It was in seeking remedies for depression that I discovered the astounding healing properties of nature. From herbal remedies and vitamin supplements to hiking in the woods and breathing in the fresh air, nature has had your back for thousands of years.
Of course things are a little more complicated than they were a thousand years ago. And I’m certainly not going to disregard all the modern advancements of our time. Modern medicine certainly has it’s place.
Instead, I propose they can go together quite nicely, offering each of us a more fulfilling and complete level of healing and happiness.
To that end, please take any of my thoughts and suggestions that could work for you and combine them with what you’re doing that is already working. We are each unique and when it comes to alleviating depression and overwhelm, the more resources to help, the better. Your unique healing path will likely be comprised of a custom selection of lifestyle practices, support, self care and possibly modern medicine.
So here’s a taste of what nature has to offer you.
A greater connection to yourself and the earth all at once. A stillness. A breath of fresh air. A wholeness and oneness. A still place of non-judgement. Beauty. Space. The exquisite detail and perfection of life itself.
It may sound awfully deep and intangible. I get it. But nature is profound. And so are the healing benefits it offers.
During my dark night of the soul, this concept, nature as healer, was not something I could relate to. I didn’t consider it.
Honestly, I was disconnected and numb to the world around me.
I specifically remember the simple tasks I did each day and each week, whether I wanted to or not in the beginning, to move me forward, out of the darkness. I didn’t think about if it would work or what I would be doing in a month.
I focused on the present moment and the present moment only.
It started with stepping outside, pausing and taking a deep breath. I did this a couple of times each day.
I allowed it to be enough, knowing that as my being was ready to expand, we would.
My awareness shifted and I began to notice the sounds and smells around me. It was comforting to be outside.
This led to taking short walks each day, early in the morning, when the world was quiet and safe.
It became my self-care, my time to heal. And I did so by just being.
The meditative nature of putting one foot in front of the other, removed my need to always be thinking or figuring things out.
Instead, it was about absorbing the quiet, the birds chirping, the feeling of the sun as it lit another day.
What was significant about walking?
- The movement allowed my body to feel good.
- It took away my worry about being awake at 430am.
- It gave me something to look forward to each day.
- In the quiet, I found hope. I could feel the possibility within each walk.
- It gave my day rhythm and structure.
- It helped me to fall asleep at the right time each night.
Most importantly, walking was a launching point toward something greater.
My journey toward great happiness and wholeness.
Walking led me to crave more time outdoors, which led to hiking, camping and river rafting. As my body became stronger, I began to crave physical exertion, which led to trail running and triathlons. Finding exercise that I enjoyed led to losing weight and feeling better about my body.
My self image improved and so I began to make better choices about what I ate and how I spent my time. I discovered new interests and made new friendships. I even met my partner.
It was the domino effect multiplied. And it started with a breath of fresh air.
Now tell me, what is it nature could do for you?