It’s a crazy week. Everything has to be PERFECT, on-time, on budget – or on credit card!

We are on auto-pilot. We cannot unplug…

Or can we?

I should know. As a driven career woman and mum I juggled all the Christmas balls I had during the season. The in-laws were coming to Christmas lunch. Enough said!

Life has changed since then. My son is all grown up and about to get married ? I quit my job in October and found myself in ………

New Zealand! Immersed in the beautiful Waitakere Forests of the North Island, on my path to become a Certified and Accredited Forest Therapy Guide.

Still, there is a lot to do and I am excited about my new mission to take people on gentle, immersive walks in nature.

I incorporate small, daily self-care habits to ensure that I am at my optimum — emotionally, physically and mentally. I’m sharing these ideas so that you, too, can take a little time out for yourself. You deserve it.

Start including these simple steps in your life. Begin this week. Especially this week. Merry Christmas!

1. Be still.

Start a sit spot practice – 10 minutes in your garden.

2. Walk.

Take a short walk without your mobile phone – leave it at home.

3. Connect.

Walk on grass without your shoes – what do you notice?

4. Relax.

Give your body ten minutes of mindful attention – start with relaxing your cheeks, your neck, your shoulders, all the way down to your toes.

5. Breathe.

Take ten deep breaths of fresh air – breathe into your abdomen and let the air flow out of your stomach and chest.

6. Savor.

Take ten minutes to eat an apple (or fruit of your choice). Chew slowly, noticing the textures, smells and taste.

7. Inhale

Inhale lavender, peppermint or other sweet smelling herbs or flowers. Relish the aroma and notice the sensations.

8. Read.

Find a quiet spot at home or in your garden and read a poem from nature. Sip on your favorite tea.

9. Bathe.

Soak yourself in a hot tub with nature infused oils and aromas.

10. Treat.

Buy a small nature-inspired luxury as a way of valuing yourself. A plant, recyclable yoga mat, or forest therapy guided walk! If you mention this blog post when you book, you get 10% off the price of your next walk or retreat.

With a little bit of attention to your own self-care, you will feel more connected to yourself and the world around you.

Incorporating a few of these ideas in your day will help keep you in tune with nature.

And that’s always a good thing!

Which one will you try first?

Guest article by Sue Joachim.

Sue is an accredited Forest Therapy practitioner, for more information on Forest Therapy please visit: