When I was a kid my cousin and I would pretend we were witches – like 1993’s Hocus Pocus – we would dig up the garden, put our bounty in a cauldron, add water and stir while chanting weird lines. On second thought there was no chanting, but we did try and make my baby brother drink the lot while we cackled away. Gosh, when I think back to the carefree days of my childhood, sometimes I really do wish there was a blue pill I could swallow to go back. Adulting is hard, right? Or is it just me?
Do you also find yourself longing for those days sometimes? Have you lost a bit of your creative mojo? Do you find it hard to look on the bright side of life? You’re probably in need of a break, and while you could go for the digital detox, 2021 has seen a new trend on the rise that combines the meditative power of nature with taking a break from all screens. In essence, it’s time to let your inner child out with human rewilding. Kids are so open, free from judgmental thoughts and naturally filled with wonder and passion. Answer the call of the wild and dedicate more time to outdoor hobbies and endurance skills.
What is Human Rewilding?
Modern life requires us to suppress the things that make us most human. Our innate awareness, our boundless passion and joy, our desire to live every moment of life fully and completely.
“Rewilding means looking to our natural world to reconnect to ways of living that are more in sync with our human biology,” says natural lifestyle coach Tony Riddle. It isn't about trying to go back to living as hunter-gatherers, it’s about acknowledging that we are nature, that we should return to our natural state in order to heal and repair ourselves. This mindfulness and state of awareness will help us get in touch with ourselves, with our inner nature, which will help you make healthier life choices. Because when you’re truly aware of how you’re feeling, you will feel the effects of each choice immediately. You’ll feel how nice that workout was, you’ll feel how good a healthy meal was for your body – meaning you’ll be more likely to repeat this decision in the future.
Nature and rewilding – just listen
As you may know, being in nature is an antidote for stress. It can lower your blood pressure and stress hormone levels, reduce nervous system arousal, enhance the immune system, increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and improve your mood. If there’s no park or forest nearby, no problem! This exercise is more about making yourself stop and listen. Even sitting quietly and looking out the window of an urban apartment, if that is all you have access to, can make a difference. Or, try your hand at this forest bathing meditation.
Just keep swimming
Cold water swimming of any kind is associated with increased metabolism, reduced stress, enhanced mood and better sleep. Check to see if there are any safe open water spots near you and get in touch with nature to recalibrate.
Add small doses of nature and ‘wilderness’ to your daily routines. For example, don’t turn to your screen in the morning, but step outside or poke your head out the window and breathe in the world around you for a couple of minutes. Throughout the day, take a moment to just sit, listen and look at the clouds or go for a walk. Get a couple of plants to decorate your space and bring the outdoors in.
Join a wilderness or survival camp
Discover the wildness or child within you by joining a wilderness or survival course near you to explore the great outdoors! It’ll help you get in touch with leaping and jumping—moves you probably haven't used since you were a child on the jungle gym.
Unplug in the bedroom
According to Harvard Medical School’s online publication, the light emitted from screens before bedtime disrupts our circadian rhythm and melatonin production, resulting in poorer sleep. Instead of using your smartphone as your alarm, leave it in another room. After all, you can’t check Instagram on an old-fashioned alarm clock. Give it a rewilding upgrade by sleeping when it's dark and waking at sunrise.
Light a fire
Let’s begin by saying - practice with caution and follow local regulations – we in no way condone you setting entire forests or city parks on fire. If it’s allowed, lighting a fire will help you connect with nature as you sit and watch the flames. Fire is exciting for almost everyone and makes you feel like a kid again. If it’s not allowed, crank up your fireplace or, if you don’t have one, pop Netflix’s Fireplace for your home on the TV.