The Women's Journal

Mother Nature: Your Stress Antidote

By  |  0 Comments

By Dianne Esry, RN

For most of us, being outside in nature feels good and we know it’s good for us too. In study after study, it’s been shown that being under the big blue sky has numerous wellness benefits and can improve blood pressure, inflammation, brain chemistry, mood, memory, empathy, creativity, inspiration, and much more.

Yet research shows that sixty percent of Americans spend less than five hours per week in nature and nearly half of us don’t engage in any outdoor recreation at all. 

As a wellness coach, I frequently recommend nature’s therapeutic space to heal, relax, meditate, and play. Physically, it calms the brain and helps decrease our perception of pain. And compounds emitted by plants that we inhale have antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic and even anti-allergic effects. 

If you’d like to boost your wellness, here are five simple examples of Mother Nature’s many restorative activities:

1. Explore more 

See how many nature sounds you recognize. Look for a woolly caterpillar. Collect interesting objects like leaves, moss, bark, or shells for a terrarium or shadow box. This activity can promote creativity, focus, and a sense of play.

2. Savor your senses

Notice the range of sounds you can hear. Inhale the scent of evergreens and woodsmoke. Enjoy a picnic. Gaze at the stars. Relish the sun on your face or the grass beneath your feet. Savoring encourages awe and wonder, decreases stress, and fosters greater generosity, connection, and meaning. 

3. Be present

Sit outside and breathe deeply. Meditate or try some gentle stretching. Find a regular “sit-spot” at or near your home. Notice how nature, and your experience of it, changes over time. Journal your reflections for greater awareness, resilience, and gratitude. Let yourself feel grounded in the present for less worry and more clarity.

4. Get moving

Moving your body in the fresh air is invigorating and fun, so you tend to keep at it. Go for an autumn bike ride. Hike at your park or go day hiking. Join a group sport, switch your walk route, try paddling, or practice outdoor yoga. The ideas are endless.

5. Get involved

Volunteer or join an event with your local nature organization or a cause you care about. Let your body reap the mental health benefits of your altruism while enjoying the fresh air.

Experts recommend at least two hours per week outdoors, or twenty minutes per day, but even five minutes is better than nothing. If you’re stuck at a desk, a houseplant or even screensaver nature scenes can provide a dose of “Vitamin N.”

By bringing more of the wild world into your world, you unlock the potential for more play, wonder, wellness, focus and creativity, which can ripple out into all areas of your life. 

For a deeper immersion, join me with a host of local experts October 20-21 for the “Women’s Wellness Weekend In Nature” retreat. Spots are limited. Click here!

If you need help prioritizing your wellbeing, let’s connect. The possibilities for greater energy, balance and joy are just a conversation away!


Dianne is the founder of The Whole Way Coaching, LLC. As a transformational coaching master, certified health coach, life coach, and registered nurse, she is passionate about helping professional women experience a life of vibrancy, balance, and joy. She blends her coaching expertise with 35 years of nursing and executive roles to provide a holistic roadmap for the woman who wants to excel in her career and realize her dreams without sacrificing her wellbeing. For more information call                  302-281-4833 or visit


“Dianne’s superpower is she has walked in our shoes, felt the desperation and experienced the feeling of being overwhelmed to the point where you can’t move. She was able to redirect the chaos and help me take small steps to refocus my energy on solutions that will become habits.”  ~ J.H. 

“Dianne’s methods are tailor-made for each individual, not a one size fits all approach. I’m not a goal-setter and early on in the course of our 90 days, she allowed me to explore the things I needed to work out. She’s a very insightful and inquisitive guide to the inner workings of the mind. At times it seemed almost like magic the way the shifts just sort of happened. Dianne truly cared about getting results in the most gentle and supportive way.” ~ A.W.