4 Ways to Let Nature De-Stress You - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog


4 Ways to Let Nature De-Stress You

Four great ways for urban-dwellers to get back into nature and regain sanity (with NYC-specific tips).


My enchantment with the outdoors began when I was a kid. My mom and dad would schlep the family to Muskoka each summer. Despite my brother and I inevitably getting into a fight over back-seat territory encroachments, we always got excited when the roads got smaller and the cliffs higher, as this meant we were getting closer. Closer to the dock where we would take a water taxi to our little private island and log cottage on it. Closer to playing chess while watching boats zoom by, outdoor adventures and the constant smell of cedar and evergreens.

4 Ways to Let Nature De-Stress You

My brother and I playing a game at the cottage (love the acid-wash jean shorts, Simon!)

My brother and I would climb trees, explore the woods and take the canoe out on the lake with Dad. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? It was. But as I got older, I found myself retreat from nature; I was tied to my career, my phone and the concrete streets of NYC. I won’t lie — I became more and more stressed and anxiety-ridden. Maybe you can relate.

A few years ago, I decided to put an end to this madness and went on a quest to save my sanity. I found ways to get active in nature — no matter what city I’m in. (But I put together some specific tips just for my fellow New Yorkers.)

Here are four simple ways I found to de-stress:

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A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 72 Comments

  1. Melani Kalev

    I love hiking! Since my home moved to Switzerland 4 years ago, I’ve grown to love the nature more and more. There are many hiking trails here, offering a lot of amazing views. It find it great when people use this opportunity to get closer back to the nature, even though they live in the city 🙂

  2. I started doing exactly this about a year ago. The city was really wearing me down and I had to reconnect with nature, even if it meant walking through the park on the way to work, or taking day trips on the weekend up to Hudson Valley. It’s made such a difference. I feel like a “normal” person again : )

  3. Great suggestions! I like camping every now and then. Challenge my manly skills. Hahaha!

  4. Gabrielle Williams

    Do you think the camping grounds are great for kids? Would love to bring them out some time.

    • Arabella Clarington

      I would also love to bring my kids!

  5. Francis Woods

    Would love to try camping in Stone Tavern Farm, anyone wanna join?

  6. Francis Woods

    Central Park is one of my usual haunts, y’all should say hi to me when you see me there!!! 😀

    • Hannah Meyers

      I think I did see you there. Were you rocking the latest Kate Hudson sportswear? I also go to Central Park every now and then. Maybe we can run together?

  7. Love the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens!

    • Francis Woods

      I’ve been here a couple of times! Wonder why I didn’t see you? When do you go?

  8. Courtney Watson

    Hmmm… I’d like to try Anthony’s nose… I’m pretty sure it’s a “gem” and I’m really excited hiking there soon!

    • Francis Woods

      Do you like to “hike” Courtney? 😀 Maybe you can rub off some of that on me!

      • Courtney Watson

        I do, Francis! Come on, let’s talk! I would be very glad to have you as one of my hiking buddies 😉

  9. When I need to clear my head, I go to The Ramble in Central Park too. I think I saw you there this weekend – were you there?? I wanted to say hi but wasn’t sure…

    • Francis Woods

      I will definitely keep an eye on you there, Ansley! 😀 I’m sure if I see a pretty blonde with a bob – that’s you!

    • I was in Paris and Belgium, actually! But if you see me there again (I’m often there after work), definitely say hello 🙂

  10. I’ve actually never gone camping! I looked up the areas you mentioned in the article and they all look interesting. Do you know what the crowd is like at them? Which one is more fun? Is there a LGBT campground?? 😉

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