Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 6/2/2017 (1393 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Morgan Zaretski has always been drawn to the great outdoors and to sharing its wonder with others.
The Assiniboia resident finally got the opportunity to open a business that does just that — Naturessence Personal Wellness Coaching. Zaretski’s services are available primarily online, where her clients can access different modules and assignments. At least once a week, she touches base with those in the program.
Naturessence is geared towards those who are experiencing stress, anxiety and depression, issues that Zaretski is well-acquainted with herself. She hopes to share what helped her out of a dark place earlier in her life.
"For a long time I really suffered in silence and felt horrible," Zaretski recalled of her time in university. "All I really had was my schoolwork and if I didn’t focus on that, I had nothing to get out of bed for during the day… That went on for a good two years."
She said it wasn’t until her boyfriend prompted her to seek help that she began a course of therapy and medication.
"That was the first time anyone validated the way I was feeling. It wasn’t just me being moody," she said. "I just became obsessed with getting more tools and coping mechanisms and how does the brain work?"
She said once she began talking about her experiences, other people in her life came forward with similar stories. Eventually, she learned about "nature deficit disorder," a term coined by writer Richard Louv.
"I’ve always been in love with nature… it was almost a spiritual connection for me," Zaretski said. "I (read) Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, and he’s rounded up all these studies have shown that when people spend time in nature, they’re more relaxed, they’re happier, children have less ADHD.
"People in hospitals that have access to natural light require less pain medication… I got really into that and thought, ‘Holy smokes, this is why I love it so much.’"
Now Zaretski wants to coach others to take small steps in their lives to incorporate more nature.
"It’s being in the moment and noticing, even if there’s just one bird, one tiny sparrow in a little shrub, that’s nature," she said. "It doesn’t take wilderness or a big federal park to get a benefit."
She says that her program is meant for people who are struggling with some depression and anxiety, but that therapy and medication are still routes to consider for anyone experience mental health problems.
"It’s all part of the same toolbox," she said. "If you have a stressful lifestyle and you’re on the verge of panic attacks, a walk in nature may be something that can break you out of that negative thought pattern and help you cope with the rest of your day."
Zaretski says that she hopes to see the business grow to the point where she can open a nature and wellness retreat outside of the city.
Her programs are accessible online at naturessence.org
Community journalist — The Metro
Alana Trachenko was the community journalist for The Metro