What Is "Shinrin-Yoku" Or Vacation In The Forest?
Everybody agrees that we all need a vacation as much as we need breath and eat. But when is it the best time to take vacation? Everyone has their own preferences. Someone likes to roast under the sun near the ocean, someone dreams of a snowy winter. For me, the choice of the best time of the year was determined in childhood - it's time for mushroom picking (I know, I know, most of you prefer mushroom picking in the store) - end of summer, beginning of fall. Actually, I have three main reasons to take vacation in September.
First, it's my husband's birthday.
Second, I love mushroom picking (and eating).
And third, I love forest. I grew up in the rural area surrounded with nature. So, if you did not find a lot (or any) of mushrooms, you still spend time in the forest. After all, sometimes we all just want to run away from the noisy and tense life of the city.
For the last 7 years we spend a week around Eagle River, WI area. Every time we are there we are trying to discover new forest preserve in the area. This year was not exception.
What was exception this year is that there were not a lot of mushrooms. So, we've decided that this time will be hiking and enjoying a beautiful weather.
Can you imaging waking up to this picture?
I read somewhere that in Japan the practice of "forest baths" is part of the national rehabilitation program.
So, what is "shinrin-youku"? Japanese shinrin-yoku literally translates as "swimming in the forest". The term shinrin-yoku, which refers to relaxing walks in the forest, appeared in the early 1980s. In 1982, such eco-therapy became part of the national health program.
The idea behind shinrin-yoku is simple and logical. People spent 99.99% of their history on the planet in the natural environment, all the mechanisms of our body and brain were formed so, that we could function in these conditions as efficiently as possible. Now most of us live in cities, spend days at a high pace, and the gap between such a life and what we are evolutionary accustomed to is huge. You can reduce this stress by returning to your natural environment.
The weather was beautiful, so, we've decided to practice shinrin-yoku.
Forest will teach you to appreciate the silence. In the city we are constantly haunted by noise. You might immediately feel better if you find a place where there are no sounds produced by people. Silence, leaf rustling, bird singing - all this has a restoring effect.
Sometimes you can see this kind of beauties - unfortunately, you cannot eat them
But we still were able to find some good mushrooms.
It was enough for dinner
In the evening we were making a campfire and baked potatoes, like we did in our childhood in the camp.
It was a great, very relaxin vacation. A week spent in the forest near the lake gave us such a boost of energy!
What about you? Where do you like to spend your vacation?