by Luisa Taliento

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You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf is one of the best-known quotes by Jon Kabat-Zinn, considered the father of mindfulness, and it is possibly the best to describe this unprecedented moment in our history. Yes, our lives are fraught with difficulties at the moment and this situation is set to continue, but we must learn to adapt and live in the moment. «The loss of freedom to move and explore – explains Maria Beatrice Toro, psychologist, psychotherapist and author of “I 7 pilastri della Mindfulness: la via per liberarsi da rabbia, stress e sofferenza interiore” (The 7 pillars of mindfulness: how to rid yourself of anger, stress and inner suffering) (Vallardi, 2020) – is one of the greatest restrictions of lockdown, because it is one of the fundamental needs of man. This restriction has repercussions on both our physical and mental health, with insomnia, stress and panic attacks on the increase. These reactions are normal. But now we need to start over, get back into the game, and we can do this through nature, because although we have changed, the woods, mountains, rivers, lakes and sea have remained the same, if anything they have benefitted from lockdown, and this should reassure us”.

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Photo Credits: Apt Madonna di Campiglio Pinzolo Val Rendena, F. Modica (campigliodolomiti.it)

Green therapy

«We need to start over – continues Toro – with the mind of the beginner, one of the pillars of mindfulness, and look around us as if for the first time». This is the best way to tackle, for example, the Freudpromenade (freudpromenade.it), dedicated to the great Austrian psychoanalyst, which starts in Soprabolzano and goes to Collalbo on the Renon plateau. The best time to enjoy the walk is in the morning, when the air is cool and the light is just right to photograph the spectacular Sciliar and Catinaccio group. In Val Rendena, near Pinzolo and just a couple of miles from Madonna di Campiglio, eight different routes have been created as part of the Dolomiti Natural Wellness project (campigliodolomiti.it). Here, contact with nature is combined with activities such as yoga, meditation, breathing techniques and barefoot walking. The Franco Alleyson barefooting trail is another activity well worth trying. Located in Morgex in Valle d’Aosta, it has sensory stations where you can identify sounds, smells, animals’ footprints and plants by feeling them. In the Parco dei 5 Sensi (parcocinquesensi.it) in Vitorchiano, one of the most beautiful towns in Tuscia, you can sign up for a Detox Day where you can walk barefoot in the woods, meditate, do yoga, listen to music outside and eat delicious, healthy food, prepared with ingredients that detox.

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Photo Credits: Ecobnb La Piantata, Arlena di Castro, Viterbo (ecobnb.it)

Purple, orange and blue
According to colour therapy, green symbolizes renewal and hope, while purple is associated with calm and inspiration. These are precisely the emotions you feel as you gaze upon fields of purple-red saffron that add a splash of colour to the Navelli plateau in Abruzzo, in Valnerina in Umbria or on the Saffron Road in Sardinia. Or in the vast expanses of lavender stretching from Provence to the Maremma, where the air is heavy with its relaxing fragrance.

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Photo Credits: Ecobnb La Piantata, Arlena di Castro, Viterbo (ecobnb.it)

When it comes to staying overnight, natural suites and glamping offered by ecobnb (ecobnb.it) or the Nuovi Sogni app (nuovisogni.it) give you the chance to wake up surrounded by the colours of nature. Gazing out over the blue sea also fills you with peace and harmony. These are the results of a study published by the English journal EB, Environment and Behavior (uk.sagepub.com). It’s a good excuse for trying out bed&boat, where you spend the night on a to-die-for boat. This is what Letyourboat (letyourboat.com) is offering with its selection of yachts, sailing boats and kayaks moored in some of the most beautiful marinas in the Mediterranean. So you can count the stars as you fall asleep and enjoy breakfast looking out to sea the next morning.