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Forest Therapy: Seasonal Ways to Embrace Nature for a Happier You

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Your practical guide to better health, stronger relationships, and a happier life--by reconnecting with nature There is something simply soul-soothing about being in nature. In fact, research shows that spending time outside can improve the immune system, combat stress hormones, lower blood pressure, and boost self-esteem. Around the globe, rising movements are driving us Your practical guide to better health, stronger relationships, and a happier life--by reconnecting with nature There is something simply soul-soothing about being in nature. In fact, research shows that spending time outside can improve the immune system, combat stress hormones, lower blood pressure, and boost self-esteem. Around the globe, rising movements are driving us to reconnect with Mother Nature--from shinrin-yoku ("forest bathing") in Japan to friluftsliv ("open-air life") in Scandinavia--yet our everyday lifestyles have distanced us from the great outdoors. For stressed-out professionals, reclusive bookworms, worn-out parents, and their cooped-up kids, Forest Therapy shares why getting back to nature is critically important for our well-being, and offers fun, easy practices to break out of hibernation. Forest bathing is a rising trend, but what to do if you're not near the woods or if the weather is dreary? Forest Therapy offers practical steps and inspiration to tap into nature's restorative power, no matter the season or the weather. Chapters address ideas for all four seasons, as well as ways to use experiences in nature as ways to deepen your relationships with your children, partner, and friends. Ivens's creative ideas and strategies range from a simple walk in the woods and countryside couples' therapy to DIY natural beauty products and simple ways to bring the great outdoors into your home. Illustrated with charming black-and-white line art, Forest Therapy is a warm, witty, and personal guide to improving your health, finding happiness, and living a fabulous al fresco life.


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Your practical guide to better health, stronger relationships, and a happier life--by reconnecting with nature There is something simply soul-soothing about being in nature. In fact, research shows that spending time outside can improve the immune system, combat stress hormones, lower blood pressure, and boost self-esteem. Around the globe, rising movements are driving us Your practical guide to better health, stronger relationships, and a happier life--by reconnecting with nature There is something simply soul-soothing about being in nature. In fact, research shows that spending time outside can improve the immune system, combat stress hormones, lower blood pressure, and boost self-esteem. Around the globe, rising movements are driving us to reconnect with Mother Nature--from shinrin-yoku ("forest bathing") in Japan to friluftsliv ("open-air life") in Scandinavia--yet our everyday lifestyles have distanced us from the great outdoors. For stressed-out professionals, reclusive bookworms, worn-out parents, and their cooped-up kids, Forest Therapy shares why getting back to nature is critically important for our well-being, and offers fun, easy practices to break out of hibernation. Forest bathing is a rising trend, but what to do if you're not near the woods or if the weather is dreary? Forest Therapy offers practical steps and inspiration to tap into nature's restorative power, no matter the season or the weather. Chapters address ideas for all four seasons, as well as ways to use experiences in nature as ways to deepen your relationships with your children, partner, and friends. Ivens's creative ideas and strategies range from a simple walk in the woods and countryside couples' therapy to DIY natural beauty products and simple ways to bring the great outdoors into your home. Illustrated with charming black-and-white line art, Forest Therapy is a warm, witty, and personal guide to improving your health, finding happiness, and living a fabulous al fresco life.

30 review for Forest Therapy: Seasonal Ways to Embrace Nature for a Happier You

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Modern lives with the never-ending distractions, endless notifications from social media, 24 / 7 email and becoming pallid from the white glare of LEDs from screens. This adds to our stress, blood pressure and the lack of exercise is detrimental to our health too. And yet there is a cure; the evidence is growing that shows that our physical and mental health can be positively enhanced by going outdoors and re-connecting to nature. The same instincts that teach us flight or flight are possibly re Modern lives with the never-ending distractions, endless notifications from social media, 24 / 7 email and becoming pallid from the white glare of LEDs from screens. This adds to our stress, blood pressure and the lack of exercise is detrimental to our health too. And yet there is a cure; the evidence is growing that shows that our physical and mental health can be positively enhanced by going outdoors and re-connecting to nature. The same instincts that teach us flight or flight are possibly responsible for this fundamental connection. Beginning with some scientific facts and stats about how the just taking a walk in the natural world can help us, she takes us through the seasons and the things to look for, activities to try such as wild swimming, taking a walk in the rain and benefits of taking a walk on a crisp winter day. There are suggestions on how to get the family away from the X-Box, ways of becoming closer as a couple, foodie suggestions and even natural beauty therapies. Natural history books and memoirs are on the rise at the moment and there are a number of books coming out that are looking to give people suggestions on how to reconnect with the natural world. I have three of them to read this week but first is Sarah Ivens. In her book she is tapping into the connections to the wider world that other cultures have, from the Japanese shinrin-yoku ("forest bathing") to the Scandinavia friluftsliv ("open-air life") and has written Forest Therapy (a much nicer phrase that Forest Bathing…) as a way of sharing how nature helped her after a hectic life in New York and a messy divorce. There was the odd thing in the book that didn't necessarily appeal to me, there is a good number of ideas in here for people to try and more importantly to build on, as suits them, their partners and families. The important thing in here though is the message; go outside, live, breathe, absorb. It is going to do you a lot of good.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    This is not what I expected. But I still liked it. She gives a ton of ideas for embracing the outdoors. It just makes you want to go and take a walk in a forest. There is a whole chapter in what to do with your children outside. I enjoyed it. Easy read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    CheapTarts

    When you are completely stressed out, like I am right now, a book like this is helpful! I also began to follow the author on Instagram & it’s added to The enjoyment of this book! I love this book & I read a few pages everyday w a morning coffee. Like a reading meditation ;)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Keri Gilkeson

    Good concept...Kinda cheesy writing though.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    There are people in this world who don't live in a culture where outdoor activity and appreciation is a universal given. I am not one of those people. At times I've pondered whether I gave up my first profession, theater, once the reality hit of a life being cooped up inside a darkened theater with a bunch of stressed-out people when a truly spectacular weekend was happening outside. But in the darkest part of winter this year, when Steven and I were wandering around Annie Bloom's Bookstore wish There are people in this world who don't live in a culture where outdoor activity and appreciation is a universal given. I am not one of those people. At times I've pondered whether I gave up my first profession, theater, once the reality hit of a life being cooped up inside a darkened theater with a bunch of stressed-out people when a truly spectacular weekend was happening outside. But in the darkest part of winter this year, when Steven and I were wandering around Annie Bloom's Bookstore wishing for a nice hike in the forest, he decided to get this book so we could both read it. Steven abandoned it pretty quickly and after making it a few chapters in, it was pretty easy to see why. Once I learned more about the author's background—specifically that her early career was spent as a high-ranking staffer at the tabloid OK! Magazine—the writing style made a lot more sense. This book is largely written in the glossy voice of a women's magazine, relying heavily on bulleted lists and references about "studies" that delve no further into what the study was or why the author was applying the outcome to a universal scientific truth. Steven and I were expecting something more akin to discussion of shinrin yoku —forest bathing—and instead we were getting references to ideas like "removing excess positive electrons" by lying in the sand at the beach and the suggestion that eating one or two borage flowers as garnish would stimulate the adrenal glands in a meaningful way. [I got a chuckle when the author suggested swimming in the ocean—clearly she's never had the bracing experience of wading into a 40 degree ocean in July, as we Oregonians get to experience!] There was one chapter that seemed to reflect a more authentic authorial passion: the chapter about raising children outside. It seemed to be the only chapter where her references to a study actually cited any information about the study, how it was conducted, and didn't suggest a blanket statement out of a kernel of information. The content was much higher in quality than the other chapters. That said, as a child-free and child-disinterested person, I really wish she could have applied this higher-quality writing to the other chapters of the book. Don't worry, gals: there is a chapter wherein the author offers up several recipes for face masks ("Mother Nature's make-up: Stain lips with raspberries. Pinch your cheeks—it works!") and a list of "natural items" to put in your bath that might be followed up by a visit by the plumber. In the chapter titled "Food Glorious Food," instead of discussing the importance of good nutrition more thoroughly, or the environmental concerns thereof and why someone who loves the natural world should be concerned about our food system, several pages are dedicated to seasonal party-planning ideas, complete with some British slang that may not be parsed by all USAian readers. So I guess that's the Martha Stewart chapter of the book. The rest of the book is fairly Goop-y and I don't think either of us were the right audience for it. However, I know a woman who seems to have a strange aversion to sweat, and who just recently camped outside in a tent for the first time, in her mid-30s. Perhaps this book was meant for her, the biophobic, as defined in the last pages of the book. If that's you—if you've spent your life in a concrete jungle, letting your fear of bears keep you from taking a walk in a much less densely peopled space—perhaps this is just the book to encourage you to grow to appreciate the natural world.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stuart Champion

    Sound, practical advice for us all. Get outside and embrace nature; you'll feel better for it. (Finished whilst sat in the sun barefoot, grass between my toes) Sound, practical advice for us all. Get outside and embrace nature; you'll feel better for it. (Finished whilst sat in the sun barefoot, grass between my toes)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Laura Anne

    So close to getting four stars from me. The last chapter was really what I was buying this book for. There was a lot of focus on “getting the kids outside”. But I don’t have kids, I was reading this for the express purpose of getting myself outside. I wish there had been a whole chapter devoted around nature and mental health instead of being sprinkled throughout. This book could have been so much better, it had so much potential and perhaps that’s why I’m disappointed. Still worth a skim for in So close to getting four stars from me. The last chapter was really what I was buying this book for. There was a lot of focus on “getting the kids outside”. But I don’t have kids, I was reading this for the express purpose of getting myself outside. I wish there had been a whole chapter devoted around nature and mental health instead of being sprinkled throughout. This book could have been so much better, it had so much potential and perhaps that’s why I’m disappointed. Still worth a skim for inspiration.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Petch Manopawitr

    It's an important subject that worth 4 stars but a lot of guidances are very general basically encouraging people to go outside that will do a lot of good for your body and soul. I would give 3.5 Stars instead. It somehow lacks of depth and engagement. The first chapter is a nice foundation but following chapters are a bit repetitive and redundant. I like an attempt to provide four seasons ways to embrace nature - an interesting approach. It may be helpful for new generation who are really remov It's an important subject that worth 4 stars but a lot of guidances are very general basically encouraging people to go outside that will do a lot of good for your body and soul. I would give 3.5 Stars instead. It somehow lacks of depth and engagement. The first chapter is a nice foundation but following chapters are a bit repetitive and redundant. I like an attempt to provide four seasons ways to embrace nature - an interesting approach. It may be helpful for new generation who are really removed from nature and not sure how to begin. It provides a step by step e.g. schedule time to be outside everyday and enjoy nature, making diary about sun rise and sun set, find time to be alone, conduct your normal activity outdoor instead of indoor esp. exercise etc. The author even provides a playlist and books to read for the season! which is not a bad idea for someone who don't mind recommendations. One idea I get from this book is to have similar guidebook for Thai people. It is people who have no clue how to get back to nature that should be reading. Thus step by step practical guide might not be a bad idea. How to start, how to prepare yourself, where to go, what to read etc. Just a thought :)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Thea Rosemary

    FOREST THERAPY was such a beautiful, enlightening read as to how to incorporate nature into your life, whether living in a rural town or a big city. growing up, being outside was one of my greatest joys. as i began to get busier with the trials that come along with aging, i only made time for the outdoors as a special occasion–mostly saved for vacations. picking up FOREST THERAPY has been a true blessing, teaching ways to admire and take root in nature, even while navigating a busy life. i canno FOREST THERAPY was such a beautiful, enlightening read as to how to incorporate nature into your life, whether living in a rural town or a big city. growing up, being outside was one of my greatest joys. as i began to get busier with the trials that come along with aging, i only made time for the outdoors as a special occasion–mostly saved for vacations. picking up FOREST THERAPY has been a true blessing, teaching ways to admire and take root in nature, even while navigating a busy life. i cannot recommend this book enough! while some of the information may already be commonly known, Ivens offers a wealth of scientific and intriguing knowledge regarding the many benefits of connecting, understanding, and listening to nature. this book has inspired me to get in touch and stay connected with my youthful heart that always made time for mother earth.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    3.5 stars. Enjoyable read although I skimmed through some parts. It’s sad how removed people are continuing to progressively get away from Nature when we know obstructively how good it is for us. The book breaks down each season and way to get out enjoy nature, as well as tips for parenting and couples. Research shows getting out into nature reduces mental fatigue, increases creativity, upgrades our happiness, boosts immunity, is good for our physical bodies, diminishes stress and increases our 3.5 stars. Enjoyable read although I skimmed through some parts. It’s sad how removed people are continuing to progressively get away from Nature when we know obstructively how good it is for us. The book breaks down each season and way to get out enjoy nature, as well as tips for parenting and couples. Research shows getting out into nature reduces mental fatigue, increases creativity, upgrades our happiness, boosts immunity, is good for our physical bodies, diminishes stress and increases our ability to cope with pain. I’m trying to make it a goal to get out into forest walks more, get the kids out more with family activities like kayaking, and simply doing things outside more rather than inside - read, yoga or stretching, talking on the phone.....

  11. 5 out of 5

    Danielaa Del Giudice

    The writing style was not very succinct, she uses the same examples over and over again (ie instead of sitting for coffee with friends, just go outside!). There are spelling errors in the book as well. The author also speaks to how the outdoors can supposedly solve all problems related to stress. While I do agree our world doesn’t focus enough on outdoor enjoyment & Ivens gives some great ideas on how to be at one with nature, we can’t act as though people would only be happy if they spent time The writing style was not very succinct, she uses the same examples over and over again (ie instead of sitting for coffee with friends, just go outside!). There are spelling errors in the book as well. The author also speaks to how the outdoors can supposedly solve all problems related to stress. While I do agree our world doesn’t focus enough on outdoor enjoyment & Ivens gives some great ideas on how to be at one with nature, we can’t act as though people would only be happy if they spent time outdoors. Unfortunately that sounds like a bit of toxic positivity, and frankly got annoying. Although some facts presented were interesting, I was happy the book was over.

  12. 4 out of 5

    K LF

    Didn't read this so much as scan it - it has a great selection of chapters about nature connection. The book looks at nature connection from both a seasonal aspect as well as an individual aspect (in terms of parenting, couples, beauty routine, food). It reminded me a bit of Anna Shepherd's "How green are my Wellies?" offering a fun, playful, personal look at nature connection - it's like a casual talk with your girlfriend about advice on skin care botanicals and fun things to do outdoors. It ev Didn't read this so much as scan it - it has a great selection of chapters about nature connection. The book looks at nature connection from both a seasonal aspect as well as an individual aspect (in terms of parenting, couples, beauty routine, food). It reminded me a bit of Anna Shepherd's "How green are my Wellies?" offering a fun, playful, personal look at nature connection - it's like a casual talk with your girlfriend about advice on skin care botanicals and fun things to do outdoors. It even offers song play lists! The title of the book though is misleading as it doesn't focus on Forest Therapy solely.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    Her writing was very easy to get into. The beginning of the book was very strong. However, towards the middle of the book it just kind of got repetitive and I wasn't as interested. It got better at the end though (still kind of repetitive)... Her playlists were kindaa cheesy and I'm not sure how I feel about the book suggestions (I'm a picky reader, though), but I will DEFINITELY be referring back to this book for ideas and guidance. I love the aesthetic of this book for sure. The beautiful cove Her writing was very easy to get into. The beginning of the book was very strong. However, towards the middle of the book it just kind of got repetitive and I wasn't as interested. It got better at the end though (still kind of repetitive)... Her playlists were kindaa cheesy and I'm not sure how I feel about the book suggestions (I'm a picky reader, though), but I will DEFINITELY be referring back to this book for ideas and guidance. I love the aesthetic of this book for sure. The beautiful cover and the cute lil doodles really added in my opinion. Would definitely recommend!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    A simple, easy and fairly enjoyable, feel-good book on the benefits of incorporating nature into all aspects of life, with some nice ideas for things such as seasonal gatherings, decorations and natural beauty treatments. However it was very repetitive and longer than it needed to be. Most of what was written was common sense(cucumber slices on eyes, tips on how to have a picnic) and I don't personally feel the book offered me anything new or insightful. Saying that, its a nice book with its hea A simple, easy and fairly enjoyable, feel-good book on the benefits of incorporating nature into all aspects of life, with some nice ideas for things such as seasonal gatherings, decorations and natural beauty treatments. However it was very repetitive and longer than it needed to be. Most of what was written was common sense(cucumber slices on eyes, tips on how to have a picnic) and I don't personally feel the book offered me anything new or insightful. Saying that, its a nice book with its heart in the right place.

  15. 5 out of 5

    J

    There were some good nuggets, but yet another book where the author and publisher really stretched the content to make it a book. Numerous moments with random book recommendations within the book -wait, why? And a tangent on yoga, and how to decor your garden lunch. Dont get me wrong, love yoga, but the author did not make the connection to the topic. Could have gone deeper in actual forest bathing and therapy. Too many random ideas strung together that departs from the books' purpose. There were some good nuggets, but yet another book where the author and publisher really stretched the content to make it a book. Numerous moments with random book recommendations within the book -wait, why? And a tangent on yoga, and how to decor your garden lunch. Dont get me wrong, love yoga, but the author did not make the connection to the topic. Could have gone deeper in actual forest bathing and therapy. Too many random ideas strung together that departs from the books' purpose.

  16. 5 out of 5

    ClaireH

    Every one should read this book Everyone should read this book. I run a camping site and will recommend this book on my website. I'm also going to buy this in paperback so I can easily refer to ALL the highlighted paragraphs i have made. Thank you Sarah for the happy feelings this book gave me Every one should read this book Everyone should read this book. I run a camping site and will recommend this book on my website. I'm also going to buy this in paperback so I can easily refer to ALL the highlighted paragraphs i have made. Thank you Sarah for the happy feelings this book gave me

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erin Baird

    This book was definitely not what I expected and I am 100% not the target audience for this book. It would be great for someone who currently spends the majority of their time inside and is looking for idea to change that. I thought it would provide more insight into the science behind WHY getting outside is so good for us.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Very much a book for people wanting to change their lifestyle but don’t know how to start. Still a good read though for people who already know the importance of nature to everyday life. You just don’t need to read every chapter if you do.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andi

    This book is not exactly what I thought it would be, but I still enjoyed it. I will definitely be implementing some of the suggestions and since I purchased this eBook, I will be able to reference it later.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Zoe MacKenzie

    I thought this was a lovely book. Lots of great ideas on how to enjoy nature and I enjoyed the science/data that was referenced as well. Would do well to have a companion book that was organized by season and type of activity (or level). Over all good read- would recommend.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    An organized, simple, and aesthetically pleasing combination of research on how nature affects us, inspiration from testimonies, and practical suggestions on how to incorporate it into our daily lives. A must-read that will stay on my bookshelf as a reference and reminder! 🌿

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ian Newey

    Much of it was inspiring and helpful but then it started going away from the remit of shinrin yoku and advising me on how to throw a party. Some of it was just a little too conversational and anecdotal. Would have benefited from tighter editing.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mariah

    As someone who is already very outdoorsy this book just wasn’t for me, if you’re someone stuck in a busy city life sure give this book a read, but personally I just found this book a little boring as it was talking about things I already know,

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jazmine James

    Quick read with lots of ideas on how to embrace nature during all seasons. I liked the little suggestions of books and music to go with each season. This is a nice bump in the right direction if you get SAD during winter

  25. 4 out of 5

    Seaside Sparkles

    This book pleasantly surprised me, I thought it would be a quick flick through but so much resonated with me and I noted down a few points to return to. It’s a book about outdoor life rather than simply about forests as the title implies. An interesting and inspiring read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Great ideas for getting out of the house (and even your head) and getting into nature. With different sections for seasons, a parenting section and even ways to forest bathe, this book just made me feel good. And got me excited for my trip to Hartwick Pines next weekend.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Wendi

    It started out okay, but then got farther and farther away from being IN the forest. Somehow a walk in the woods turned into me stressing about redoing my patio and having a garden party, both of which ain't never gonna happen. It started out okay, but then got farther and farther away from being IN the forest. Somehow a walk in the woods turned into me stressing about redoing my patio and having a garden party, both of which ain't never gonna happen.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Montana

    You won't learn anything ground breaking with this one, however it is easy to read and it has definitely inspired me to get out into nature more - something we all could do with! You won't learn anything ground breaking with this one, however it is easy to read and it has definitely inspired me to get out into nature more - something we all could do with!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Had to skip the parenting and couples chapters though.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    I loved the author’s practical yet joyful approach on how to incorporate and recognize the importance of having nature in your life.

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