The recent stay-in-place orders have been challenging, but they have also provided unexpected gifts and brought to mind old lessons. In normal times, I would be traveling around the country meeting clients and attending trade shows. While working from home, I am trying to live with a deeper sense of gratitude and am aware that I have taken so much for granted. My new practice of taking meandering walks outside is my version of the Japanese concept shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing." I first learned about this on
an amazing trip to Japan. In Japanese, “shinrin” means “forest,” and “yoku” means “bath.” Shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest surroundings or taking in the forest and nature through all of our senses. Through this process we open our senses and bridge the gap between us and the natural world. My daily walks in nature ground me and lift my spirits, especially during this chaotic time.
Reminders for our Eventual Return to Normal
COVID-19 has irrevocably changed our world. We have watched our public safety nets stretched to breaking points, and the unrelenting messaging from media outlets is often confusing, contradictory and frightening. To protect our families and the working heroes on
the front line, we have stayed at home. It has been a long haul, but staying-in-place is an essential part of caring for each other, a responsible and proactive form of global citizenship that we can all participate in. By slowing down and simplifying our lives over the last few months, we have innovated and connected in deeper ways to our families, community, friends, food and rituals. We have confronted our fears and recognized our strengths. I am grateful to have rediscovered the beauty and peacefulness of shinrin-yoku and hope to carry this with me when we finally return to normal.
Helpful Ideas that are Nurturing During the Quarantine:
About Mary Ann Pettorini
Mary Ann is the president of Principle Brands Inc., providing innovative products and brand strategy to hospitality and consumer companies. She has held executive corporate positions and has worked with Fortune 500 and start-up companies in the areas of brand strategy, product development, creative direction, branding and communications for over 30 years. Mary Ann has led teams at Estée Lauder and Unilever and has worked on the successful development and growth of brands and award-winning creative strategies for global companies including MGM Resorts and Casinos, The Jumeirah Group, POD Hotels, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Kempinski Hoteliers, Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal, AVON, Calvin Klein, Hanes, Godiva, Vera Wang and Seagram’s.