10 beautifully illustrated mindfulness cards
Learn more about my Shinrin-Yoku Mindfulness Cards to help you get more from a Forest Bathing session when practising alone…or perhaps with your family.
There are 10 high quality, beautifully illustrated cards in the set, as well as an introduction to the evidence-based, therapeutic practice. Each of the 10 activities is based on a Forest Bathing invitation and describes a different sensory and mindful experience for you to do.
When I created the cards, I wanted them to support you with Relaxation as well as Nature Connection.
RelaxationI know how hard it can be to slow down, quiet the mind and feel truly relaxed. And when you are new to forest bathing or don’t have a guide, it can be hard to know exactly what to do or how to engage with nature in a meaningful way. The cards are designed to show you – by following the instructions you will heighten your senses and enter a state of ‘least excitation’. Thus, the exercises aim to reduce stress and anxiety, allowing you to truly connect with the forest. All the while inhaling those amazing phytoncides that are proven to boost immunity.
Learn more in my blog: What are the benefits of Forest Bathing?
Nature connectionAs you might know, Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing or Forest Therapy, as it is also known), is more than just a walk in the woods. It is about making a deep connection with the natural world. It’s about developing a kinship with nature. ‘Interacting’ with nature, with plants, trees, leaves and the soil, and getting to know nature, can foster resilience, as well as enhance wellbeing. There is a growing body of evidence proving this. Five ‘pathways’ have been identified to help us develop and deepen this connection. Each of the cards involves one or more of these pathways:
- Meaning – Expressing and appreciating how nature brings meaning to our lives. Celebrating the mystery, messages and cycles of nature
- Senses – Exploring the natural world through sensory meditations such as feeling textures, listening to birdsong, noticing the scents in the air and tasting seasonal offerings gives the often-racing mind a rest
- Emotions – Cultivating a sense of awe and wonder in nature. Noticing how your feelings change when in natural surroundings and actively seeking to generate joy
- Compassion – Developing a kinship with the natural world leads to pro-nature behaviours that also benefit humans
- Beauty – Noticing the beauty that’s everywhere lifts the spirits and reduces stress and anxiety
Essentially, these cards give you the tools to relax, reduce stress, be more mindful and enhance your feelings of calm.
Why I created the mindfulness cards
I created the cards because I passionately believe this practice can deliver long-lasting, powerful benefits to everyone. And we all need a way to build resilience and look after our mental health and wellbeing. And it’s free! But we have come to believe that time in nature is best spent getting our steps in while listening to music or a podcast, chatting with a friend or taking the dog or kids out. But there is another way…
These cards are designed to introduce ‘a new way of being outdoors’ to those who aren’t used to slowing down and being quiet in nature. The set includes an introduction to the evidence-based, therapeutic practice, so there’s an element of guidance and support, even for newbies.
And I completely understand that it’s not always possible to attend a guided Forest Bathing session in person. Perhaps the location isn’t right, joining a group session doesn’t appeal or other responsibilities mean it’s easier to practise in your own time. These cards are a great solution in all those situations, whether for yourself or as a gift.
How to get the most from the cards
Switch your phone to aeroplane mode so that you won’t receive notifications. Dress in comfortable clothes suitable for the weather and pack two extra layers because you feel the cold when not moving fast. Take a sketchbook/journal, something to sit on, and a snack, drinking water and tissues if you think you’ll need them.
Stroll slowly into a quiet part of the woods or your garden. Ideally into an area that you are already acquainted with, so you feel safe. Activate the parasympathetic nervous system to aid relaxation; do this by inhaling deeply for a count of three and exhaling slowly for four or five. Repeat this often throughout your practice. I recommend following the cards in order until you are familiar with the invitations. To augment sensory activation, always do invitations two and three at the start (number 1 is optional). Allow at least 20 minutes for each invitation.
Learn more in this blog on 5 simple steps to Practising Forest Bathing alone.
Buy your Shinrin-Yoku cards today
For you or the perfect gift for those you care about, buy a set of these cards today – beautifully boxed and packaged with love.
The activities can be done in a garden, park, woodland or forest and are suitable for adults and children over 10. They will help you to disconnect from the constant electronic presence and, instead, connect with your natural surroundings. Sounds good, right?
Ideal for those who are unable to join a guided Forest Bathing session but who want to learn to connect to nature in a new way.
Love Sonya X
PS I’d love to know how you find the activities and what you think of the cards. And I would love it if you’d leave me a Google review!