Happy Earth Day Ya’ll !!! The hardest thing to do during difficult times is to pause and reflect. But, the truth is- that’s the best time to do it. Those times when we are unsure of where to go, what’s on the horizon for us, or what our next move should be. Even in our current landscape, we should still take a moment to reflect on what IS good in our world, and ALWAYS be thankful and grateful for this non-renewable beautiful planet we call home!
Nature and water are the most important things to me besides family. When the mind needs peace and clarity there’s nothing like getting outdoors and walking along the water to clear your head and ease anxiety. The sound of rushing water is extremely soothing; and calms the heart rate, allowing your body and mind to finally rest. Something we (admittedly) don’t do. Hearing birds chirp and watching wildlife go about their daily lives is so magical, and quite humbling. It creates perspective and forces us to consider the fact that there are living beings other than ourselves, who co-exist and deserve the same respect we all appreciate. It’s the ultimate equalizer! In honor of Earth Day, here are a few ideas of where you can get outside near you:
Parks, Wildlife Refuges, Nature Centers, and More
In the United States there are currently 61 national parks, over 20 nature centers per state, and countless local parks across the country!! Literally every state has beautiful open lands that are free, and begging for us to enjoy them. And, social distancing is the norm there, soooo no excuses, ya’ll! Do me a favor! Google, “nature center near me”, or “park near me”, and you will literally be astounded at the amount of options that exist when you Google the right terms.
Chances are you live not too far from one, which means you could totally plan a day trip.
These open lands are known for their beautiful landscape, endless views, wildlife sightings, and water! Talk about blissful nirvana! Pack up the car, lunche, snacks, and hit the road! You can also camp at many of these parks, if that’s your thing!! If your local national park is closed due the pandemic, head to a nature center. Though the visitors centers on the properties are closed, the open lands (which is what you’re there for, AmIRight?!) are ABSOLUTELY and forever open (observe evening quiet hours).
Local Rivers, Creeks, and Lakes
Need I say more? Find a local river, creek, or any body of water near you, and bring a book or journal. Find a spot and read that novel you’ve been wanting to dive into (pun intended); or journal your thoughts to calm your mind. Looking into the horizon, and watching the sun beam down on the water will overcome your soul with peace and contagious gratitude!
Hiking for Your Life
There’s something so satisfying about going on a hike! Don’t let the word scare you.. the word, “hike” covers everything from a simple walk in a “controlled” wild environment like a nature center or wildlife refuge (federally owned with a visitor’s center), or a wilderness trail (uncontrolled). The best part is-along your hike you may run into some furry or shelled friends, beautiful plants, and amazing structures built from nature! Plus, the rush of energy and oxygen is intoxicating!
The reason I love nature centers so much, is because they have low-impact walking, beautiful scenery, and usually water. When you reach the end and get to see an amazing view of trees, a boardwalk that leads onto a marsh, or opens up to a scenic mountain view; your heart bursts in a way that being contained indoors simply can’t provide! Just use your handy-dandy search terms, then set out for a day of adventure!
Make sure to wear lightweight, breathable, long-sleeve tops (if you live in the South), otherwise, any moveable, breathable athleisure wear is fine! Your shoes should be closed toe, and make sure to wear a fanny pack or backpack for handless, easy access to your necessities. No purses, or bulky additions needed.Just you, the open road, and the open land. And of course, bring your quarantine partner(s) with you!
Oh! And always apply sunscreen every morning no matter the weather, then reapply if you aren’t hiking until later that day. I’d love to hear your Quarantine Adventure stories, and look forward to chatting soon! Love youuu!