Nature Break in the City Craze

I meet many people who currently live in the city and go crazy. It´s the speed. It´s the technology. It´s the addiction to technology. It´s the high expectations always being available, responding the messages in seconds, having your coffee and being all buzzed up to do, do, do. And what´s even worse – you live around so many people you barely have any quiet space to restore your energy.

I come from there. Just a little less than 2 years ago I still lived in one of the busiest cities of Europe and  worked in an office among 150 computers just on my floor, on the phone A LOT, responding tons of emails. I´d come home so tired I needed 3 hours to unwind.

Photo by Maxime Francis on

My secret to maintaining well-being in the city was… the parks! since I was 17 I´d always go to a park. Me, a city girl, in the parks. Nearly every day. Some parks barely had anything green, yet they still were a little oasis in the ant farm of the city. Back then I´d collect leaves (in the fall), sit on a bench and read (in spring and summer) and walk around looking at the snow (well, yeah, in winter). Later when I´d go on city trips I´d always find myself a park.

Around 4 years ago, still at the same job I since 2015, I realized I needed a drastic change. I had to change the job or change the attitude. I wouldn´t change the job because I loved my team and I enjoyed my shifts. So, the attitude it was then. I thought to myself: “What is it that I can do differently to feel more peaceful and energized here?” I thought of our clients: they came to us for help. Yes, they were often times pissed (for a reason) and they´d vent their stress at me and my colleagues. Yet, – I thought, – they ask for help and helping others is what I enjoy and that´s what we all are ultimately here for.

Each break that lasted just 20 minutes (3 minutes to get down from the office, 3 minutes to come up again) I went to the park. It was a little tiny park behind our building but it didn´t matter. It had trees. I would go and sit by the tree or put my hand on it or even hug it (I also did it almost every morning before work, just for 5 minutes) and it did miracles. I felt so grounded again that I´d be able to go on about my day in a wa-a-a-ay better state.

I also need to mention that I decided to be kind and loving to the clients I dealt with. Sounds kind of Buddhist-like but it worked. I approached them with more empathy and desire to help (even though the protocols limited my actions) and my relationship with people improved. I had less unpleasant interactions and I noticed I was way more peaceful than some of the other guys from my team. I decided to not allow myself to be triggered as easily and that helped, too.

Yes, after work I felt drained so I´d have to wait to go out again, but then I went to the park, too. Don´t think I´m crazy, but parks are so incredibly healing! I´d take a book or a journal and sit on the bench watching the dogs play. I’d let the kids run around screaming and yet stayed with myself. Sometimes I´d lay on the grass and touch the ground, sometimes I´d take my shoes off and walk on the cool grass feeling myself calming down. Often times I went to a café afterwards to have a coffee and a read.

Perhaps it sounds like a too simple of a recommendation and maybe not all of us need alone time, and maybe not all of us feel like hugging trees, but if you feel it resonating, try it! If you need a break – go to the nature near you, whatever that peace of nature is. Close your eyes, be in the quiet with yourself. Go within. Feel what it does for you. Even 10 minutes only. We are part of the nature that we unfortunately are losing touch with. Maybe it’s time to come back to it and reestablish that healing connection.

Are you changing your pj’s for something decent to go to the park now?


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