happens, I find I can handle my stress and anxiety pretty well.
As you may or may not know, when I came off drugs I spent time in a Buddhist recovery community in Thailand being taught mindfulness. Over the years I have adapted and incorporated some of what I learnt into my own approach to foraging and nature connection.
I’ve also developed other sensory-based practices. In its essence what I teach could be called Wild Wellbeing. Restoring connection to ourselves and the ecosystem.
Today’s exercise is really simple. It’s not so much a sensory/somatic exercise, I’ll teach you some of those later on.
Today (or tomorrow morning) I encourage you to spend some time writing. This is writing just for you. No-one needs to see it and I suggest you not share it with anyone else. Don’t even tell anyone you are doing it, unless of course you want to.
This exercise is private time for you and you alone.
You can write in a notebook with a pen or pencil. You can write on a computer in a blank document or note. It doesn’t matter what you use to get the words out.
What is important is to get them out of your head and externalised onto something.
Call it journalling. Call it morning pages. Call this process whatever you want. It doesn’t really matter.
There is also absolutely no right or wrong way to do this exercise. You’re in charge.
To give you some context, let me tell you how I do it.
Each morning I’ll get up and make myself a cup of tea. Then I will sit quietly with myself. How long is not important. What is important is that I sit with myself.
I don’t turn on my phone, however much I might yearn to. I just look out of my living room window. It’s not about meditating. It’s about sitting and feeling my body. Noting how I feel. Then after a little while, usually when I’ve finished my cup of tea I get up and sit at my desk and start writing.
I place no time limit on it. Some days I’ll write for just five minutes. Other days I might be scribbling for over half an hour.
When I first started this practice I barely wrote 100 words. Be gentle with yourself. You simply write as many words as you write.
It could be one word or a thousand. The benefit of this practice comes by doing it. And the end result is not relevant. Just tumble the words out of your head in whatever way they choose to come.
Forget spelling correctly. Forget grammar. Forget how to write correctly. Just write.
Enjoy this. I find it very calming.
To receive the nature connection mini-class via email, simply fill out the form below.
P.S. Click here to watch my introduction to the Pathways to Peace Stress and Anxiety Course.