Summer or not, burnout is a reality for many who are not currently in vacation mode. If you’re looking to unwind and make your great escape to nature, forest bathing is a great way to unplug and relieve that stress – so if you’re in need of a break, read on!
What is ‘forest bathing?’
According to Destination Vancouver, ‘forest bathing’ is a form of ecotherapy originating from Japan in the ’80s, called ‘shinrin-yoku.’ The practice emerged as a result of the “tech-boom burnout” of the time, which can certainly be applied today as well. In fact, the practice is so straightforward, you’ve likely done it without realizing!
The perks? Lowered stress, increased mood, reduced fatigue, and a deeper connection to and appreciation of nature.
To practice forest bathing, individuals can head to their nearest wooded area and immerse themselves in nature, being mindful of what they hear, see, smell, and touch. In other words, a slower, meditative walk through the forest – with no end goal or defined route in mind.
Fortunately, Vancouver residents have access to some of the most beautiful old-growth forests in North America – and plenty of accessible areas located right here in the city.
So if your goal is to get away from your screen and reconnect with nature ASAP, check out these forests in and around Vancouver on your next ‘forest bath:’
- Stanley Park
- Pacific Spirit Regional Park
- Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver
- Rice Lake, North Vancouver
- Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area
And for those who are craving an experience outside of the city, consider a mindful walk through one of these BC Parks, which feature everything from towering waterfalls to ancient old-growth:
To help disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature, Destination Vancouver recommends keeping your phone off while you’re practicing ‘forest bathing,’ walking slowly and stopping often to take in your surroundings.
It’s also recommended to take slow, deep breaths as you walk, intentionally breathing deeper than you might normally.
Remember to bring layers and dress appropriately for the weather, and don’t forget a map of the park to help guide your journey!