Spring is here! It is a busy time of activity. Outside critters are scurrying about, and some birds are returning to the area after traveling south for the long winter. Inside, many people are cleaning and organizing their homes.
Spring is also a time to start fresh and begin things anew. One way to do that is with a little bit of stillness. So now is the perfect time to get outside and do nothing!
Find a tree to lean against. You may want to bring a sit-upon or seat cushion along, because the ground may be wet or cold. Sit comfortably and lean against the tree. Close your eyes and just breath. Let your back melt into the tree until you cannot tell where one ends and the other begins. Just be still and breath and notice how that feels. Don’t let the action around you be a distraction. Be thankful for the opportunity to just sit and be.
Take a silent hike with a friend. Ask a buddy to take a walk with you and agree not to speak. Also agree to stop the conversation in your head. Stop your mind from thinking about what you must do, what you want to do or what you wish you had or hadn’t done. Walk and enjoy the fresh air, the blue skies, the busy squirrel and whatever else you see.
Breath and Notice
This activity you can do while sitting comfortably or while walking. With every inhale, challenge yourself to notice something new. You can pay attention to everything in your view, or you can focus in on one object. Challenge yourself to notice all the tiny details unique to your object. You can also focus on what you hear or smell in addition to what you see.
There are so many benefits to being outside with nature while doing nothing! The Japanese art of shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” has been gaining popularity in United States, but you do not need fancy titles or experienced guides to have a meaningful moment in nature. You can try the activities above, or just head outside and feel your connection to the natural world, whatever that means to you!
Follow Willy's Wilderness on Facebook for more kid-friendly nature stories and activities.