Mountain Meditation

Practice this visualization technique to help stay grounded and centered.

  • Begin by sitting in a comfortable position on the shins or with legs crossed and back straight. Close the eyes if comfortable. Focus on your breath for a moment without changing it. Then take one deep inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
  • Imagine a mountain. In your mind, visualize the most beautiful mountain you can. Picture its peaks that reach high towards the sky and its solid base that is rooted deep in the earth. Your mountain is solid and unmoving. Imagine what it looks like in your own mind, it may be covered in snow and rock or green trees and flowing rivers. What would you find on this mountain? What creatures may live here or travelers may pass through?
  • Remember these observations and think of yourself and body as forming the same shape as the mountain. Your head and shoulders representing the high reaching peak and your tailbone and legs representing the base of the mountain. You are solid and unmoving like the mountain. As the mountain sits in stillness, many suns, moons, seasons and weather pass through. The moment that the mountain experiences is always changing but the mountain always stays grounded.
  • Inhale through the nose, exhale the breath and gently and mindfully move and stretch the neck and any muscles that may feel tense.
  • Then slowly open the eyes.



The Power of Parks

Whether you live on a farm in Sussex or an apartment in New Castle, retreating to parks and spending time in nature is a powerful way to relax, refresh and revive. Time spent in green space or natural environments has been proven to have relaxing effects on both the body and the mind. Nature can

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  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Boost the immune system
  • Calm the mind 
  • Aid in flushing out toxins

Clean oxygen, fresh scents and natural oils all work effortlessly together to enhance well-being. Spending an afternoon in the park is also a great way to socialize, play, and to be active while hiding away from traffic noise, pollution, and technology. 

The Perfect Picnic

Be a Picnic ProAugust is a great month to head to the park with a few friends and a basket full of fresh goodies. Here are some easy tips and tricks to crafting the best personal outdoor lunch lounge.

  • The venue. Bring a comfortable yet thin blanket to the park or beach incase there are no picnic tables. The thinness allows you to still feel and appreciate the natural earth beneath you but the comfort brings relaxation and a more chill atmosphere to your meal. Our Healthy Living Coordinator says bringing a tapestry with you can add a fun design to the atmosphere and is often a good size for groups because you want to make sure it’s large enough so everyone can fit and feel included! Pick a spot under a tree or umbrella if it’s a really sunny day and bring along a few items from a first aid kit for safety. A trash bag is a good idea to bring to stay environmentally friendly. basket
  • The snacks. Picnics are all about fresh finger foods and delicious snacks. Pack your treats in a basket or tote bag just before leaving so that temperature sensitive foods don’t spoil (2 hours is the magic time before food starts to go bad!). If you pack foods that aren’t going to spoil you can maintain your relaxed attitude by not having to worry about food safety. Remember to bring drinks to stay hydrated and refreshed. Don’t forget your essentials like napkins, plates and silverware. Here are some fun, healthy and safe picnic friendly foods: hard artisan cheeses and crackers, bread rolls, whole fruits and vegetables, dried fruit and dried meat like jerky, jams and jellies, peanut butter and recipes…yum.cucumbersandwiches
      • Tomato, Peach and Red Onion Salad (Serves 4)
        • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
        • 1 ripe peach, diced
        • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
        • 2 tablespoons olive oil
        • juice from half a lemon
        • salt and pepper
        • Combine everything in a large jar or plastic container. Seal the container and shake to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Best made the day of.
      • Watermelon and Strawberry Lemonade (Serves 8)
        • 8 cups cubed seeded watermelon
        • 1 cup fresh strawberries, halved
        • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
        • 5 tablespoons honey
        • 2 cups water
        • Combine ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
      • Cucumber Sandwiches (Serves 2)
        • 9 tablespoons cream cheese (can substitute goat cheese)
        • 5 tablespoons sour cream
        • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
        • 3 tablespoons dried dill weed
        • Lettuce Leaves, romaine or iceberg recommended
        • 1 Cucumber, thinly sliced about 6 inches long
        • 2 thinned whole wheat bread slices
        • Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, and garlic. Spread over slices of bread. Lay lettuce leaf on top of spread.  Lay 3 to 4 cucumber slices onto lettuce. Sprinkle with dried dill. 
  • The entertainment. Plan a few fun outdoor friendly games for the day. Have some activities prepared that can be played in a group either lounging on the blanket or more active games to move around. Games like Heads up!, Apples to Apples or Uno can be fun for the whole family on the blanket or bring a book to relax and read. A volleyball or frisbee is an easy activity to toss around with a group by playing keep it up or just take a walk and enjoy the scenery. marbles.png