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Known as shinrin-yoku in Japan, spending quiet time in a forest or other natural area has been shown to have a host of health benefits, from boosting the immune system to improved sleep. Makes sense. We are, after all, part of the natural world and reaffirming our connection to it can only be beneficial. Read more about it here.

Friends of Mt. Tam is holding a Forest Bathing 101 hike next Saturday morning. It’s an easy two-mile trek on Mt. Tamalpais, with a slow pace and an emphasis on absorbing the sights, sounds, and scents of the forest. It will be a perfect way to start the weekend!

But you don’t need an organized activity in order to immerse yourself in nature. Nor do you need a forest. A stretch of beach, a grassy meadow, an expanse of desert will all do. Just find a place that’s removed from the fray of daily life. Slow down and revel in nature’s abundance.