The art of unplugging
We had a magical lightening storm here in Exeter last night. Those of you who were up late enough know what I am talking about. I wrapped up work very late last night, I mean, very late. I found myself so involved in my day-to-day work, family and to-do lists (along with my should-do lists) that I almost missed it. And it made me think. Wow, I really need to stop and see the trees through the forest!
As I was sitting outside during the heat lightning, I noticed how perfect it was with the crickets and the breeze, the rhythmic beat of the lightening and the faint smell of moisture in the air. Petrichor, is the name for the smell right before it rains (somehow my son Grey knows this). It reminded me that nothing should be more important than being ground in nature. As I sat outside tonight, every single sense was involved and it was all free!
We all need to unplug a bit. While this may seem like it has nothing to do with interior design, I beg to differ. Taking a moment, or actually a few moments, away from our electronics and actually observing our surroundings and using our senses will in turn, make us more aware, more grounded and more focused.
The Japanese call it Shinrin-yoku or "forest bathing". There has been much research done since the 1980's about the benefits of simply being in wild and natural areas. The idea is simple: if a person simply visits a natural area and walks in a relaxed way there are calming, rejuvenating and restorative benefits to be achieved.
Those of you who prefer the beach may not even realize the health benefits a day at the beach brings. Sea air provides us with healthy negative ions. These negative ions actually accelerate our ability to absorb oxygen and they also balance levels of serotonin. Which is why you may find that you sleep more soundly after a holiday at the beach.
Floating in the water has it's benefits too! When you float, blood is diverted from the lower parts of your body toward your abdominal region and closer to your heart. Fresh blood getting pumped around means more oxygen to the brain, which makes you more alert and active!
Living in New England has many, many benefits. One such being that we have loads of opportunity to enjoy the outdoors! I can't help but share some of my favorite spots!
* Phillips Exeter Academy walking trials. Click here for a trail map.
* NH Hiking trails. Click here for a fantastic list of hiking trails in our region!
* One of my favorite places just to our north, Acadia National Park
* The NH coastline, which includes one of my favorite beaches, Jenness and Bass Beach
I think it might be time to go unplug. Shut down your device and head outside! You will be more alert, creative and energized.