Unless, of course, you’re Japanese, and are familiar with the practice of Shinrin-yoku* (森林浴), or “forest bathing.” Mandarin speakers call it sēnlínyù (森林浴), and Korean speakers sanlimyok (산림욕). I call it an excellent idea.
Forest bathing, as I understand it, is the practice of briefly immersing yourself in a forest (or in some other natural setting). It’s said to be effective in reducing stress and achieving other health benefits. The idea appeals to me greatly.
Apparently Shinrin-yoku has been part of the national health plan of Japan since the early 1980s. There’s a Wikipedia entry on Forest bathing, the reading of which might positively influence your health as well, inasmuch as puzzling over unusual grammatical constructions probably improves mental alertness. Having a good laugh over almost-English is probably stress-reducing, too.
If you have an opportunity to get out into a forest today, the sights, smells and sounds will undoubtedly do you good. If you’re stuck indoors right now, take a look at some interesting tree photos, courtesy of an Atlantic “Photo Appreciation of Trees” from last July. The collection was put together by Alan Taylor. Here’s a taste:
[Images: Wikipedia, an Atlantic Monthly collection here]
*I first heard about Shinrin-yoku in an Atlantic article, but apparently I didn’t save the link. When I went hunting for it, the first search result provided a nice bit of irony–a perfect example of why you’d need Shinrin-yoku in the first place:
Shinrin Yoku at Amazon – Low Prices on Shinrin Yoku. Free 2-Day Shipping w/ Amazon Prime.