Freshly cut grass, the calming presence of the forest and the scent of summer – escape reality – take a minibreak!

Are you at home running around trying to get the kids, the dog, your granny organized, the shopping done, the cleaning finished, or trying to find that bill you need to pay, that you put in a pile somewhere but then when guests came you tidied away the pile and now you cannot find it? Or are you sitting at a desk with your nose to the grindstone?  Are you in a cubicle, where, unless you stand up and look across the room to the windows far away, you don’t know whether it’s sunny or raining outside, or even if it’s night or day? Or maybe you are you in a high-pressure, air-conditioned environment where your windows won’t open, however hard you rattle them, and you are still undecided as to whether this is due to environment protection guidelines or to protect the employees from foolishness?

When, I wonder, did work environments start to resemble gaming casinos? And why did I never notice until today?  Fluorescent lighting, plants in Ersatz-soil, no clocks anywhere, air-conditioning, most cubicles far away from windows, and more and more food vending machines dispensing ever more elaborate menu options. The whole environment exuding a sense of timelessness, that could lull you into staying at your desk forever, as you lose track of life outside.  Only the 24h all you can eat buffet and the waiters are missing, but who knows, maybe one day soon there they will be: dispensing good cheer and virigin cocktails along with Vitamin D to ensure that any sunlight starved workers don’t suddenly crumble at their desks due to softening bones.

If any of the above applies to you or even if it doesn’t, but you need to re-energize to make it through to the weekend, and you cannot get out into nature to experience the real thing, then I invite you to take a 5 minute mental mini-break:

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Click on the photograph so it fills your screen.  Imagine yourself in the photograph, the hard road beneath your feet, the sense of standing on the earth, of being real and whole. Imagine deciding whether to enter the cool forest behind you or to walk back into the sun and the open fields. Feel the sun on your skin and the heat radiating off the tarmac. Close your eyes and feel the breeze caressing you, inhale the heady scent of mown grass and wet soil, and the scent of the forest, feel the presence of the trees cool, magnificent and mysteriously calming behind you and revel in the sound of the world in the bird’s song, the horse’s hooves and the rustle of small animals in the undergrowth. Feel what it’s like to be under a big wide-open sky, with no pressure, no duties, nothing that anyone needs you do. Breathe in deeply and relax your shoulders, feel the tension slipping away, realize with surprise how much tension you are holding in your back and shoulders. Rotate your shoulders and shake your hands. Stand up and stretch. Breathe in for a count of three calmness and relaxation, breathe out stress and pressure and deadlines.  Take these 5 minutes for yourself and you will feel so much better, you will be astonished.

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