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How I Fell In Love With Nature During A Pandemic

As was the case for many during these past few months of trials and uncertainty, nature became my source of peace and calm. Looking back now to the first couple months of this raging pandemic, I can recall lying in bed for days- only getting up for food, snacks and an occasional shower. I had just been displaced from my home in DC and relocated to New Jersey where I knew practically no one. I missed my friends & family and I had just felt a complete loss of purpose. I know many can resonate with my experience as this invisible enemy had swooped in to change the course of our lives for the foreseeable future.

I think my aunt had gotten sick of the sight of me in bed because one day she came into my room, dragged off my sheets and shouted “Rey get up! We’re going for a walk.” That beautiful summer day, we took about an hour walk through the South Mountain Reservation to see the waterfall. The fresh air, the tranquility, and the thousands of beautiful trees thick with green leaves- I was obsessed. After that day, it became routine for us to take an afternoon walk- each time exploring a different park, reservation, or town in North Jersey.

Around mid- July, I decided to get serious about my health and fitness and took a leap by joining an online workout group- Adrenaline Junkies TT. I figured, “what’s there to lose?” The sessions were free and there was no obligation- I just went at my own pace. AJ solidified this journey and commitment for me- or at least it allowed me to do so for myself. Three days a week I would do the zoom workout sessions while the other days I either went for a walk or did a hike or trail.

Almost six months later, I’m proud of myself and the consistency that I’ve accomplished thus far. Though the change in seasons- and the increasingly cold temperatures- has made it difficult for me to get outside as much as I’d like to, I still try to get outdoors for some fresh air at least three times a week. While it is regrettable that it took a global health crisis for me to genuinely appreciate the beauty and divinity that nature offers, I am truly grateful for having made this discovery and experienced this transformation in my lifestyle.

If you haven't already, I definitely recommend adding nature walks into your schedule. It's a great way to reduce anxiety & depression, it gives you energy, clears your mind & so much more! What I love the most is that it allows you to simply unplug from this crazy world we live in & be one with nature.

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