With courses in full swing, it is easy to get stuck indoors staring at your laptop. But remember, Autumn isn’t just about midterms and pumpkin spice lattes – it is also the perfect time to embrace the crisp, cool air and appreciate the colourful foliage by getting outside!
Research indicates that time spent in nature is connected to cognitive and mental health benefits, as well as improvements in mood and emotional well-being. So, for your next study break, explore the amazing natural areas near campus and throughout the city of Hamilton.
The term ‘Forest Bathing’ references a physiological and psychological practice that first emerged in Japan in the 1980s. The exercise, also known as ‘Shinrin-yoku’, was developed to achieve two goals; antidote tech burnout and inspire residents to connect with and protect the country’s green spaces.
Forest Bathing is open ended in practice in the sense that there is no prescription of what an individual should experience. While guided experiences exist, forest bathing can be as simple as standing in nature and engaging with the smells, sounds, and sights the area provides you. Depending on where you are the experience will differ! For example, forest bathing in Hawaii often focuses on the location’s abundance of aromatic flowers and the salty breeze of the ocean, while in Kenya the practice would focus on its endemic plants, wild orchids, and unique population of elephants and deBrazza monkeys. If you try Forest Bathing, be sure to acknowledge and embrace the uniqueness of the space you are in!
Connect with nature and leave your worries behind as you unwind on a walk through Cootes Paradise! Lead by a Health Promoter from the Student Wellness Centre, you’ll participate in a 50-minute walk that incorporates guided mindfulness exercises. Meet new friends, learn new skills, and connect with the beautiful nature surrounding Mac’s campus with Walk-In-Nature.
We will meet beside the Second Cup on the first floor of PGCLL then walk to Cootes together. If you have questions or concerns, please email Connor Blakeborough at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the Nature @ McMaster website to learn more about the natural areas surrounding campus and throughout Hamilton. The website even gives you directions from campus!
Fall Foliage/ Lookout Points
Wheelchair Friendly Trails
For an extended nature experience, consider going camping! Here are some provincial park campsites that are under 3 hours away from Mac: