Wellness in Nature

Looking over a field of blue flowers at a lake
Find wellness in nature wherever you are!

NPS/Diane Renkin

Sometimes we all need a little pick me up, a mood-booster, a breather, or some inspiration. Fortunately we know that during difficult times, a dose of nature can be the best medicine. Wherever you are, whatever your life’s circumstances, you have an open invitation to take care of yourself by tapping into the healing power of nature.

This spring enjoy nature from the window, in your home, backyard, and neighborhood. Or find your virtual park and discover more ways to enjoy national parks online.

Listed below are suggestions for how to get a healthy dose of nature—wherever you are.

Find Wellness Outdoors

In the parks, the neighborhood, the backyard or from the window.

  • Do you know what time the sun rises and sets?
  • Enjoy a view of nature from your window, your porch, or balcony.
  • Enjoy a five-minute break in front of the window.
  • Participate in the Spring Bird Migration Watch from your own backyard.
  • How many different birds you can see?
  • How many different bird calls you can hear?
  • Can you see any birds making nests?
  • Can see any birds with worms in their beaks?
  • Can you find any signs of spring in the plants around you?
  • How many different blooms can you see?
  • How many trees or shrubs are coming into leaf?
  • How many people can you count walking outside?
  • How accurately can you guess the outside temperature, the wind speed, and the humidity?
  • Watch the clouds go by.
  • Join the #GoingOnABearHunt campaign. Put a stuffed bear in your front window for neighborhood kids to find. Take a walk in your neighborhood to see how many you can spot.
  • Take a walk, run, or bike ride outside.
  • Take your dog for a walk.
  • Go fishing.
  • If you have a backyard, pack a picnic and have it with a couple others.
  • Read a book or magazine for half an hour on your stoop.
  • Try a neighborhood workout on your driveways like Zumba.
  • Make a video call to a friend or loved one while outdoors and share the view.
  • Draw a hopscotch board on your sidewalk for passersby.
  • Put a zipline, hammock, or tree swing in your yard.
  • Set up a tent in your backyard, deck, or balcony.
  • Have a bonfire.
  • Start your own garden (plant seeds).
  • Hang nest-making materials from your balcony, porch or a tree branch for birds to find.

Nature at Work

Small ways to brighten your work environment.

  • Take your lunch break by the window or outdoors.
  • Include houseplants in your workspace.
  • Bring fresh flowers into your workspace.
  • Walk or bike ride to work.
  • Host a walking meeting.
  • Get outside and practice mindful breathing for 5 minutes in fresh air.
  • Put on some headphones and listen to nature sounds while working.
  • Schedule outdoor nature breaks.
  • Include nature photos and pictures in your workplace.
  • Listen to nature sounds on your work break.
  • Use your favorite nature scene as a screensaver.

Get Outdoors Virtually

Enjoy nature from home.

  • Download a mediation app and practice mindfulness.
  • Take your yoga mat outside and try out some poses with a video. Try a free app or a fitness YouTube channel.
  • Find your virtual park and explore your favorite national parks virtually.
  • Take yourself on a virtual camping trip. Set up your tent/pillow fort, project a campfire, and play nature sounds on a speaker.
  • Try using Virtual Reality (VR) headsets to take a walk in nature to reduce anxiety and stress levels. Check out YouTube for 360-degree virtual hike videos.
  • Follow Healthy Parks Healthy People on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Share photos showing how much better you feel after a dose of nature with #BeforeandAfterParkRx.
  • Join the #GoingOnABearHunt campaign. Put a stuffed bear in your front window for neighborhood kids to find. Take a walk in your neighborhood to see how many you can spot. Share photos of your bear on social media.
  • Connect with CDC’s Active People, Healthy Nation #ActivePeople.
Learn more about how Healthy Parks Healthy People is tapping into the healing power of nature.

Last updated: May 21, 2020