This article originally appeared in MindBodyGreen.com.
For many people, spring and summer mean beach days, hikes outside, and road trips to expansive wilderness. But this year, things are different: Most of us heading into the warmer seasons with sadness and grief in some form, whether it be for friends and family affected by COVID-19, the loss of a job, or the disruption to daily routines.
At the same time, national parks across the U.S. are closed, and it's unclear when and how they will be reopening. Yet, we need the healing power of nature now more than ever: Countless studies show the benefits of spending time in the outdoors, from lowering blood pressure to anxiety to cortisol. Even looking at photos of nature can help reduce anxiety, and sounds of nature can limit stress. Here are five ways to connect to beautiful parks and wild places from afar and create your own healing journey from home: