Forest Bathing in Winter

Shinrin Yoku is not just for Spring and Summer! Sometimes it’s in the middle of winter that we feel the most disconnected from nature. From inside looking out, the skies look grey, wet, cold and blustery so we don’t venture out. However, staying inside we deprive ourselves of light and fresh air and often sadness sets in. I heartily recommend wrapping up warm, putting on a pair of waterproof boots, a windproof and waterproof coat and getting outside for a walk, whatever the weather. Once in the woods or forest, the trees will shield you from the worst of the elements. There is a calm among the sleeping trees. Did you think all would be dead at this time of year? Look closely around you. There’s purslane and bittercress, two wild winter vegetables. And winter fungi – oyster mushrooms, velvet shanks and turkey tails. These little signs of new life encourage us to observe the earliest signs that spring will renew the earth, bringing hope and cheer to our spirit.

Caitlin Keddie, Forest Therapy Guide