Category: Nature Based Wellness Journal

Nature Based Wellness Journal

  • 🍂Embrace the Autumn Equinox – 5 Nature Infused Ways to Celebrate the Shift of the Season🌼

    | 12 min Read |

    🌿 Happy Equinox, dear friends!

    The autumn equinox, also known as the fall equinox, holds significance due to its role in marking the transition from summer to fall in the Northern Hemisphere.

    It occurs when the sun crosses the celestial equator, resulting in roughly equal lengths of day and night.

    This moment of balance between light and darkness symbolizes several meaningful concepts:

    Harvest and Abundance: The autumn equinox traditionally aligns with the harvest season, a time when crops are gathered and stored for the coming months. It’s a celebration of abundance, gratitude, and the fruits of hard work.

    Balance and Harmony: The equinox is a fleeting moment when day and night are approximately equal in length. This symbolizes a sense of balance and harmony, both in nature and within ourselves. It encourages us to find equilibrium amid life’s transitions.

    Transition and Reflection: As summer transitions to fall, the equinox marks a shift in the natural world. This change invites us to reflect on the passing of time and embrace the beauty of impermanence.

    Renewal and Transformation: The equinox serves as a reminder that nature operates in cycles. Just as trees shed their leaves in preparation for winter, we too can let go of what no longer serves us, making space for growth and renewal.

    Cultural Celebrations: Across cultures, the autumn equinox has been observed with various rituals and celebrations. From festivals like Mabon to cultural traditions associated with harvest, it’s a time of connection to heritage and community.

    In essence, the autumn equinox invites us to align with the rhythms of nature, to embrace change with grace, and to find both unity and renewal in the cycles of life. It’s a moment to appreciate the interconnectedness of all things and to cultivate a sense of mindfulness and presence.

    As the autumn equinox graces us with its presence, let’s revel in the beauty of this transitional moment and connect deeply with nature’s rhythms.

    Here are five wonderful ways to celebrate the equinox while immersing yourself in the wonders of the natural world:

    🌞 Sunrise or Sunset Meditation: 

    Begin or end your equinox day with a meditation session while watching the sunrise or sunset. Find a peaceful spot outdoors, feel the earth beneath you, and let the golden hues of the sun fill you with tranquility. Let the shifting light remind you of life’s constant changes and the beauty they bring.

    🌳 Forest Bathing Adventure: 

    Venture into a nearby forest or park for a serene forest bathing experience. As you walk among the trees, take in the sights, sounds, and scents of the environment. Tune in to the rustling leaves and the gentle breeze, and embrace the equinox as a reminder of balance and harmony in nature.

    🍁 Equinox Ritual of Gratitude:

    Create a personal equinox ritual outdoors. Find a quiet spot, perhaps near a tree or by a body of water. Reflect on the abundance in your life and offer gratitude for the blessings of the past season. As you release fallen leaves or petals into the wind, let go of what no longer serves you, making space for new beginnings.

    🌼 Nature Art Expression:

    Celebrate the equinox by expressing your creativity through nature-inspired art. Collect fallen leaves, acorns, and twigs to craft a seasonal collage or arrangement. Use these gifts from nature to symbolize your connection to the earth’s cycles and your own journey of growth.

    🍂 Equinox Picnic Gathering:

    Gather with friends or family for an equinox picnic in a park or garden. Share seasonal foods, bask in each other’s company, and engage in conversations about the changing seasons. This shared experience honors the transition while fostering a sense of community and connection.

    By embracing these nature-infused celebrations, we create moments of mindfulness and connection that resonate long after the equinox sun sets. 🌄🌿

  • 🍂 Season’s Shift: Dive into Fall with Forest Bathing Events, Wellness Tips, and More

    |10 min Read |

    As the summer sun begins to mellow and the days grow a touch crisper, we find ourselves on the cusp of a beautiful seasonal transition. September brings with it the promise of change, of nature’s vibrant hues painting the landscape, and an opportunity for us to reconnect with the rhythms of the earth.

    I’m excited to share about upcoming September events, offer some tips for embracing the seasonal shift and a few pieces of exciting news!

    Upcoming September Events:

     🍂Forest Bathing + Nature Therapy 101: Mini Session Join me on September 9th at The Nature Institute in Godfrey, IL for a gentle, immersive forest bathing experience. Immerse yourself in the peace of presence and let nature’s embrace wash over you. [Learn More»]

     🌳Forest Bathing + Nature Therapy Sessions at the Livin’ Analog Day Retreat On September 23rd, join me at Simpson Park in Valley Park for a day of digital detox and mindful nature connection at the Livin’ Analog® Day Retreat. Let’s explore the wonders of presence and technology-free living. 2 Forest Bathing sessions offered [Learn More»]​

    🌼 Equinox Forest Bathing + Celebration Embrace the autumn equinox on September 24th with a leisurely forest bathing walk, celebrating the changing of the season. Connect with nature’s wisdom and find serenity in the transition. [Learn More»]

    Embrace the Seasonal Shift: Nature Connection Tips:

    1.  🌱Morning Moments: Start your day by taking a few deep breaths and stepping outside to greet the day. Feel the cool morning air and listen to the gentle rustling of leaves. It’s a simple way to begin your day grounded and connected.

    2.  🍁Nature Walks: As the leaves start to change, visit a nearby park or nature reserve for a leisurely walk. Observe the subtle shifts in colors and textures, and let the beauty of nature soothe your soul.

    3. 🌬️Mindful Breathing: Find a comfortable spot outdoors and practice mindful breathing. Inhale the crisp autumn air deeply, and with each exhale, release any tensions and worries.

    4.  📝Seasonal Reflection: Embracing the changing seasons often prompts personal reflection. Just as nature sheds its leaves, we too can consider what we’re ready to let go of in our own lives. What are the aspects, habits, or thoughts you’re prepared to release, making room for growth and transformation? Take a few minutes this month to your thoughts on this season of renewal and release.

    If you’d like to take your nature connection practice to the next level, join us for one of our upcoming Forest Bathing and Nature Therapy eventsWe’ll be exploring the natural world together, learning about the healing power of nature, and connecting with the beauty of the outdoors.

    What I’m up to lately…

    🎙️Introducing “Peace of Presence” Podcast:

    Speaking of embracing change, I’m thrilled to share a teaser about something I’ve been working on—my new podcast, “Peace of Presence.” Through insightful conversations, we’ll explore pathways to cultivating more presence in our daily lives and discuss the profound impact mindfulness, creative expression, and nature have on our health and well-being. Get ready for inspiring stories, expert insights, and practical tips to cultivate a more present, easeful, and connected life.

    Stay tuned for more details and announcements about the podcast’s launch in the coming months!

    New Peace of Presence Podcast:
    Through insightful conversations, we’ll explore pathways to cultivating more presence in our daily lives and discuss the profound impact mindfulness, creative expression, and nature have on our health and well-being.

    Terrain Magazine Feature:

    Terrain Magazine Article - Dive Into your Senses - Forest Bathing

    I’m excited to share some fantastic news! I recently had the honor of being featured in the September/October issue of ​Terrain magazine​ in an article that explores the wonders of forest bathing and the deep connection we can forge with nature. It’s a testament to the power of presence and the healing embrace of the natural world. If you’d like to read the article and gain insights into the art of forest bathing, you can find it on page 24 of the digital version of the magazine here: [​Terrain Magazine – Page 24»​].

    Sweet Success & Transformative Opportunity:

    I’m over the moon to share that I’ve achieved National Board Certification and accreditation for Health & Wellness Coaching! As part of this milestone, I’m offering free ​Nature-based Wellness Discovery Sessions​, a complimentary 45-minute journey designed to offer you a glimpse into the transformative potential of collaborative health coaching. During our conversation, we’ll dive into your unique health landscape, pinpointing challenges and opportunities for growth. My aim is to provide you with insights and clarity to empower your well-being journey, right from the very start. Our time together will be a meaningful step forward on your path to thriving health. Let’s uncover what’s possible for you! ​Book Here »​

    » Where can you fit nature connection into your day? «

    🍃As the seasons dance and change, I invite you to join me in celebrating the beauty of nature’s transitions and the magic they bring into our lives. I look forward to connecting with you at the upcoming events and through the exciting journey of the “Peace of Presence” podcast. 🙌

    🫶I hope this share was helpful for you drop a comment below and let me know what you’re ready to release this autumn!

    In Peace & Presence,
    🌿 Jess

  • 🌳🌞 Summer Nature Therapy Tips

    5 min Read

    The summertime is in full swing and even though the temperature is rising, that doesn’t mean you have to give up your nature connection practice. In fact, you may need it more than ever now, especially if you’re facing new schedules or routines, making conscious lifestyle changes or have the kids home from school.

    Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! Here are some tips for maintaining a nature connection during the summer months:

    4 Summertime Forest Bathing & Nature Therapy Tips

    1. 🌅 Get out early in the morning or later in the evening when the sun isn’t as intense.
    2. 🌳 Seek out shady spots. Look for trees, shrubs, or other areas of shade to keep cool while still connecting with nature.
    3. ​🌊 Cool off by the water. Whether it’s a lake, river, or ocean, the water can be a great way to relax and get in touch with nature.
    4. ​🏡 Create a nature connection spot in your backyard. Plant some flowers or set up a hammock and simply enjoy the natural sounds and beauty of your own space.

    If you’d like to take your nature connection practice to the next level, join us for one of our upcoming Forest Bathing and Nature Therapy eventsWe’ll be exploring the natural world together, learning about the healing power of nature, and connecting with the beauty of the outdoors.

    What I’m up to lately…

    👩‍🎓 Becoming Nationally Board Certified in Health Coaching

    Right now I’m knee deep in study and preparation to sit for the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching Board Certification Exam next week. You haven’t heard much from me over the past few months as I’ve been taking multiple coaching trainings and logging the necessary coaching hours to be eligible to sit for the exam.

    I won’t lie, it’s been rough. There were many moments I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to meet all the requirements in time for the July exam. Those were the moments I turned to the land and nature for support. I am so grateful to have nature connection practices to lean on in times of overwhelm and stress.

    With all I was juggling between classes and trainings, client work for my other business, Urban Forest Therapy events, coaching clients and family life (including getting covid) my nature therapy practice didn’t look perfect.

    In fact, many days all I could do was squeeze in short breaks sitting in my backyard beneath the oak tree or laying in the grass in my front yard (I no longer care what my neighbors think btw) but it was enough to give me the boost and restoration I needed to keep going.

    I share this because I know I sometimes, I feel  like I’ve got to get the practice “just right” in order for it to be effective. 

    What I’ve found to be true is that it’s more important to be consistent than it is to do it “just right”. 

    What I’ve found to be true is that it’s more important to be consistent than it is to do it “just right”. Whether it’s your meditation, yoga, exercise, diet or forest & nature therapy practice. 15, 10 or even just 5 minutes of consistent nature connection has the power to transform your mood, energy level, attention and sense of wellbeing.

    » Where can you fit nature connection into your day? «

    🌈 I hope this share was helpful for you drop a comment below and let me know how your summer nature connection is going!

    Stay cool and stay connected to nature!
    🌿 Jess

  • 🌞 Ways to Celebrate Summer Solstice that Deepen Your Connection with Nature & Yourself

    4 min Read

    Happy Summer Solstice! The seasons are changing again and it’s a great time to take a step back to reflect on the season of life you’re in and consider how you can work with nature’s natural rhythms best to support yourself.

    As we move closer to the sun, I invite you to use this opportunity to deepen your connection with yourself and nurture your spirit 💚✨

    Here are some easy ways you can turn inward to reflect and celebrate the Summer Solstice with nature.

    Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice that deepen your connection with nature & yourself

    ☀️ Step outside, close your eyes and feel the warmth of the sun and the earth beneath your feet.

    Receive the gifts of the season by taking time to get outdoors & be with the sun.

    🥾 Take a mindful walk in a natural setting.

    Tune into the rhythm of the season & recognize the beauty of the nature around you.

    May the energy of the Solstice help you to balance, release, & recharge. 🫶

    🌻 Gather seasonal flowers or herbs to create a natural centerpiece or altar.

    This creates a visual reminder to honor the Sun’s life-giving energy.

    🌅 Soak up the sun during the day and watch the sunset.

    Take in the full spectrum of beauty the sun has to offer throughout the day.

    😌 Take a pause to reflect on all that you’re grateful for.

    This is a great way to focus your attention on the present moment and come into alignment with the abundance of the season.

  • 🌿🫶 Sunday Self Care: Forest Bathing to manage holiday stress

    Are you starting to stress about the upcoming holiday season, aka stress and anxiety season as I like to call it?

    I know I am 🥴.

    When I start to feel overwhelmed, anxious or overridden by my emotions, I take it as a sign that I need to slow down and get outside.

    If you’re starting to feel the holiday season whirlwind of emotions creep in, I invite you to take some time today to sneak in some self-care before the holiday craziness begins.

    Here is a simple, easy practice you can implement to reduce stress, soothe your nervous system and manage anxiety.

    🌿 Sit Spot practice

    Find a sit spot:​
    A sit spot is a location you can return to over and over. Find a spot outside where you feel comfortable. It doesn’t need to be deep in the woods but it is ideal to have some greenery around you. I have a few sit spots, one in my backyard, the front yard, and a few different spots at my favorite local parks. Convenience is key. You want this to be a spot you can visit repeatedly and as frequently as you want. A simple patch of grass by the sidewalk will do or you can even find a spot inside with a houseplant if going outside isn’t an option. You can sit or lie down, be in a chair, or be on the ground. Make yourself comfortable.

    ​The practice:​
    Spend 30 minutes simply sitting and observing all that is around you in your sit spot. The practice of simply sitting and observing is where mother nature invites peace & presence in. I know this sounds crazy and the biggest obstacle will be giving yourself permission to just sit. You may have an edge around “just sitting” for that long so feel free to start with 10 or 15 minutes and build your way up. I promise it will be worth it.

    Once you’re comfortable, begin to call in all your senses. Start with your sense of direction. Is there a particular direction you want to face while in your sit spot? Play around with this as though your body is a radio and you are tuning in to the direction that feels just right for you.

    Once settled, don’t just observe with your eyes but try observing with your ears. What noises do you hear? How close or far away are the sounds? Tune into your sense of smell. Are you picking up any scents? What about taste? Can you breathe in as though sipping air through a straw and pick up any tastes?

    Try simply sitting. Just sitting is also enough.

    Extra Credit:

    Sit Spot + Nature Journal
    ​Create or purchase a journal to record observations at your sit spot. It doesn’t have to be fancy or special, it can be paper stapled together. Creating a journal can be part of the process (kids especially love this). After spending 20 minutes in your sit spot use the remaining time to record in your nature journal. This can take many forms: written, sketched, poetry, prose, photos, voice recordings, videos, and collected objects. Whatever feels best for you.

    ​Journaling Ideas:​
    There are no rules or requirements for your nature journal. You might want to record some observations about nature; what the weather is like, what sounds you hear from the trees or other plants nearby, what the clouds are like, and what patterns or textures you see.

    You may want to record what’s happening inside you. Your mood, any inspirations or insights that come to you.

    You can record what you pick up with your senses, what you hear, smell, feel, and taste. Maybe try assigning a color to each sound, texture, smell, etc, and see what unfolds.

    You can craft a story based on what you observed. Make up a storyline to go with your observations using your imagination.

    The goal here is expression, not perfection.

    ​Cultivate your practice:
    ​This is a practice. There is no end destination or end goal, it’s really a matter of finding the right amount of time that fits your schedule. Aim for a weekly session and see how that feels. Consistency is key.

    You might not think this small practice would have a big impact but I promise you it will. When we can be still and just witness what is going on around us in nature, something opens up inside us. We start to shift perspective. We start to feel more connected to our world, others, and ourselves.

    Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

  • What does Urban Forest Therapy look like?

    2 min read

    I let my eyes look at the fallen petals
    on the sidewalk as though I was in a museum,
    taking in an abstract piece of art.

    You can practice forest therapy anywhere.

    Despite feeling like I had a lot to get done today (and “didn’t have time”), I took a short walk around my city neighborhood.

    I couldn’t help but slow down as I started to see tiny pink petals appear beneath my feet and realized I was approaching a beautiful blooming tree.

    I let my eyes look at the fallen petals on the sidewalk as though I was in a museum, taking in an abstract piece of art.

    I paused to tune into the sensations under my feet. I felt the soft, squishy, slippery petals and noticed the contrast between how the petals felt compared to the grittiness of the sidewalk.

    I stepped around in it, noticing how the airy petals responded to my movement. I made my own masterpiece by gliding the toe of my shoe around in the petals.

    Then I looked up at the tree. For a few minutes, I let my eyes soften and study how the petals were arranged on the tree, little bunches all the way up the branches. I let my mind look for any shapes that appeared like you do when you look at clouds in the sky. Just noticed what came to mind.

    I looked through the petals and let the blue sky take focus while the petals went soft.

    I took a deep breath to see if I could catch the scent of the blooms in the wind. A soft, sweet floral scent filled my nose.

    I took another deep breath and allowed myself to pause for one extra moment. To really be present and find peace in that moment.

    I let myself enjoy the peace of presense🕊

    I felt my body relax and started on my way.

    My walk didn’t last more than 20 minutes but I vividly remember those few moments I paused with the pink petals on the sidewalk more than any of it.

    I came back to my desk refreshed and ready to dive back into work.

    How do you connect with nature in your neighborhood?