It’s time to take a break, stressors such as money, work, and
our current political climate can be difficult to escape. There are
methods of alleviating stress that require little effort and can be
found right your backyard. Studies have shown that taking time
to unplug and be outside with no goal beyond just experiencing
the world around you, has a positive effect on your well-being.
Spending time in nature can help clear your head and bring you
into the present moment and is a great way to de-stress and
relax. The benefits of nature have been with us from the dawn
of our species it slips our minds as we are absorbed in our
world of flashing screens. The American Heart Association
offers some ways to relax in nature including:
1. Watch the sunrise/sunset.
Getting up early to watch the sunrise can help you
prepare for the day ahead, watch it set to unwind
after a busy day.
2. Go to a park, garden, nature preserve or local trail.
Take a relaxing meandering walk, release the thoughts
swirling around in your head and focus on the
3. Head to the beach.
Listen to the waves, feel the sand between your toes
and allow the ocean to relax your body and mind.
4. Go to the mountains or a lake.
Take time to relax where the air feels fresh and clean
and you can enjoy the scenic views.
5. Try yoga or meditation outside.
Instead of a studio setting, take a yoga class in the
park or find a nice quiet spot outdoors and practice
6. Go camping or have a picnic.
Disconnect and make nature your home.
When your outdoors focus on your senses of sight, hearing,
smell, taste and touch. Engaging the five senses can help
promote feelings of calm and relaxation. Gaze at the vast sky,
breath in the fresh air and listen to the sound of the natural
world around you. Some plants release immunity-boosting
compounds into the air and being in the sunlight is thought to
increase levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin. If you must,
schedule time to spend outdoors on your calendar and be sure
to leave your screens behind when you go. Once in nature, let
your mind relax, take a deep breath and enjoy better health.
Here are some tips to prepare for your own
1. Be aware of your surroundings.
Know your environment and let
someone know where you’re going.
2. Protect your skin and body. Apply
sunscreen to exposed areas and wear a
hat. You may also want to spritz on bug spray or
wear long sleeves depending on your location.
3. Wear the right footwear. If your waling or running, make
sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes or boots.
4. Stay hydrated. Don’t leave home without the water bottle!