Spending time in nature can become even more important as the evenings start to draw in. But if the changing weather and shorter daylight hours mean you’re finding it a bit harder to leave the house, here are our top tips for getting out there and enjoying autumn forest bathing:
- Keep it toasty – if you are feeling cold, this will get in the way of relaxing and enjoying. Autumn weather can be unpredictable in terms of sunshine / rain / temperature etc so always take plenty of layers and waterproofs. I’d go so far as to say clothes-wise take more than you think you need: worse case scenario you can take a layer off and pop it in your rucksack – much better than ending up shivering! A hot drink in a flask can also be a good idea.
- Focus on the positives – one for you if you’re already missing summer and not loving the grey skies. Try and think about the benefits that autumn brings to your forest bathing practice – windier weather means being able to close your eyes and hear it in the trees; rain brings out the smells of the forest; and as the woods get ready for winter we get a beautiful display of colour followed by leaf piles we can enjoy walking through / kicking / jumping in!
- Pick a spot and notice the changes – this can really help you keep getting out there. Choose a place to regularly visit, ideally at least once a week, and every time you go there try and discover as many differences from your last visit as possible. Warning: this is something you can easily get hooked on!
We want your time in the forest to be a real opportunity to forget worries, unwind and relax. With that in mind, sessions are operating slightly differently at the moment to ensure that we are Covid-secure.
- Group size – as an organised outdoors physical activity, Wilder Lives sessions are exempt from the ‘Rule of 6’. However, we are keeping group sizes smaller than usual at the moment in order to make sure we can all safely distance. The limit may vary depending on the location being used but will normally be 8-10.
- Paperwork and payment – all paperwork and payment is completed electronically before the session so that there is no need for physical contact.
- Covid declaration – all participants must provide a declaration that they are free of Covid symptoms in order to be able to participate.
- Tailored routes – the meeting points, routes and spaces used during sessions have been carefully planned to make sure we steer clear of busy areas.
- At the session – your guide will remind you of the important points to keep us all safe, such as social distancing, using hand sanitizer, not sharing mats / rugs etc, and avoiding touching the same objects as others. If you have the NHS Covid-19 app, you can also check in to the session using our QR code.
If you should have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Liz for a chat – we want you to feel as comfortable as possible!
Lockdown can be tough on many levels. And while we’re not able to offer Forest Bathing+ sessions, we wanted to provide something that might help.
So check out the Wilder Lives Facebook page every Tuesday 7.30pm for free mini mindfulness sessions (as well as tips on staying connected to nature and general forest chat!)
Hope to see you there!
PS – the videos will also stay up on the page so you can watch them back later if needed.