Nature Walks: Stress Relief and Learning Opportunity ⋆ Portland Early Learning Project

Have you gone on a nature walk recently with your little (or not-so-little) one?

No matter what your age, walking can help us feel connected to the world and others. It’s fun to find (or place your own!) painted rocks. Or see a raptor take flight, or a duck land in a little pond near you. Or come across a striking spider, or a beautiful flower growing out of a crack in the path. Or notice the fuzzy lichen growing on tree limbs.

It is incredibly hard right now to not be stressed about everything – work, bills, kids, our loved ones, our community, ourselves…I’ve a heard a lot about the importance of self-care. Where do we find the time and patience to care for ourselves in all this? And that’s the point of self-care right there. And then guilt sets in. And any semblance of balance is gone.

But if you can take the time to step away and notice your surroundings, and to maybe take part in something whimsical and fun, it might lift your spirits a bit. And if you can bring the kids along on this adventure and turn it into (free) family fun bonding – that’s even better!

“Research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology shows that being exposed to restorative environments such as a forest, lake or beach restores mental energy, and that natural beauty inspires feelings of awe which gives a secondary brain boost.”

Next time you go on a walk, tag us on social media with what you find, (or what painted rocks you leave behind!).

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About Jessica Swartz Amezcua

After spending a semester in college in Mexico perfecting her Spanish language skills and falling deeply in love with the culture, Jessica Swartz Amezcua now loves sharing the language and culture with children through play. She's is a co-owner of Portland Early Learning, and owner of GoGo Espanol.