Why It’s Important to Spend Time in Nature

Carolyn here! For those of you who don’t know, I’m Liz’s assistant. I help out with all sorts of things Sequins & Stripes, but you will see a post from me here on Liz’s blog every Saturday (so nice of Liz to let me do that!). If you read my little About Me, you’ll know that I grew up in Portland, Oregon. Though I’ve been in the Midwest for nearly eight years now, the Pacific Northwest will always hold a very special place in my heart. Things worked out well with the timing of my lease in Chicago + some other trips I had planned, and I’m spending the summer at home in Portland/around Washington state and Oregon.

Now, I love Chicago (and I’m very excited to go back in September), but I can get a bit stir crazy there. It’s a beautiful city with an incredible number of things to do, but when I’m in Chicago, I’m mostly just in Chicago. It’s pretty nice to be in a place like Portland for a couple of months, with mountains, rivers, and endless trails all a short drive away. I’ve been trying to soak up as much nature time as I can, and I wanted to share a few reasons why I personally think the great outdoors are one of the best mood boosters around:

Four Reasons to Spend More Time in Nature

  1. Explore something new. A hike is a mini adventure, of sorts, and I love finding trails to new places I haven’t been yet. I like to use The Outbound Collective to plan my visit to a particular area or the NPS website if I’m going to a National Park. All of the photos in this post are from my visit to Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington last weekend! 
  2. Take a break from technology. I love Instagram and texting as much as the next person, but turning off the cell service for a couple of hours can be great for my sanity. First of all, I find that I really don’t miss that much. Secondly, I find that if I am able to let my mind disengage for a bit I come back refreshed, reenergized and full of new ideas! 
  3. Fresh air and exercise. If all the clean air wasn’t healthy enough, I’ve read that hiking burns about 450 calories an hour. Do that for half a day and you have an amazing workout! There’s nothing like getting some sneaky exercise in while socializing and doing something you really enjoy.
  4. It’s just plain beautiful. I’d been to Mt. Rainier before, and I’ve seen plenty of mountains around Washington, but for some reason, I was particularly awestruck by this Mt. Rainier visit last weekend. My boyfriend kept laughing at all the pictures I was taking! There was something about the clear blue sky, the wildflowers against the snow and the dramatic glaciers that just got to me. Nature has a funny way of doing that to you! 

How about all of you? Does summer mean some time in nature for you? And if anyone has recommendations for outdoorsy activities to do in Illinois, Wisconsin or Michigan, I’d love to hear them! I’ve visited a few spots, but there are plenty of places in the Midwest left to explore.

Happy Saturday!
Xo, Carolyn

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