You can forest bathe all year round, not just in the spring or summer. However, winter forest bathing has its unique set of challenges to overcome.
Still, when done right, you can enjoy the mood boosting, anxiety curing, immune protecting benefits of forest therapy.
There are some excellent nature therapy programs that can guide you through your winter forest therapy experience. But if you want to see what it’s all about, starting on your own, here are 4 tips you need to know:
1. Bring Warm Layers
Enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest is all about being outdoors without distractions.
As long as you’re bundled up, you can still forest bathe and stay comfortable. Consider packing gear like: hats, mittens, thick boots, extra shirts and pants, and even a portable hand warmer if you have one.
Being in the forest in winter can offer a brand-new experience. The brisk air, even snow, will have a notably different vibe than nature therapy during other times of the year.
2. Mini Doses
No one ever said you have to spend hours upon hours to get the benefits of winter forest baths. If you just go outside for 10 or 20 minutes, that’s plenty.
Know your body and don’t overextend yourself. Keep in mind that even a few minutes a day can give you the positive effects of being grounded in nature.
And the essential oils that trees give off are still there in the winter.
Can you forest bathe in winter if going outside is not an option? Or what about days when it’s just too cold to venture outdoors?
Well, luckily, our bodies have the power of imagination. Now, you might not get to physically see or smell the trees. However, the human mind cannot tell the difference between visualization and reality.
This means if you close your eyes and imagine yourself in a pristine wilderness surrounded by beauty, you will still get some of the same benefits as if you were there!
You can thank visualization and the placebo effect for that.
4. Bring the Forest to You
When forest bathing in winter, consider creating a mini shrine in your own home. Bring some of your favorite plants and trees home, take care of them, and they’ll take care of you!
To bathe in your “home forest,” just do the same thing you normally would. Close your eyes and meditate. Draw. Observe the trees. Or simply enjoy the fresh smell. Using any one of your senses to connect with your mini forest will help your mind and body.
Hopefully this post helps you realize the powerful benefits of forest bathing in winter. And now that you know how to enjoy it in any weather, it’s time to give it a try!