Young Woman Relaxing Outdoors --- Image by © Sandra Seckinger/zefa/Corbis

5 Easy Outdoor Stress Relievers

Life is sometimes stressful. And taking time out for yourself to rejuvenate is sometims not easy. If you’re like me, responsible for the care of loved ones (I have three such loved ones), or have an intense work schedule, the notion of taking a rejuvenating break can seem as likely as finding a $100 bill on a Manhattan sidewalk. But getting a break is a lot more likely and easier than you think!
There is solace in simple activities done right outside your front door. While you may be limited by where you live, or what is accessible or safe, I’m certain there is at least one thing out of the following list of 5 Easy Outdoor Stress Relievers for everyone.

1. Go for a 10 minute stroll around your neighborhood and say hello to everyone you see
2. Stargaze while holding hands with someone you love
3. Add or care for a plant on your balcony, window box, or in your yard
4. Have a breakfast picnic at home; take the prepared meal outside and eat on a blanket; perhaps invite a neighbor or friend to join you
5. Get outside with the kids to play games like Duck/Duck/Goose, Red light/Green light or teach them games and songs from your childhood — for more fun, play these games with other adults!

What are some simple ways you relax in the outdoors?
Photo courtesy of Sandra Seckinger

The Outdoor Date

One of my single friends, bored by the movie/dinner/drinks hustle, wondered how dating and the great outdoors might go together. Based on some observations and experiences from when I was both dating and married, ideas came easy. So here are just a few outdoorsy thoughts for a date or if you are single and looking to mingle!
Climbing Gym
People who go to climbing gyms also tend to get out on real rocks too. Alternately, it’s great for people who want to try rock climbing without as many risks. And there is something pretty sexy about showing off your muscular prowess to a suitor. Coupled with lunch, it’s an excellent daytime date!
Picnic
I know this seems SO obvious, but people don’t go as often as they should. If you’re not the cooking type, just head to a local deli, grab sandwiches, sides, drinks; bring along a blanket for sitting — there is just nothing like enjoying a meal with someone you care about outdoors in beautiful surroundings. Alternately, you can go solo and savor some quiet time alone. Don’t forget to take your trash with you!
Walk or Hike
I suggest heading to a local public garden. The Botanic Garden in Berkeley’s Tilden Park is an outdoor museum that represents California’s diverse landscape. Temperatures can be very cool to very warm as you move along the trails and changing foliage. And there are also a few scenic places to stop and enjoy a bite to eat.
Bike Ride
Even if you don’t own a bike, rentals are a cool option available at local bike stores or companies like this one in San Francisco. If possible, pick a flat paved trail off the road for a leisurely ride and easy conversation. Helmets required!
I’d love to revisit this topic in the future with other suggestions, so please leave a comment to share your outdoor adventures spent with (or looking for) a loved one!