Get out of your head and into nature. Our senses are enhanced when we are present in nature as we must focus on what’s going on around us. Incorporating nature as a part of your daily practice can be as easy as going for a walk, reading outdoors or having lunch in the park. Tap into your senses by being mindful of what you feel, smell, sounds or how the wind feels on your face.
Walking or being in nature is a great way to practice being mindful. Mindfulness strategies help us reduce anxiety, stress and depression. When we are in nature we are in a space that calls for us to relax in the most natural way. Charlotte, NC is a beautiful city full of wonderful places to wander and relax. I was raised in Detroit, MI, a city landscaped by tall buildings and minimal square footage for green spaces. Eight years ago, when I moved to Charlotte, NC I was amazed at the mass of trees, greenways and gardens. Below I will list some my favorite local places to walk and/or relax in Charlotte, NC.
1. UNCC Botanical Garden
The Botanical garden at UNCC is quiet and often low on traffic. I frequent this place to read and enjoy the water features. In the spring, it’s a wonderful place to just observe the trees and flowers in bloom.
2. Danial Stowe Botanical Garden
Throughout the year Daniel Stowe has many events to explore so that you never get bored with walking through the garden. Daniel Stowe has a beautiful butterfly garden with a water feature that is picture worthy (screensaver) and breathtaking. When I see the water, I am called to sit and take in the beauty of nature.
3. First Ward Park
This park has beautiful sitting around a huge fountain of water. This space is great for people Uptown to have lunch and unwind.
4. Romare Bearden
If you work or live Uptown this is an awesome place to relax. This park offers lunchtime concert series, festivals and various events. On any given day, it’s a great place to watch calmly as the city is growing around this park.
5. Freedom Park
Take some time to walk around the park, rollerblade or sit under a tree and read. This is a Charlotte area favorite and one the best parks for relaxing in a variety of ways.
Getting outdoors is a way to reengage your senses. Walking mediation or being present in nature gives us the space to relax, be aware of the sounds and the feelings in our bodies.
Nedra Tawwab, LCSW
904 E. 8th St. Charlotte, NC 28204