Nature’s Stress Relievers

Business Manager, Dana Wood, shares her secret to stress relief

Fall on Otis Road

At my previous job I worked downtown in the basement of the old Armstrong building and did not look forward to going outside during my hour lunch because it always made it harder to go back in to work where it was all fluorescent lighting and recycled air from businesses located above us.  One of the greatest things about working at the Nature Center for the last 10+ years is the fact that I can usually find a way to relieve stress, if needed, not far from the barn. 

Along Dana's loop

One way I like to relieve stress when the weather is nice is during my half hour lunch break.  I eat my lunch and then take a power walk on the trail loop that goes by the remains of Old Henry.  I can usually make that loop in 15 minutes, which has me going at a pretty good pace.  But what I enjoy most are the sights and sounds I have seen over the years.  My first sighting of a bluebird was on that loop.  What excitement I had after seeing such a beautiful bird.  I have walked over several garter snakes on that trail and even encountered a mother deer snorting at me while she was protecting her young fawn hiding in the prairie grasses beneath her.  Though many would be scared or startled by such encounters (and I’m not saying I wasn’t at the time), it made me realize how things in nature can relieve my stress.   After those encounters, I had such a rejuvenation of my body and mind I went back to work and first had to tell about my encounters (of course), then was able to go about the rest of the day working with a sense of relief and a lack of stress—a major weight off of my shoulders. 

At the prairie's edge

Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I try to take advantage of each day at lunch and make a point to hear the squirrels chattering, birds singing, leaves blowing in the wind and smell the crisp air and feel the warm sun against my face.  These things take away any stress that builds up throughout the day.  I know everyone does not have the advantage of working at a nature center like me, but I highly recommend for us all to take in a little nature at least once a week.  The trails on or around the nature center are open during daylight hours-enjoy and relieve some of your stress today!   

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