Hello Wonder Friends!
Happy First Days of Summer. As the sun has been out here in Portland, Oregon the past few weeks, we’ve been enjoying some beautiful walks and hikes under the trees. (We came upon a gnome in a tree on one of our recent jaunts – see below.) We always feel so much happier after spending time outside and recently found an article that talked about the health benefits of spending time in nature and the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku—“forest bathing” or “enjoying the forest atmosphere”. *
The practice of forest bathing has been found to lower blood pressure, heart rates, and levels of harmful hormones — like cortisol, which the body produces when stressed. This can help put you in a more calm and relaxed state.**
We hope you are able to enjoy some forest bathing this summer. If you do, please share your experiences in the comments below. We’d love to hear about your favorite outdoor spots to explore.
Self-Care & Stress Relief Corner:
We have a list of books we recommend in our workshops and trainings and offer it to you.
Download our Healing the Healer reference book list HERE
One we are enjoying right now from that list is The A-to-Z Self-Care Handbook for Social Workers and Other Helping Professionals. It provides helpful self-care tips for your health and the references to support each self-care recommendation.
We liked this quote from the A is Awareness chapter: “Change cannot occur without first becoming aware. The first step in any growth process or skill development is awareness. So, awareness is a foundational-and ongoing-part of self-care practice.”
What’s Up With Rachel & Rocky Corner:
Since it’s been so healing and relaxing for us to spend time in nature, we’ve also started camping again between weeks of teaching, spending our first overnights at a sweet spot outside of Portland, called Milo McIver State Park. For July, we have planned a week of camping along the Oregon coast with ambitious day hikes and strolls along the beach to gather even more rocks for Rachel to transform into owl and love bird rocks. Here’s to our health!
Healing the Healer workshops and trainings
This May and June, we’ve had the wonderful opportunity to bring Healing the Healer to several places throughout California and Oregon. We taught a staff retreat for Monterey (90+ people!), full-day painting workshops in Marin and Trinity counties, and sessions in Medford, Lincoln City and Portland for Oregon DHS-Child Welfare. Along the way, we’ve been able to enjoy unique nature spots like the beach, where we collected rocks and watched some gorgeous sunsets.
Over the past few months, we compiled a Top 20 list for workplace self-care ideas and are providing it during our trainings now.
Some of our faves:
- Create a pleasing office space – with art and colors that evoke the qualities you want to embrace at work and keep the space clean and beautiful.
- Give your eyes a rest – and take breaks away from your phone and computer.
- Take three deep breaths – at least once a day to free stress, tension, and worry.
If you have any ideas you’d like to add to the list, please put them in the comments section below. Thanks!
Free access to Global Social Welfare Digital Summit sessions:
We want to remind you that you can enjoy free access to the sessions from the Global Social Welfare Digital Summit that took place in March 2019. Many different topics were covered, including several sessions on self-care. We talked about the offerings, including our own, in more detail on our May Wonder Blog post.
You can register for free using this link:
Forest Bathing References:::
* Kaiser Permanente article: https://thrive.kaiserpermanente.org/thrive-together/live-well//forest-bathing-try?wt.tsrc=email_pih&cat=2a_care
** Bum Jin Park et al., “The physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing): evidence from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan,” Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine, May 2, 2009.)
Every day we feel so incredibly grateful to have this Healing the Healer community and we are committed to supporting you to be inspired and motivated to make self-care an integral part of your daily lives. Every month you can expect free gifts, helpful self-care tools and techniques, and opportunities to join future Healing the Healer events. Here’s to a year of healing and discovery!
We thank you for visiting the Wonder Blog.
May you have a wonderful month!
– Rachel (& Rocky)