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The best experiences are natural; a morning hike, a dewy morning, a sandy beach, a beautiful storm, all so uniquely refreshing and there’s a reason for this! A study found that people that spend two hours in nature reported experiencing good health and psychological well-being more than those who do not. Although the remedy is quite simple, the impact nature has on cognitive function and general health is far greater than you think! 

Limiting your exposure to outside nature, according to the study can be very harmful to you as nature can lower stress levels, reduce anxiety, and improve mood. Dr. Jason Strauss, the director of geriatric psychiatry at Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance says to “focus on [going to] places you find the most pleasing,” adding that “the goal is to get away from stimulating urban settings and surround yourself with a natural environment.”

Related: Hiking Instead of Staying In

Needless to say, it may be hard to get out there right now with how the world is. But as Dr. Strauss explained, start where you can and wherever gives you the most comfort and peace. If that looks like mountains, water, or maybe even simple greenery, get out there! Something as simple as taking a walk around the neighborhood is a great start to giving your brain a break from things to rejuvenate itself. What’s important is the personal release aspect. While others may find the mountainside comforting, others may find the beach or shore more calming, and that’s totally fine! Once you find your soothing place, try to set aside 120 minutes to see the great difference it brings to you.

Related: A New Appreciation for Nature

Bountiful and special in its own way, nature offers so much to us. From the food we eat and the planet we live on to the amazing relief it gives us by simply being in the presence of natural settings, nature is the first natural remedy that our lives root from. It’s time we start acknowledging the amount of power and strength the natural world has around us and onto us! As someone who routinely watches sunsets and goes on mind-clearing drives, each and every time I set aside time for me to just be in the presence of nature’s ways, it’s allowed me to remember just how remarkable and calm the world around me is even when I think it may not be.

Whatever your circumstances are and wherever they bring you, just remember that this world is rooting for you and that she is always waiting for you to come to her for whatever you need. Find solace in that, collegiettes.

Fiorella Izquierdo

George Mason University '23

Fiorella Izquierdo is a senior at George Mason University currently studying Communication with a concentration in Journalism and a minor in Graphic Design. She is happiest when she is has a magazine in one hand and a chai latte in the other. Music, film, and fashion are some of her other passions, although she can bake like no other. In the future, Fiorella hopes to work as a creative director and travel the world doing what she loves!
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