The Weekly Journal | Environment

By Yenia Hernandez Fonseca - March 1, 2022

SENSORY WELLBEING:

A Sensory Approach to Health and Wellness

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Most of us agree that there is no better smell than that of rain soaking into the soil. Think of your last trip to Algonquin Park or your morning running session down the Great Trail. You can almost hear the dried, fallen leaves crunching as you walk atop. Can you smell the lingering waft of the balmy air as you stride from tree to tree?

And breathe…

Whether you prefer hiking up the trail or a quick meditation, surrendering to your senses can be incredibly energising and beneficial to our mental health. 

Truthfully, the COVID-19 pandemic blurred the fine line that existed between work and play. Our schedules are now very unregulated, especially for those of us who are still working from home. It can be very challenging at times to detach from daily responsibilities. Nowadays we find ourselves overwhelmed, overworked, and under a lot of stress. 

Whether you work from home full time or just occasionally, taking a break from the hustle is as important as checking off all the boxes in your to-do list. It barely crosses our minds, but one of the pros of working from home relies heavily on our power to balance work time and break time. Read that again. It’ll take a hefty dose of time management and a healthy amount of self discipline to get things done, but in the end, you’ll have the power to unplug from energy-draining tasks.

FREE YOUR MIND

Let’s face it. You might be reading this article during your break, staring down at your phone, and waiting for the second Zoom meeting of the day to start. Instead of living vicariously through an Insta travel account, why not take a few moments to indulge in Muskoka’s nature? Studies have shown that regular walks in natural settings help improve our mood, reduce anxiety, depression, negativity, and prevent symptoms of burnout.

Living in Canada has its perks. If you need a quick pick-me-up, you can cosy up to your trusted Kitimat Half Zip and take it for a spin around your closest park. Ten minutes into your walk and you’ll start feeling calm. Notice how your body is more relaxed and free. This is the perfect time to ditch your AirPods, indulge in a moment of silence, and actually listen to the trees budding along the ridges. Inhale some fresh air and smell the petrichor (the scent created by rainfall after a dry spell) – it smells like damp moss, wet tree trunks, and flowers.

This time alone with ourselves allows us to be present in the moment. There’s no need to perform; we’re free to walk as fast or as slow as we please. We can finally rest our eyes from our phone screens and lose track of time. Make sure to lookout for deer fawns and moose along the way.

THE NOSE KNOWS

Let’s all acknowledge the fact that our days will not always go as we planned. Sometimes life happens and several deadlines start overlapping with each other. This leaves us with the sad realisation that we’ll have to keep our break time to a bare minimum. After all, we gotta pay those bills!

It’s on busy days like these when we can rely on our home surroundings. The way our work nook is distributed is as important as the Feng Shui in the bedroom. Harmony within our workspace can create the perfect environment whenever we need to put in those extra hours.

Our surroundings, such as scenery, sounds, tastes, textures or smells, can make or break a moment of pressure. Take some time to fix yourself a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee to start your day. Try pulling your desk closer to the window so that you can take a peek of the outside world every now and then. The sun rays will charge you with vitamin D and the light will lift up your mood.

Is your desk covered in clutter? Vision is commonly thought of as the strongest of our senses because we tend to rely on our sight for information about our surroundings. But don’t worry, mell is the most emotionally evocative of the senses.

A study found that people remember 35% of what they smell, but only 5% of what they see. Simply put, this is due to the close anatomical positioning of the nose and the brain. This might explain why a perfect cup of coffee will set our mood for the rest of the day.

Such strong associative properties with a scent build a protective bubble around you. Lighting a candle is a very good idea to set the tone of a moment. There’s a plethora of scents out there and ultimately, the one you choose will depend on your personal taste. If you’re looking for a refreshing scent, go for notes such as orange, citrus, eucalyptus, or pine. If you’re looking to alleviate the pressure, opt for sandalwood, rosewood, or jasmine.

Even in the midst of this chaos, we can find balance through different rituals of self-care.

Black Kitimat Women's Half Zip
Black Kitimat Women's Half Zip
Black Kitimat Women's Half Zip
Black Kitimat Women's Half Zip
Black Kitimat Women's Half Zip
Black Kitimat Women's Half Zip
Black Kitimat Women's Half Zip
Black Kitimat Women's Half Zip
Black Kitimat Women's Half Zip
Black Kitimat Women's Half Zip
Black Kitimat Women's Half Zip
Black Kitimat Women's Half Zip

Black Kitimat Women's Half Zip

$225.00
A Winter game changer. The Kitimat Half Zip is constructed from Polartec's highly durable synthetic shearling fleece (which is patented and named for a reason). Fast drying, anti-pilling, and designed for cold weather performance, this shearling pullover will give you all of the benefits of wool with the added luxury of soft comfort. Make use of the zippered arm pocket to store a phone or keys while you hike the slopes or sneak a snack bar into the mesh front pouch to fuel your adventures. Tailored with rubber patch logo detailing, this 100% Polyester half-zip pullover is equipped with YKK zipper pull and the ability to placate biting weather.