There are times when I am overworked or stressed, and for a relief, I picture myself on the sandy beach of Teknaf, waves crashing in and out, tickling my feet, or walking along the abandoned rail line in Lawachara National Park; just visualising nature brings a sense of calm and quietness in me — it's something indescribably serene, and encourages a deep sigh in me and gives me a feeling of instant relaxation.
Walking barefooted on dewy grass, passing your hands over the blooming jasmine bough or stopping to smell the mild whiff of the frangipani scent in the air, or simply feeling the warmth of the sun beating down on your body, the smell of rain in the air, the claps of thunder; all these satiate our senses, making us feel alive.
This is all quite intuitive to most human beings; we crave nature. Being stuck at home and maintaining social distancing can be tiresome and irksome, this is exactly the time when we need to be as close to nature as possible and engage in eco-therapy or nature-therapy.
Societal stress associated with living outside of a natural environment most often make people long to go to the green villages on the outskirts of Dhaka, to spend weekends in green resorts, or just spend time walking in nature. These breaks from city life drudgery leave a profound impact of calmness in our physiologic functions and mental health associated stressfulness. It also helps us to heal our weakened immune systems.
Ramna park, Gulshan park, Baridhara park, Uttara sectoral parks are lovely spaces for brisk walks. If you are lazy like me and do not go for regular walks, at least try once or twice a week to take walks in public parks near your home, for as little time as 15 minutes. People watching is fun too, collecting dry flowers, cones and leaves are great for any Do it Yourself projects.
Go to the nearest national parks or open spaces like Satarkul, 100 feet, 300 feet, Poddo Beel, Zinda Park and arrange a fun weekend outing there.
My pet peeve is to walk through nurseries; the mixing of the soil with compost or manure, the tiny sapling heads peeking out of the soil, the earthworm helping the soil to aerate, happy plants smiling up to the sun, the gardeners repotting or mixing fertilisers; I love all these activities. It fills my soul with hope and happiness. Just decorate your house with more plants, surrounding yourself with green is a great way to stay happy and is a form of proven nature therapy!
During the pandemic, if you cannot go out, then bring the outside inside your home and enjoy. Eco-therapy, nature therapy and nature-bathing are the mantra of these hard times and key to keeping sane.
Photo: LS Archive/ Sazzad Ibne Sayed