Have you heard of this word? Shinrin-Yoku? It’s a Japanese word meaning “forest bathing” and the practice has been getting lots of attention recently.
It was developed by the Forest Agency of Japan in 1982 in an effort promote using forested areas as part of a healthy lifestyle (source). The practice involves walking through the woods in a relaxed, leisurely manner while mindfully taking in the nature using all of the senses.
While the intended effect, to reduce stress and encourage relaxation, has been demonstrated by personal accounts, researchers are now able to provide scientific evidence of the positive impacts on one’s health.
Even if you don’t have hours to devote to forest bathing, there’s no doubt that nature is good for us. A walk around our neighborhood has saved many a challenging day for my children and I!
You can download and print a copy of this month’s nature word for your child’s nature journal. Refer to it as a reminder for you and your child to mindfully engage with nature using all of your senses and use it as a prompt to record your child’s experiences with “forest bathing”.
Have a wonder-filled day!