Category Archives: Loudoun Nature Therapy
One of the biggest reasons any of us hike or spend time in nature is because it helps us… mentally. You’re having a horrible week and so you get out on that trail over the weekend. You smell the fresh air. You listen to the birds. Your feet walk on dirt, rocks, logs, and you feel that connection with nature. I wrote, awhile back, about how I felt like I barely made it out of 2017. One of the reasons I did was because of the time I spent in nature.
Even today, as I sit here and write this, I’m feeling a big draw to be outside. I’m down about much of what is on the news cycle. Racism. Misogyny. Harassment. Threat of wars. I’m in pain about someone’s inability to really know me and understand how they hurt me on a daily basis. It just all gets to be too much. However, I have learned to get out, on a trail, and go into a meditative state. I have a way of letting go of these stressful things and returning fresh and ready to face another day. I have found that when I go too long without a good hike I start to feel anxious.
I have read how nature helps us deal with anxiety and stress and I stand up and scream, “IT WORKS!!!!” Because it does. A friend sent me a link about Forest Bathing one day. It has been a proven and useful tool in Japan since the 1980s. They use it as one way to help with mental health issues. And I thought, “I can do this. I can lead people in nature immersion walks.” and so I started a business. Loudoun Nature Therapy. I so believe in this I registered the name, created my website, and am moving forward with my plan. Is it slow? Sure. I have had numerous people tell me, “That is a fantastic idea!” Of course, it will be more fantastic when people sign up or hire me for sessions.
There are, of course, those who say it is dumb. Lame. You can go and get “certified” for like $3500. That is not something I plan on doing because I don’t think I need it. I already have a degree in social work where I focused on counseling. I know nature and how to use it to reduce anxiety. I am already “certified” in my mind and practice. Some would even go as far to say that people don’t need to sign up for a session. However, with Americans spending, on average, 95% of the time indoors, I disagree. I think the majority of people do need to be taught how to fully immerse themselves in nature. When I’m out and people are on their phones, listening to music, or not paying attention to what is around them… I know they could use some help.
I have a plan. I have a goal. And I am working hard to make it a reality where I get to help people connect with nature. That connection will help them in their life. I know because I live it and it helps me.
Take a moment and go check out my site: http://loudounnaturetherapy.com – share it with someone who needs it (Obviously it helps if you’re in Loudoun County, VA). I’m really looking for ways to get the word out about it and am open to any ideas or thoughts. As I sit here in my office, I yearn to be outside. I feel an actual NEED to be outside. I do this job so I can provide for my family but I’m desperate to find a way to help people and combine that help with nature. I think we could all use it.