Growing Nature’s Peace, in a Pandemic
Release stress, restore your energy
I must teach a gazillion stress management interventions, which occasionally leads clients to ask, “Which is your favorite?” Hands down, my favorite stress management practice is walking outside, with nature. I love the fresh air, getting away from home and work, looking at what is new and beautiful around me, and finding nature even in the most unusual circumstances.
These photos were taken a year ago, when my husband was an inpatient at Mass General Hospital. From the roof view, you might think there wasn’t much of nature to be found, especially during January in New England. However, I passed this birch tree each time I went to visit him. It just so happens that birches are my favorite tree. I reflected on its beautiful bark, its resilience in living along a sidewalk used by hundreds of people every day, and the birds that perched in its bare branches. It always made me smile, no small feat during my husband’s hospitalization.
The thing is, I can’t always drop everything and go for a walk. In New England I can’t even walk safely every day, with snow, ice, and thunderstorms depending on the season. I don’t want to walk outside when it’s raining, too hot, or too cold (do I sound a bit like Goldilocks?!) And here’s the thing about stress. If you postpone dealing with stress, it drains your energy leaving you on empty. But practicing effective stress management can make the difference between feeling exhausted and energized.
Fortunately for me, there are other ways of accessing what I call nature’s peace. An effective nature writer can take me to beautiful places. A nature-based bedtime guided meditation can give me the feeling of being out under the stars. Paintings and photos can give me that ‘ahh’ feeling that confirms I’ve let go of at least a bit of stress.
What’s a nature photo challenge?
And so, when the “Safe at Home” initiative began back in March 2020, I started a nature photo challenge on social media. I pledged to take and post a new photo every day and encouraged my friends to share their photos as well. There are no rules; taking photos through a window or of house plants is perfectly acceptable. When I began this nature photo challenge I anticipated continuing for a month or so. Now at day 300, it’s easy to see that the need for it will continue for another 100 days. At least. But I believe that hope and caring for each other and a big dose of nature’s peace will sustain us. I know the process of seeking out and posting a photo is centering and grounding for me.
“Let nature’s peace grow.”-John Muir
Stop stress from draining your energy
Often when stress management interventions (SMIs) don’t work they weren’t the right match for the situation. If walking outside were my only stress management plan, I’d be in sad shape. There is no one-size-fits-all intervention that works in all situations. Like me, you need a collection of stress management interventions for work and beyond work. My collection includes many practices I have learned as a stressed woman who is a holistic nurse. What does your collection include? If you need some inspiration, TLC offers a free report for that. Stress Solutions: 100+ Tips for Nurses compiles stress management interventions from nurses and other experts that help release stress and restore energy in just a few moments.
Once you have a collection, you are prepared to comprehensively manage the stress in your life, and help others to do so, too. But for busy people, that’s often easier said than done. With no time to waste, you need to expertly choose, find time, and use stress solutions with maximum outcomes. TLC has a webinar for that! Managing Stress, Mindfully: Advanced Stress Management for Nurses. Experience immediate and long lasting relief of stress symptoms with the five secrets to success. The vital expertise you gain is how to use timely, frequent, mindful and meaningful stress management interventions ideally matched to the situation you find yourself in. With that knowledge you can stop stress from draining your energy.
Day 300: the Nature Photo Challenge-Gale Lyman
Let nature’s peace flow through you, bringing grace and clearing out lingering sadness, self-doubts and fears. Standing on the mill yard bridge over the Powow River you can feel the vibration of the river, the energy of nature.
May you also find ways to manage your stress, and experience peace. May you too receive grace and clear out lingering sadness, self-doubts, fears and stress. Check out TLC’s free report Stress Solutions: 100+ Tips for and on-demand webinar Managing Stress, Mindfully: Advanced Stress Management for Nurses. You can stop stress from draining your energy!
In peace, Gale