3 Activities to Help You Relax, Reflect, and Refocus

Fall is a time of change, rejuvenation, and reflection as we transition from the extreme of summer to winter. Below are 3 ways you can get focused, recenter, and prepare for your own transition of change during the coming months.


Begin Forest Bathing

Forest bathing is a great way to reconnect mentally and spiritually, and fall is the perfect time to try it. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with having an actual bath in a forest (even though that does sound relaxing). Forest bathing is basically a nature walk that is supposed to be slow, thoughtful, and more meditative instead of quick paced and adventurous. Forest bathing means going out into nature and just stopping for a while to breathe and take everything in, whether it be the details of the falling leaves or the cool wind on your cheeks. As you forest bath regularly, you can expect to see some of the following benefits:

  • Less stress
  • Less anxiety
  • Enhanced self-awareness
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Feeling more rested

Prioritize Naps

As the Earth begins to slow down and prepare to rest during the dormant season of winter, it’s time for you to take a season to do the same. Summer can be full of fun and adventure, but it can become hectic and tiring as well. Fall is the perfect time to focus on the rejuvenation of body and mind, which is why it’s time for you to start taking more naps. 

When we’re young, naps are essential, but as we grow older we start to tell ourselves that they’re either a waste of time or that we don’t have the time to nap. Neither is true! Benefits to napping include: 

  • improved learning 
  • better memory 
  • improved mood
  • alertness 
  • feeling less stressed

The key to a productive nap is to sleep long enough that your body moves through sleep stages but not so long that you feel groggy afterwards. This means that the best nap is 10 to 30 minutes long. 

Note: Naps might not be a good idea if you have insomnia. 



Try Writing in A Journal 

Our gardens accomplish a lot during the growing seasons, and we do too. Autumn is a lovely time to reflect on what you've accomplished so far this year and think about what we want the end of the year to look like. Do you have any remaining goals you'd like to accomplish or continue working at? Is there anything you'd like to change or improve on as the seasons change, too? Here’s some sample prompts to get you reflecting and writing:

  • What have you accomplished this year?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What would you change in your life?
  • What do you want your tombstone to say?
  • What do you like about yourself?
  • What are you self-conscious about?
  • Describe the qualities of someone you admire.
  • What’s 1 goal you’d like to accomplish before the end of the year? How are you going to accomplish it? (Make a specific plan.)
  • Who is someone you can help right now? How can you serve them?
  • List 10 things that make you smile.


Resources

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/napping

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ss/slideshow-health-benefits-of-napping

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/07/17/536676954/forest-bathing-a-retreat-to-nature-can-boost-immunity-and-mood

https://www.rei.com/blog/hike/theres-no-running-in-forest-bathing

https://reflectionsfromaredhead.com/writing-prompts-for-self-reflection/

https://gentwenty.com/thoughtful-and-reflective-journal-prompts/


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