This December, explore Mzansi’s farmlands for a unique nature getaway. You will get to taste the growing trend of agricultural tourism – and a few moments away from the urban rush will be great for the soul too.
Western Cape artist Gengezi Babu-Yuze dares you to imagine yourself on a quiet bench by a stream in the countryside. The water makes a soothing sound as it flows over the rocks. You hear the trees rustling and birds chirping far away. The sun’s warmth on your face brings a sense of peace and contentment.
Deliberately choosing rural spots with limited internet access to disconnect during the festive season can be a significant act of self-care, as mentioned by Babu-Yuze in an interview with Health For Mzansi, the sister publication of Food For Mzansi.
“Spending time in nature, whether running along a river or walking through the forest, is a therapeutic experience that allows me to focus on my breath and find inner peace,” she says.
Babu-Yuze attests to the positive impact on her mental and physical health, with her partner also acknowledging the transformative energy and outlook these trips bring.
Wellness advantages of rural retreats
Dr Jude Clark, a clinical psychologist from Kleinmond, also in the Western Cape, also emphasises the impact of our living environment on physical and mental health. While cities offer excitement, they also bring stress and overwhelm.
Clark advocates for the refreshing and calming effects of rural areas, asserting that a weekend in the countryside can be invaluable for overall well-being. She explains that cities put the brain on high alert due to constant stimuli, making nature retreats crucial for resetting and recharging.
“All these activities ground a person, which means we have more resources (physical, mental and spiritual), that help us feel stable, think, be introspective, and make good decisions,” explains Clark.
She cites the proven health benefits of spending time in nature, including stress reduction, mood improvement, and a stronger immune system. Stressful urban environments, marked by crime and tension, can be detrimental to well-being.
- To read the full article on the health benefits of an escape to South Africa’s farmlands, visit www.healthformzansi.co.za.
- Looking for authentic farm experiences? Be sure to check out the listings on Agritourism Africa.
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