Self-Care Tip: Spend Time in Nature

outdoors, nature, forest bathing

Stressed, irritable  and burnt out. 

That’s how I felt those last few days. Not even my usual yoga and meditation practice could do much to improve my mood.

I also felt isolated from my boyfriend. Our weekly date had become collateral damage to the other, more-pressing, things in both our lives. 

The sky was so blue that Wednesday morning, mocking me with its happy fluffy clouds and overall vibrance.

I wanted to go back to bed. But my boyfriend suggested we play hooky from life and try to spend some time together

Reluctantly, I agreed. I’m glad I did because as we drove through the miles and miles of coconut trees to get to the beach my mood improved.


We barely spent 2 hours at the beach itself, less than half that time in the water (the waves were really rough that day). But even so, we both got back home feeling happier, renewed and more connected.

Apparently we’re not alone in feeling like this.

It turns out spending time in nature has amazing benefits for our mind, bodies and spirit.

According to several studies, spending time in nature can significantly decrease stress. The participants in these studies had lower levels of cortisol (the hormone that’s used as a marker for stress) and a lowered heart rate (less anxiety). 

Outdoor time can also reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is linked to autoimmune disorder, IBS, hypertension, depression and even cancer!

The burnt out, irritable feelings I had are so common that it’s actually being researched.

It’s referred to as fatigue and, as I inadvertently found out, spending time in nature can help with it. 

Walking among some trees, having a picnic, or strolling along the shore is shown to increase focus, creativity and self-esteem. 

Nature therapy may just be the perfect antidote to the fatigue and burn out so many of us report feeling- it’s free, readily available, and has zero side effects.

Studies in Japan even show that their practice of forest bathing is associated with a lower risk of early death. 

We all want longer, healthier lives, don’t we?

So carve out some time this week to visit your favorite park, hiking trail or beach.

You’ll literally be happier and healthier if you do.

If you’d like to learn more about the health benefits of spending time in nature, check out this Business Insider article. 

The Number One Question I Get Asked as a Meditation Teacher

“Why is it SO hard to meditate?”

We all know we should meditate. 

Everyone from Oprah to Jay Shetty to Google execs to Wall Street Investors talk about their meditation practice and the benefits of it

Even Harvard has a ton of research on it. Harvard. 

So meditation is definitely a big deal right now.

But even with all these celebrity endorsements, studies and research, most of us have a pretty hard time getting a meditation practice started. 

Part of that is because starting anything is challenging. (Another topic for another post).

But a big part of why it’s so hard is because of what happens when we try to meditate. 

We sit our cute tushies on the mat or chair, close our eyes, inhale deeply…

And then the noise comes.

A furious storm of random thoughts, memories and judgments starts rushing into our minds.

We get frustrated because this is clearly not IT, this is clearly not the peace we were seeking when we sat down to meditate.

So we open our eyes and go back to our days. 

It’s hard, I know. 

I’ve definitely been there. Some days I’m still there.

But it turns out that the noise, the monkey mind, is IT.

Well a part of it. One of the most important parts of it actually. 

After venting this exact frustration to my meditation teacher, he told me little story about an old room that I’ll now share with you.

Picture a room or a space in your house where forgotten things end up. Old books, CDs (remember those), piles of clothes we always meant to donate. Maybe some cobweb. A cockroach or two. And dust. Layers and layers of dust. 

Now what happens when you decide to try to clean this space?

The dust raises. It clouds your vision. It consumes you. 

It feels intolerable. 

And we run out of the space overwhelmed  and frustrated because we didn’t make any progress.

Sounds familiar?

It should.

Because that’s what starting to meditate feels like. (At least that’s what it felt like to me)

But it’s important to remember to start slowly, and to be gentle with ourselves.

We’re intentionally looking into a space we haven’t really acknowledged  in years, maybe even ever.

It might be overwhelming  at first. 

It’s okay… 

Completely normal…

A natural part of the process.

Most importantly, you’re not going crazy.

It WILL get easier, more comfortable.

Take it slow. 

One breath at a time.

The peace you seek is already yours. It just has some dust on it. 

I’d love to know if you can relate to this! And if you can, how did you deal with it?

Remember to share this post with anyone you know who’s had a hard time meditating. They’ll thank you for it.