The trend? Forest bathing.
Yup, you read it correctly. Forest bathing. This “new” practice doesn’t require a swimsuit (thank goodness!) or other fancy equipment and is available to everyone.Forest bathing involves immersing oneself in a natural environment (perhaps surrounded by a forest full of trees) and, in the process, experiencing health benefits such as reduced cognitive fatigue, stress and anxiety and improved mood (www.ncbnes.com).
If you’re in the midst of the chaos that is cancer, a “dip” in the forest may interest you. And Mystic Views Resort in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota is one place that allows cancer patients a place to do this (forest bathing and more)—for free.
Started by Cindy Bartlett through Priceless4Purpose: The Steve Bartlett Cancer Nonprofit, Mystic Views is Cindy’s way to honor her late husband Steve, who passed away from cancer 20 months after they built the resort. Together, Cindy and Steve experienced firsthand the restorative effects of the peace and quiet of nature while he underwent cancer treatment, and his legacy lives on as she shares the resort they built together with others experiencing cancer.
At Mystic Views Resort, forest bathing starts the instant you turn into the tree-lined driveway and approach the house—with no effort or intention on your part! An adult receiving cancer treatment in Minnesota can stay up to 3 nights with an (optional) adult loved one of their choice (friend, sibling, spouse, partner, Firefly Guide, etc.).
The 2 luxury bed & breakfast suites overlooking Omen Lake include all of the amenities (in-room gourmet private breakfast, king bed, jacuzzi mini-fridge, microwave, etc.) and the option for in-room dinner service in the evening. On site are walking trails through acres of private wooded property, kayak and paddleboat use, outdoor screenhouse and an abundance of nature (including wildlife such as loons, geese, swans, deer, and beavers).
Firefly participants have enjoyed respite from the exhausting rigors of cancer treatment with Priceless4Purpose. For Peggy, her and her husband chose to stay at Mystic Views Resort between the end of her chemotherapy and the start of radiation. “It was a time for us to celebrate what I’d gotten through and prepare for the next phase of treatment–to pause and take a breath. The first thing I did when I got there was to lay down on the giant bed and relax in the peace and quiet.”
Joni chose to stay for a different reason. “I wanted to thank my husband and show him that all of his support meant so much. (Our stay at Mystic Views Resort) was a time to breathe and relax after treatment and to reflect and celebrate how far we had come—together.” They brought snowshoes, and Joni’s favorite memory was “walking out the back door of our room, putting on our snowshoes, and trekking around the lake. The fresh snow, the peace, the stillness, the absolute quiet—it was a pivotal experience!”
Other guests who have stayed enjoy similar experiences. “Priceless4Purpose gave my husband and I a chance to cope (with cancer). To talk about it, to be scared, to be brave, to laugh and to cry. These are things that we sometimes don’t get a chance to do because life is moving so quickly. I am so grateful for the chance to slow down so we could truly appreciate each other and be a little weak so when we go back to everyday life we can be strong and brave once again.”
Are you in active cancer treatment and in need of some peace and quiet (and maybe even some forest bathing)? To book your respite with Priceless4Purpose, call Cindy at 218-568-4438 or fill out the contact form on the website: www.priceless4purpose.org. Priceless4Purpose at Mystic Views Resort operates year-round, 7 days/week, and Cindy will respond to inquiries with information and dates that are available. The only requirement is that your cancer treatment be currently at a medical facility in Minnesota. Priceless4Purpose is available:
- free for an adult cancer patient and their adult guest
- free for an individual with cancer to attend alone
- free for a Firefly Guide and Firefly Sister to stay together in the adjoining suites
- rentable for additional guests or for those interested in a peaceful resort “North of the Tension Zone”, as the Priceless4Purpose’s tagline states
At Firefly, we take seriously our mission to encourage making connections, and that includes connecting you with resources (beyond our one-to-one matching program) that may help you through your cancer experience, of which Priceless4Purpose is one of those resources. Now it’s your turn: find a bit of nature or some trees, and bathe.
Written by Amy Tix, Firefly Staffer and breast cancer survivor, who loves to get out into nature and bathe!