As the sun filters through the trees creating dappled shade on the forest floor, it’s easy to see why the beautiful New Forest is the perfect place in which to wander quietly, breathe deeply, and let your cares fall away.
Our glorious countryside is something worth celebrating, and Britain’s 15 National Parks have become the ‘breathing spaces’ of Britain.
The New Forest, with its 300 miles of ancient moorland, shady glades, spectacular coastline and picturesque towns and villages, is one of our most beloved national parks.
Being in the forest is not only good for the soul - scientific research is now showing that just being outside in the fresh air can soothe stress, boost happiness and help fight disease.
New Forest spa Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa has combined the restorative powers of the great outdoors with relaxing spa therapy to create the perfect prescription for a complete rejuvenation of the mind, body and soul.
At SenSpa, they care impeccably for bodies and minds, offering tranquillity and peace in a busy world for those increasingly seeking solace from the hustle and bustle of life.
Spa Director, Lina Lotto recommends that when you walk in the forest to try these mindfulness techniques to fully immerse yourself in the experience:
• Turn off your devices to give yourself the best chance of relaxing, being mindful and enjoying a sensory forest-based experience.
• Start by feeling the sensations in your body, how the earth feels underfoot, how the air feels on your skin, where you are warm or cool.
• Walk slowly all the while noticing the things around you.
• Tune into your surroundings. Hear the sounds of the forest. Listen to the sound of leaf as it rustles, hear birdsong or squirrels as they scamper through fallen leaves and mulch.
• Notice the trees, the texture of the bark, the shape of branches and leaves.
• Notice how it feels to walk on the different surfaces of the forest floor, notice rocks and stones, their shapes and hues. See the sky, its colour and how it affects the forest palette as it constantly changes.
• Continue to heighten your awareness by noticing the small details in the forest such as different grasses and clovers, mosses, seeds, fungi and flowers.
• If you become distracted stop walking and start again when you have regained awareness.
• Find a comfortable place to sit and continue to be aware of the sensations in your body and your surroundings.
• Give gratitude for all that the forest gives.
After time spent exploring the forest, return to the spa and drift into a state of complete serenity during a 60-minute spa treatment. Opt for a soothing full body massage to ease those aching leg muscles, or a Beautifying Wrap with manuka honey and jojoba oil to soften skin after all that outdoor exposure, then discover the restorative properties of the state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool.
The application of hot and cold water is a hugely effective treatment for pain, illness and stress, with warm water soothing the muscles and calming the nervous system, and cold water boosting the circulation and toning the body.
Visit www.careysmanor.com to start planning your mindful break away to the New Forest.