Art and creating have gotten me through many of the tough spots of my life. Science is also catching up to what we’ve known since we first drew on cave walls (I’d like to think so at least): engaging in the arts has a massive positive effect on our mental health.
That’s why I’ve started the Stress Less Pencil – a weekly creative prompt designed to improve mental health.
Here are the first 10 prompts that will help you connect with yourself, manage stress, and have fun while you’re doing it.
Continue reading 10 Creative Prompts to Manage Stress and Mental Health
Obviously (gestures widely around the website), I’m a fan of nature and all that planty mountainy good stuff. So I was quite surprised when I recently came across the term “forest bathing” and had no idea what the hell people were talking about.
The first image that came to mind was me lying in a bathtub in the middle of a forest. That. would. be. awesome.
Continue reading What the hell is forest bathing?
1. Collect colourful leaves
This is the time the leaves are turning all the most amazing shades of yellows, oranges, and reds. Go for a walk and see what colours you can find. You can either revel in the joy of finding one of each different shade, arranging them into some form of land art. Or you can take them home, look up the bazillion fall leaves DIY tutorials online, and make something gorgeous that will last.
Continue reading 10 awesome outdoor activities for the fall
When I was a kid, my parents used to take me hiking. Each year, for a week at least. Sometimes two. I didn’t really care, because there were always other children around to play with and you just kind of go along with what your parents do anyway.
When I was turning from a kid to a teenager though, the whole affair started to get decidedly uncool. Why were we walking up hills for no reason? Why couldn’t I just stay in and listen to music? And good grief, why did those hiking boots have to be so ugly?
It was then that I decided that hiking was for old people only and that anybody with any sense of what was cool could clearly find better ways to spend their time.
I held on to that belief for way too long. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I decided to give hiking another shot. I was having a bit of a crappy time and desperately needed to get out of town.
Untrained as I was, I went on a trip to the mountains with my best friend and we hiked our way up and across some pretty challenging paths. It. was. awesome.
My anxiety couldn’t keep up with me, and I just mercilessly left it behind somewhere on the mountain. Coming out the other end of the trip, I felt sore but happy, and super proud of what we had accomplished. Clearly, those old people had known all along what they were doing. So what is it then, that makes hiking such an amazing experience?
Continue reading Why hiking isn’t just for old people
Stress is the plague of the modern age. Everybody is struggling with it and most people don’t really know how to deal with it. We run around, constantly busy, working on getting ahead in life. We’re trying to meet obligations, expectations and to stay on top of our to-do list. We’re constantly checking our phones for notifications while juggling work and private life. Get that presentation done in time. Take the garbage out before it smells. Make sure the laundry is clean before you run out of underwear. Pay that bill. Call that client. Oh, and don’t forget to get fit and healthy.
No wonder we’re all going down the rabbit hole. So what do we do? We deal with it in whatever way makes us feel, well, less stressed. For some that means having a few beers every night to wind down, others meditate, some embrace the stress and convince themselves that that’s what a successful person’s life should be like.
I have had periods where I would come home after an 11h workday, lie on my bed and listen to ocean sounds for 2 hours before I was able to sleep. Good times!
Fortunately, there’s an increasing amount of research that is looking to understand the effects of stress on the brain, and what we can do to reduce it.
We already know the big items on the list, like getting more active, getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and meditating. We also know that caffeine, drinking, and smoking might seem like they’re helping but are actually stressing your body out even more. But what else is there?
Continue reading How to let the trees reduce your stress
Nature is truly fascinating. It can be destructive, creative, and playful, all at the same time. Sometimes it moves at the speed of lightning, or it can take for millennia amazing mountain ranges to emerge. These nature time lapse videos capture some of nature’s amazing moments, featuring flowers, storms, snow, and more.
So sit back and relax with these super satisfying nature time lapse videos.
Continue reading 5 Extremely Satisfying Nature Time Lapse Videos
Do all your tasks and chores seem a bit overwhelming? Feeling a bit stressed and anxious?
Take a quick regenerating trip to nature with these super soothing nature GIFs. Let them take you away for a minute, and return a bit more relaxed and ready to tackle the rest of the day.
Continue reading 5 Nature GIFs To Calm Your Ass Down For A Minute