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.
- 2 fluid ounce water
- 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
- 10 drops spearmint essential oil
- 9 drops grapefruit essential oil
- 5 drops distilled lime essential oil
- 2-ounce amber glass mist bottle
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.