Since we were forced to postpone our planned Forest Walk, because the official situation still does not permit larger groups of people to gather, we hope to reschedule it for April, depending on the legal conditions set by the government. Once the situation improves, we will inform you about the new date.
However, in the meantime, we have two options for you. You can try out some of the ‘Forest Mind’ techniques individually – Martina, the walk leader, presents a few easy guidelines for you to follow when you go to the forest with the people one is permitted to meet and be with. For those of you who feel they’re in real need of support in the area of mental health, Martina kindly offered an individual meeting and consultation. In such a case, you can contact her via the Forest Mind contact details.
It is at least clear that spring is slowly approaching, so try to enjoy the outdoors as much as you can nonetheless, it improves your immunity! 😉
Since I met Sirpa Arvonen, a joyful lady from Finland, when she was finishing her first book called Metsämieli (Forest mind, Lesní mysl), I started going to the forest every day. I always liked to be in nature, but meeting with this Finnish concept of self-care gave me a strong motivation to be there every day and to find ways to fulfil this wish. If there is no forest nearby, parks or a garden work as well. Forest Mind is a great simple way of learning skills for life balance and resilience, so needed these days! It intensifies the natural healing effects of forests.
Here are some simple tips for your forest walk, if you wish to experience them. We are also planning some Forest Mind workshops. The exercises might seem too simple when you read them but there is a big difference if you visit a forest and practise them there.
1) Practise observation:
Stop in the forest in a nice place and close your eyes… Try to concentrate only on what you hear for 3 minutes. Even this 3-minute break brings a feeling of relaxation, recognizing one’s presence and the importance of stopping.
2) Detail observation:
Find a detail in nature that catches your attention (moss, a leaf, the shape of a pine cone,…) Give it 3 minutes of your full attention, observe it by trying to use all senses you have. A great surprise is sure to come. It wakes up our senses, curiosity and wonderment.
The Forest Mind motto says: “15 minutes in the forest every day makes sense.”
Written by Martina Holcová (national Forest Mind leader and trainer)