There are so many benefits to surrounding yourself in nature, especially when it comes to your mental and physical wellbeing. As we deal with upcoming transitions and changes, it is important to make sure you are setting aside some time to take a break and recharge. Spending time outdoors can help boost your physical and mental health, help reduce stress levels and can even increase your energy. View this short, animated video from Kaiser on how and why it’s a good thing to spend time in nature.
Need some help getting started? Here are some ideas for inspiration!
Originally created by Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in 1982, shinrin-yoku, or Forest bathing as it translates, is a practice encouraging people to simply spend time absorbing nature. Read this article form Kaiser on what it is and why you should try it. Whether you live near the beach, up the I-5 Corridor, or along the gorge, you are bound to find your favorite forest bathing spot!
Take a Hike in The Gorge
Spring is a beautiful time to view the gorge, especially with wildflowers beginning to bloom! Trails for all ages and skill levels exist on both sides of the river, in a variety of lengths. Visit gorgefriends.org to find your next (or first) hiking adventure. Make sure to check out their trail alerts and plan accordingly, bring sturdy shoes, snacks and sunscreen or bug repellent if needed. And remember to pack out everything you bring with you!
Hit the Beach
The sights and the sounds of the ocean can be very soothing and a great way to enjoy nature. Beachcombing is a great way to relax, unwind and take a break from the daily stress. Read this article from NBC News on What the Beach Does to Your Brain, and then reap the benefits!
Visit a State Park
Most Washington State Parks are open and ready for day use and some camping. Visit https://parks.state.wa.us/ to find and explore a park.
If you are eligible for benefits, you can participate in PEBB’s SmartHealth plan. SmartHealth is a voluntary wellness program that supports whole person well-being. Participate in activities and earn incentive points, or just participate for fun! Get started here https://smarthealth.hca.wa.gov/BrandedLogin.aspx?e=WASMARTHealth.
Whatever “taking a break” looks like to you, use that time to shift your thoughts, de-stress and be able to come back to work with more energy and focus.