Stressed Out? We've Got Just the Thing

A Blog Story About Nature in Our DuPage Forest Preserves

Stressed Out? We've Got Just the Thing

Posted by Forest Preserve District of DuPage County | 3/25/21 10:06 AM

Still recovering from 2020? If you’re like most people, the stress of the pandemic, working from home and e-learning has taken its toll.

Whether your stress level is tangible or intangible as a generalized feeling of unease, spending a few minutes in nature will help you reclaim your center. 

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Studies show that simply viewing photos of nature scenes has a measurable impact on stress: reducing anxiety, lowering blood pressure and decreasing muscle tension.

Nature even helps with physical pain. In fact, one study followed patients after surgery. Half had a view of a tree outside their hospital rooms and half viewed a wall from their hospital bed. The patients viewing the tree had fewer negative side effects, requested less pain medication and left the hospital sooner than the patients who could only see a wall.

Lucky for us, nature works in simple ways. Take a walk or sit outside and you will feel nature’s benefits. When you allow yourself to experience the abundant smells, colors and sounds of nature, you leave the experience feeling better. It’s that simple!

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Spending time outside — even five minutes — is good for you. DuPage forest preserves offer 26,000 acres and 145 miles of trails for you to explore.

Sitting in a natural area for just five minutes can make you feel more energetic and less stressed or depressed. It’s a simple prescription that addictive in a good way. The better you feel, the more your brain will want you to get back out there again and again.

We’ve even got programs to help motivate you to get outside and de-stress. Sign up for one, or two or three!

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Nature Walk
Discover new and exciting nature facts and finds as you explore a preserve on a casual guided walk, which will be 2 miles or less. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. All ages; under 18 with an adult. $5 per person. Register online or at 630-933-7248.

May 8 9 – 10 a.m. & 11 a.m. – Noon Mallard Lake
May 22 9 – 10 a.m. & 11 a.m. – Noon Wood Dale Grove
May 29 9 – 10 a.m. & 11 a.m. – Noon Dunham

 

Breath of Fresh Air: Centering Meditation Walk

Rediscover your center during a peaceful walk that will head in each of the cardinal directions, making stops for guided meditations and opportunities for reflection, journaling and relaxation. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 18 and up. $15 per person. Register online or at 630-206-9566.

May 27 5 – 6:30 p.m. Fullersburg Woods
June 24 5 – 6:30 p.m. Mayslake
June 26 5 – 6:30 p.m. Mayslake

 

Evening Forest Hikes
Get some healthy exercise and enjoy the wonders of a DuPage forest preserve on a guided 3- to 5-mile hike. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 18 and up. $10 per person. Register online or at 630-933-7248.

May 5 6:30 – 8 p.m. Springbrook Prairie
May 12 6:30 – 8 p.m. Meacham Grove
May 19 6:30 – 8 p.m. James "Pate" Philip State Park
May 26 6:30 – 8 p.m. Herrick Lake

 

Bird Walk
Learn ID tips and tricks while looking for migrating birds on this guided walk for beginners. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 18 and up. $5 per person. Register online or at 630-933-7248.

May 7 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. West DuPage Woods
May 14 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. Lyman Woods
May 21 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. St. James Farm
May 28 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. Timber Ridge
June 4 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. Dunham

 

Forest Hike
Get some healthy exercise and enjoy the wonders of a DuPage forest preserve on a guided 3- to 5-mile hike. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 18 and up. $5 per person. Register online or at 630-933-7248.

May 10 8:30 – 10 a.m. Fullersburg Woods
May 17 8:30 – 10 a.m. Timber Ridge
May 24 8:30 – 10 a.m. Waterfall Glen

 

Thanks for the Memories: Gratitude Walk
In time for Memorial Day, contemplate the many freedoms you’re grateful for on a leisurely guided walk. Bring pen and paper and jot down your thoughts at each of four scheduled brief stops along the way, if the mood strikes you. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 12 and up; under 18 with an adult. $15 per person. Register online or at 630-206-9566.

May 29 7:30 – 9 a.m. Mayslake
May 30 7:30 – 9 a.m. Wood Dale Grove
May 31 7:30 – 9 a.m. York Woods

 

Lantern-Lit Night Hike
Take a self-guided walk along a scenic 1- to 2-mile lantern-lit trail. Walks leave every 20 minutes to allow for social distancing between groups. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and month. All ages; under 18 with an adult. $10 per person. Register online or at 630-933-7248.

June 5 7 – 9:40 p.m. Fullersburg Woods

 

Nature Poetry Walk

Learn about haiku (a poetic form that originated in Japan) on a leisurely walk; then, create your own haiku inspired by your fresh experiences. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 12 and up; under 18 with an adult. $5 per person. Register online or at 630-933-7248.

June 11 10 – 11:15 a.m. St. James Farm

 

Summer Solstice Sunrise Hike
Relax on a hike atop Mount Hoy as you soak in the first rays of summer. Learn about early morning wildlife and the secrets of the summer solstice. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 18 and up. $10 per person. Register online or at 630-933-7248.

June 21 4:30 – 6 a.m. Blackwell

 

The scents, sounds and surrounds seem to interact on a molecular level with people, changing blood pressure levels, raising beneficial cell activity, and improving mental health. So join us for one or for all! We’d love to experience the healing benefits of nature with you!

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Topics: Insider, Trails, Natural resources, Health and wellness, Recreation, Plants, Take 5, Wildlife, Nature, native plant

Written by Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County manages nearly 26,000 acres in 60 forest preserves containing prairies, woodlands and wetlands.