By Debra Hamilton
We humans were truly not designed to live in crowded, busy cities. Rushing from place to place amidst the cacophony of urban sounds, on busy streets, with never-ending, overflowing to-do lists drains our energy and creates stress. A wide variety of research now shows that a great way to reset and rejuvenate is to escape into Nature, which has a powerful healing effect on both our bodies and minds.
Have you tried forest bathing?
Also known as Shinrin-yoku in Japan, forest bathing is the practice of immersing yourself in Nature – in a forest environment – and soaking in its therapeutic benefits. The forest allows you to reduce stress, restore your energy, boost your immune system, improve your sleep and allow your creativity to flourish.
One of the best ways to experience the benefits of forest bathing is by escaping the city and spending time in a remote mountain lake location like Wing Creek Resort on Kootenay Lake in southeastern BC. Take tranquil walks through our forest, alongside the cascading waters of the eponymous creek, down to our private beach. Trees surround you, creating a sense of belonging and oneness with Nature.
Fill Up Your Senses
Let your senses absorb the intense beauty and healing power of the forest. Look at the many shades of green in this beautiful inland rainforest. See the different shapes and sizes of the trees and their foliage. Listen as the sounds of the creek soothe you. Hear the air filled with birdsong. (And those other sounds you hear might just be your own footsteps.) Inhale the scent of fresh air mingled with the crisp scent of cedar and pine, a bevy of fruit trees, and an abundance of flowers. Reach out and touch the soft leaves and let your fingers explore the textures of the bark of the many different species of tree in our forest.
Reduce Your Stress
Spending time in Nature has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress, while increasing production of serotonin, the hormone responsible for happiness. The practice of forest bathing, which has its roots in the practices of Shinto and Buddhism, was first developed in 1982 by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as a response to karoshi (death by overwork). The mental health benefits have been supported by psychological research.
This is a wonderful time to embrace the practice as the pandemic is widely believed to have significantly impacted our levels of stress, anxiety and depression. In fact, 90% of U.S. adults now believe that their country is facing a mental health crisis, according to a recent survey by KFF, an independent source for health policy research, polling, and news. We need forest bathing now more than ever, it seems.
Boost Your Immunity
Research has shown that forest bathing can also boost our immune system, helping us fight off illness and disease. When we breathe in the phytoncides, or natural chemicals emitted by trees, our bodies produce more white blood cells, which help us fight off infections. Spending time surrounded by the many trees in our forest and inhaling oxygen-rich fresh air is sure to give your immune system a much-needed boost.
Improve Your Sleep
Many people – especially those living high-pressure lives in the city – struggle to get a good night’s sleep, but forest bathing can help. Spending time in nature has been shown to improve sleep quality by regulating our circadian rhythms, the natural sleep-wake cycle that regulates our sleep patterns.
When we first moved to this area (from the city) we could rarely stay awake beyond about 9pm. So much fresh air in our city lungs! Trees create oxygen and we are blessed with an abundance of trees. It is said that one large tree can provide a day’s supply of oxygen for up to four people. We have thousands.
Simply being on vacation can also contribute to improved sleep. Spending time away allows you to disconnect from the stressors of your daily life and relax enough to enjoy a restful night’s sleep.
Enhance Your Creativity
Nature has a way of inspiring us and sparking our creativity. When we spend time in nature, our brains enter a state of relaxation, allowing us to think more creatively and come up with new ideas. By taking a vacation here at Wing Creek Resort, you’ll have the opportunity to disconnect from the distractions of daily life and tap into your creative side.
We have been privileged to host artists, sculptors, actors, musicians, and writers, all of whom have been able to relax, connect with their muse and unleash new levels of creativity.
Join us for Forest Bathing at Wing Creek Resort
In summary, forest bathing at Wing Creek Resort can improve your mood, increase your energy levels, and enhance your overall wellbeing. Your vacation has the power to reduce stress and anxiety, improve your immune system, help you sleep better, and make you more creative. Take time to immerse yourself in the natural environment and enjoy the short- and long-term benefits of forest bathing. This powerful practice can ensure your vacation gives you the change of scenery and restorative benefits you need, and you can return home refreshed and invigorated. Book your vacation now!
Check our our gallery for some enticing glimpses of forests on-site and nearby.
Want more forests? This area has many other forests to explore if you grow tired of those on our 20-acre waterfront property. Hiking is an extremely popular activity in this region with trails for every age and ability. Even old growth forests can be reached from Wing Creek Resort in about half an hour.
Need more than a vacation? If you decide that you can work from home or retire and would like to leave city life behind more permanently, we can help you with that too. Owners here at www.wingcreekresidences.com all first came to the area on vacation. And we are all very happy we stayed. Join us!