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Stress Relievers in Your Own Backyard

With the current pandemic of COVID-19, everyone’s priority is to stay safe and healthy.  This can be seen through our current social distancing and self-quarantine in our homes.  We are not sure when this shall pass, but we all need to try and stay positive during these uncertain times.


One easy way to help you stay positive is to get outside!  Studies have shown there are many benefits, physically and emotionally of being out with nature.  It can relieve stress, support your immune system, increase vitamin D, reduces depression, enhances creativity, and boots energy, which we all need!  I know personally I feel and work better when I can get outdoors and enjoy nature.  Being outside can be as simple as drinking your morning coffee on your front porch, to start the day off on the right foot.

Here are a few ideas that one could do to past the time outside:

  • Take your dog for a walk
    • Take a stroll around the block with your pet! I know they will enjoy it and it will give you a chance to stretch your legs.  Just remember to stay 6 feet apart from other walkers!
  • Light yard work
    • Water your plants, pull a few weeds in your flower beds, or clean out your bird bath.
    • Be sure to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and a hat!
  • Bird watching
    • Get out your binoculars for some bird watching.  Try identifying bird species and learn their calls
    • Note: morning time would be best when they are more active.
  • Learn about animal behavior
    • Sit and watch the birds or squirrels and notice their sounds/chirps, feeding behaviors, nests in your yard, or even social interactions with each other.  You can even try this on butterflies.
  • Enjoy the water
    • If you have access to a body of water (creek, stream, lake, etc.), try identifying fish, crustaceans, or insects that you see. 

One tool that can be useful for plant and animal identification is iNaturalist.  iNaturalist is one of the world’s most popular nature apps, iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Get connected with a community of over 750,000 scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature! By recording and sharing your observations, you’ll create research quality data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature. iNaturalist is a joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic SocietyClick here for more information on iNaturalist.

 Stay safe and enjoy the outdoors during this time!

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