How to Practice Nature Immersion for a Balanced Life

I practice nature immersion by going for a hike, sitting under a tree, or exploring a new, natural space that helps me feel like the world around me isn’t rushing by so quickly.

It’s my way of slowing down time; stepping away from my computer and the pace of life in the DC area.  Even after a challenging hike I return home feeling revitalized because I was able to enjoy simply ‘being,’ without feeling like I needed to get something done, meet a deadline or start the next task.  I feel so fortunate that even though I live on the outskirts of a major city, I have so many wild spaces around me to explore, to help me recharge, and to remind myself of what’s truly important. 

My love for nature, particularly demonstrated by spending time in the woods, started when I was about 11 or 12 years old. I attended a wilderness camp in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland, where I learned how to backpack, canoe, rock climb and any number of other outdoor activities. Ever since my first hike on the Appalachian Trail at age 11, my number one goal has been to one day through-hike the entire AT from Georgia to Maine- taking 6-8 months to be completely immersed in nature and away from civilization. Along the way, I dream of writing a book about the medicinal plants of the Appalachian Trail as a way to contribute to the awareness and conservation of one of the East Coast’s most important natural treasures.

Today the immersion I look forward to every year is my visit down to the United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary in Rutland, Ohio. The forest there is so magical and ancient – there is nothing like walking through deep woods of immense oak and ash trees and seeinga forest floor covered in a sea of goldenseal and ginseng -- some of the rarest and most amazing plants of Herbalism that this planet has to offer. Every year this experience reminds me of why I chose to study Herbalism, and just how important it is to actually spend time with the plants in their native habitat.  

Because I spend so much time outside, particularly in the muggy summer months that we’re plagued with in the DC area, I always take a cooling face spritz with me to help deal with the uncomfortable heat. The blend of glycerin and essential oils provides such a sense of relief and relaxation when the temperature starts to feel overwhelming. Enjoy!

Cooling Facial Spray with Glycerin and Spearmint Essential Oil

Take this refreshing mist with you on hot summer days.

Into bottle measure glycerin and essential oils, top off with water, replace cap and shake vigorously to combine. To use, shake bottle and apply 2 to 3 spritzes to face, avoiding eyes.

Betsy A. Miller
Contributor & Founding Member

I’m a clinical herbalist and aromatherapy educator with Aura Cacia. I truly believe in the healing magic of plants in all their many forms, from teas and tinctures to salves and essential oils. On any given day, you’ll find me in my kitchen concocting up a new herbal potion, or running around in the woods looking for new plants to harvest.

Share Your Thoughts

Cindi K

August 6, 2018 - 10:12am

Nature has always been a part of my life since I can remember. My paternal grandparents lived in the woods of northern Minnesota, and my maternal grandparents farmed in rural Iowa. I always spent part of my summer with them both but I got tell ya nothing beats being in the woods. I loved the serenity there my grandparents lived in a log cabin off of river there so many good memories there.

Gail R 843133056

June 26, 2018 - 2:36pm

I am moving to GA next year but hiking in CT is hot too plus I ride my bike to work so I will definitely try this

Betsy A. Miller

July 6, 2018 - 11:21am

It has definitely been a hot season! There’s some great hiking in GA too, but the heat will definitely follow you there. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Barb E 1608386607

June 25, 2018 - 5:19am

Hi Betsy, where do you get your vegetable glycerin?  Love using spritzer mists n always enjoy learning how to make something myself.  Thanks.

Betsy A. Miller

July 6, 2018 - 11:20am

Hi Barb! I buy the Aura Cacia vegetable glycerin- it’s available in Whole Foods, and most natural foods stores depending on your area.  Let me know if you have any other questions about the recipe!

Paula L 66061422

June 15, 2018 - 1:47am

I just moved in November on 9 1/2 acres in South East Georgia. I spend a lot of time exploring the woods with my five pit bulls. We also live 8 miles from the coast

Betsy A. Miller

June 18, 2018 - 2:54pm

That sounds wonderful! I bet your dogs love having all that wild space to explore and run- what a great life you’ve set up for them!

Paula L 66061422

June 15, 2018 - 1:55am

So I can go salt water fishing as much as I want to. I have many issues But fish requires

Sandra M 614173587

June 4, 2018 - 8:12am

Great article,  I love taking time out in nature,  keeps things in perspective for me especially in the fast pace of life..

Ginny Q

May 15, 2018 - 9:36am

Great article! I grew up in the middle of the Adirondack Mts in Upstate New York. I basically lived I the woods!! I always get invigorated by finding a place to hike I my area here in Texas.

Diane M. C

June 1, 2018 - 5:46pm

I am from the Pacific Northwest, i love the mountains here and just setting by the Puget Sound, watching the ferries going out to the islands.

Betsy A. Miller

May 31, 2018 - 3:35pm

I love the Adirondacks!! I Went to UVM for undergrad, so spent a lot of time across the lake in the Adirondacks hiking and camping :)

Melissa Lampl

May 14, 2018 - 8:04am

This forest sounds like magic. Thank you for sharing!

Daniela K

May 8, 2018 - 12:00pm

I’m gonna try this. It gets so hot at work and sometimes the a.c. just ain’t working right.

Betsy A. Miller

May 31, 2018 - 3:33pm

Hi Daniela! I hope you’re enjoying the spray during these hot early summer months!

kathy w 2030438645

May 7, 2018 - 4:12pm

Yes Linda, I agree with you.  It does sound heavenly and I can’t wait to try it.  I live in the southwest and it is already 100+ degrees here so fa face spritz is just what I need

Betsy A. Miller

May 8, 2018 - 8:56am

I hope you enjoy it!! It’s definitely perfect for that hot, dry climate of the Southwest :)

linda N 1520989303

May 6, 2018 - 4:01pm

The cooling facial spray sounds heavenly!!! I plan on using it all Summer!!!

Betsy A. Miller

May 8, 2018 - 8:56am

Let me know how you like it! I never go anywhere without it during the hot months :)

Jada P

May 28, 2018 - 4:39pm

Sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing!

Betsy A. Miller

May 31, 2018 - 3:34pm

I hope you enjoy it Jada!

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