Three tips for letting nature slow your pace

Our world can be very demanding. Expectations from loved ones, friends, school and work are ever present, and finding ways to manage the stress is key. When you feel your stress level rising, consider walking outside. The ocean, mountains, lakes and trails that lead to them demand very little from us and expect nothing.

Time in nature can be a great practice to incorporate into your life to help relieve the demand and stress of our man-made world, which can be over stimulating and mentally exhausting.

Here are some simple ideas to use time in nature to help with stress management.

Sit spot

A sit spot is a practice in your life that can help cultivate awareness and quiet the mind. It helps with body awareness and breathing. Find a quiet sit spot in nature that you can visit regularly and sit quietly. Start with 10 minutes, and increase or decrease the time depending on what your schedule permits. This practice can help you build connection with nature and find relaxation in the solitude in your surroundings.

Sit spot

Nature walk

A nature walk can be rejuvenating in the sense it can get the blood moving and allow the lungs to fill with fresh air. Remember that there is a difference between a strenuous hike and a nature walk. During the latter, you should be awakening the senses to what is around you and be present in the moment. Allow the sounds and sights of nature to fill your mind and allow for the curiosity and questions nature can inspire. What birds can you hear in the distance? What plant is growing next to the trail?

Leave technology behind

Having access to communication is an important safety element when spending time outdoors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stash your device out of sight. Swap your playlist for the sounds of nature and sink into the sounds of the natural world.

These tips were originally shared during Get Your Ship Together, a day-long series of workshops organized by Leadership Victoria participants. Offered to teens from the West Shore, the workshops focused on skills and information needed to help transition from high school, such as renting and tenancy rights, budget and financial management, food and stress management.

– Story and initial workshop shared by Megan Millar, Power To Be curriculum coordinator