Nature’s calling: harness the wellbeing benefits of the outdoors through nature therapy

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Being at one with the world around us, and harnessing the power of the outdoors, has countless wellbeing benefits. So, why not make the most of this natural resource when supporting your mental health? Here, we’re exploring nature therapy, and exactly what you can expect from it

Nature’s calling: harness the wellbeing benefits of the outdoors through nature therapy

When you imagine a therapy session, what do you see? A calm office interior, or a quiet consulting room? While this may indeed be the typical set up for counselling, many therapists are now offering alternative environments to support their clients. And stepping outside of these traditional expectations, enables professionals to bring the human/nature connection into the present.

Nature therapy – also known as walking therapy, wilderness therapy, and eco-therapy – is the practice of being outside surrounded by nature. This can be in any open space, whether that be in a garden, a park, or the countryside, and is usually facilitated by a therapist who will be there to support and help the growth of the client.

Of course, this concept is nothing new, although it is now gaining more popularity. Nature and the natural world is a wonderful resource, which has always been available to us, and it offers us the opportunity for a connection to enable us to gain clarity, create perspective, feel inner calm, and to aid growth and healing.

Trees, plants, animals, birds, the elements, and not forgetting the cycle of the seasons – all of these can be our teachers. They can mirror our feelings, and offer us the opportunity to increase our self-awareness.

Try nature therapy for yourself

Take a moment today to step outside – if you have a garden, you could head there, or to a local park if there’s one nearby. Even if this isn’t possible, simply being outside in the fresh air can be a good starting point. Once outside, close your eyes and take several deep breaths.

Focus on listening to the sounds around you, and feel your body relaxing and responding to your breath.

By removing ourselves from the confines and brick boundaries of a building, and instead transporting ourselves outside into an open space and filling our lungs with fresh air, we can immediately feel the benefit and a sense of wellbeing.

With various activities available such as walking, observing, and meditating, we are able to involve all of our senses, which then helps us to develop our connection to the natural world that surrounds us – of which we are an intricate part of. Often this is something we forget, or indeed we believe our busy lifestyles do not allow for.

The next time you are out, perhaps for a walk or just sitting on a bench, you can make a conscious effort to notice the beauty of nature by listening to a bird sing, or maybe touch the trunk of an ancient tree; both these experiences connect our emotional attachment to that which surrounds us in nature.

Nature’s calling: harness the wellbeing benefits of the outdoors through nature therapy

This experience of connection may be further explained by studies that have been done using fMRI

US transitions to 988 suicide and crisis lifeline

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The United States will have a new, easier-to-remember, nationwide suicide prevention lifeline from July 16 2022

US transitions to 988 suicide and crisis lifeline

First launched in December 2004, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has offered support to millions of Americans seeking support and guidance during times of crisis. In 2021, Lifeline received 3.6 million calls, chats, and texts. From Saturday July 16, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will be transitioning from its old 10-digit number (1-800-273-TALK (8255)) to the new three-digit Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, 988.

What is changing (and why now?)

The change to Lifeline’s number is part of President Biden’s comprehensive strategy to address the nation’s mental health crisis. Identified as a top priority, since January 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration has invested $432 million (up from $24 million previously) to scale crisis centre capacity and provide specialist services, such as a sub-network for Spanish language speakers. This has helped support the transition to 988 and to ensure that all Americans can access help and support during a mental health crisis.

The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act was signed into law after the passage of bipartisan legislation in 2020. This authorised 988 as the new, shorter number for suicide and mental health crisis. By July 16 2022 at the latest, all telephone and text providers in the US and five major US territories are required to activate 988.

Secretary Becerra commented: “988 is more than a number, it is a message: we’re there for you. Through this and other actions, we are treating mental health as a priority and putting crisis care in reach for more Americans. There is still much work to do. But what matters is that we’re launching. We are looking to every governor and every state in the nation to do their part to make this a long-term success.”

FCC staff first proposed 988 in August 2019 as part of a report to Congress. FCC Chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel, said: “All across our country, people are hurting. They need help. The good news is that getting that help just got a lot easier. 988 will be available nationwide for individuals in crisis, and their loved ones, to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline more easily. This cross-government effort has been years in the making and comes at a crucial point to help address the mental health crisis in our country, especially for our young people.”

Those seeking to get through to the Veterans Crisis Line can now dial 988, then press 1.

Following the 3.6 mill

Friday Faves

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Hi friends! Happy Friday! The weekend is heeeeere and the Pilot and I are off to Miraval. BLESS IT. Cell phone access is limited, but I’ll definitely share sneak peeks and some of the fun (and delicious eats) on IG stories when I get a chance.

What do you have going on this weekend? Liv has a show later this weekend, and we’re meeting up with friends for swimming and dinner. It’s the usual summer fun around here and I’m soaking it up since the kids start school so early here in AZ. We’re headed to Hawaii in a couple of weeks to cap off the summer, and unlike our previous family vacations, I haven’t planned much at all to do while we’re in Oahu (Waikiki area).

(Pic from a milkshake date with these cuties a few days ago)

I’m just excited to be there and I think the kids are pumped to spend every day at the beach. I booked the Paradise Cove luau – so many were sold out – so if you have feedback or tips on that luau (or if you hated it and we should cancel lol), please let me know!

It’s time for the weekly Friday Faves party! This is where I share some favorite finds from the week and around the web. I always love to hear about your faves, too, so please shout out something you’re loving in the comments section below.

We had family visit this past week (the Pilot’s mom, dad, sis, + our niece and nephew) and that was definitely a huge a highlight. We took them to some of our fave Tucson spots, ate the best Mexican food,

and we had everyone over for a cookout and swimming. We had 20 people over and the Pilot smoked a giant brisket, two whole chickens, and we also had cheesy potatoes, chopped salad, ceviche, chips, fresh sourdough, fruit salad, asparagus, salmon, s’mores and dump cake for dessert. It was pretty legendary. 🙂

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The Dirty Banana

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Have you heard of a Dirty Banana? I hadn’t until I sailed with Princess Cruises and I have to admit that the name alone made me laugh. Hard. However, the milkshake-like cocktail proved irresistible.

Make a Dirty Banana Drink at home that tastes exactly like Princess Cruise's cocktail they serve on the ship!

Spoiler alert: adult milkshakes are now on my favorites list. What’s not to love about a frozen drink/dessert combination?

Dirty Banana

This is a Caribbean inspired cocktail that tastes more like a milkshake than a cocktail. This is a super fun treat whether you’re cruising through a dream vacation or kicked back on your own back porch at home.

The Dirty Banana is absolutely unforgettable. And lucky for me? It’s easy enough to make at home in just minutes.

It’s almost too easy. Start by adding ice to the blender. Then add a splash of rum, kahlua, and coffee liqueur, 1/2 a banana, a splash of heavy cream, and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Hit blend and pour it into a glass. Top with whipped cream and sip happily.

The ingredient list might sound long, but you’re only adding a small splash of each liquor and the flavor that is delivered when they’re combined is fantastic.

Dirty Banana Recipe Ingredients - get the full recipe at

Oh! I almost forgot. You can make a Not-So-Dirty Banana drink for the non-drinkers and the kids. Just skip the alcohol and add either 1/4 cup of milk or 1/4 cup of cold coffee. (I like both versions!)

Easy Peasy and absolutely delicious too! I probably shouldn’t have introduced my kids to this one, because it’s been dessert every night for a week.

And no, I have not been making one for myself each night along with them. But if anyone wants to visit me and give me an excuse to blend some more of these, I’m game.

4 tips on how to navigate healthy relationships when you have EUPD

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Emotionally unstable personality disorder is a label that can evoke a negative response. As a result, revealing your diagnosis to a partner can be anxiety-inducing, and sometimes exacerbate the traits you live with. This is why it’s important to better understand yourself, to help forge stronger relationships

4 tips on how to navigate healthy relationships when you have EUPD

As the name suggests, emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) involves a lot of intense fluctuations in moods and emotions. Unsurprisingly, this can often lead to difficulties forming and maintaining relationships, as you can be seen as harmful or destructive. People with EUPD’s view of the world can also be very black and white, thus creating a finality to their perspective – for example, you’ve done a bad thing, ergo you’re a bad person.

Given the complexity of the disorder, alongside a general lack of knowledge in the public eye, EUPD has been demonised. Consequently, those who learn of a potential partner’s disorder may be cautious to form a relationship; they fear running foul of these ‘toxic traits’. Although relationships with someone with EUPD can be challenging, this isn’t to say they can’t be successful and long-lasting. The key to navigating the turbulence of this disorder is to better understand what you need from yourself, and from your partner. Here are some things to keep in mind as you navigate a new relationship.

Your feelings are valid

As counsellor Jean Watson sees it, validation is a key coping mechanism: “It’s important in helping achieve a deeper understanding of your emotions. This then allows you to explore a more appropriate level of response and affect change.”

Validating your emotions is one of the most important ways of helping you reconnect with what’s going on around you. It can be easy for people with EUPD to invalidate themselves, believing that their emotions aren’t worthy, eventually leading to withdrawal and dissociation. This can then create more friction in the relationship. When you listen to those feelings instead of ignoring them, it enables you to work through them more effectively.

Live in the moment

Due to the intensity of emotions felt, people with EUPD can sometimes be quick to act without consideration – you may run on autopilot instead of listening to how you feel. This is where living in the moment comes into play. By recognising how you’re feeling, you can be mindful of how that affects you. For example, if you’re angry, does your body become tense, do you feel hot, are you shaking?

Choosing to concentrate on yourself, rather than succumbing to your urges, means that you can better learn what your true emotions are. However, this process needs to be done in a non-judgemental way; remove personal judgements and be gentle with yourself. Remember to observe and be aware, rather than react.

Understand your primary and secondary emotions

Related to living in the moment, it’s important to recognise which emotions you’re experiencing. For example,