Nature Experiences Journal

Date: 1/22/2020…etc. Do one entry for 4 days (consecutive days preferred)

Activity: Describe in a few sentences (2-3). Include the amount of time spent and nature of activity.

Example 1. “After work, I went for a run near the beach. I had only planned on running 20 minutes but ended up running for a full 30 minutes. I ran both on the beach walkway and on the streets nearby to get a mix of scenery.”

Example 2. “I took a walk to a local park I have never been to, only driven by. It has a playground, a few courts (1 tennis, 2 paddle ball, and 1 basketball court) and a nice walking path that loops around the premises. I started the walk from my house and in total walked 25 minutes.”

Example 3. “My mother was in town so I thought it would be nice to go to the gardens in Pasadena. It has a rose garden and a lot of other trees/flowers and depending on the time of day you go when you walk around you can see deer, turtles, ducks, and colorful birds like orange hummingbirds. We spent 2 hours there – walking, talking, and sitting.”

Mood: Describe post-activity mood and thoughts. This is to be reflective and 1 paragraph.

Example 1. “When I started running, I was in a bad mood. It had been a long day, and this run just made everything feel longer. Around halfway to through the run however I spotted a pelican and found myself looking more at the scenery. It is rare for me to be out by the beach during the weekday so I took it all – the people, the many birds, the beautiful water, and the shops (my favorite was the flower shop I passed because the displays were so lively). Even though I started out agitated by the time I ran back to my car, I felt relaxed. I was worried I would feel even more tired, but I felt the opposite, more energized. I had also accomplished something I didn’t think I could do; I ran 30 minutes not just 20!”

Example 2. “I am so happy I finally visited this park. It is so close and a great place to get to know my neighbors. I have already asked my friend Lauren to come next week so we can try out the tennis courts. I will also say even though I am usually driving along the streets I walked, it felt good to stretch my legs and not have to worry about finding a parking spot (this park only had 5). The walk gave me a chance to think about how many good things I have going on (great friends, lots of support from my parents, a chance at a great internship) which I honestly haven’t done much of since the new quarter started. I have been a bit depressed and this excursion reminded me how much I need to focus on the good.”

Example 3. “The gardens were great. I rarely get to connect with my mom, she lives far, and I am always working, so spending quality time together is always cherished. This is the first time we have done something ‘outdoors.’ When my stepdad comes with her, we usually just do things he likes like go to a museum. It was nice to do something more casual and different. We saw all the animals I hoped to see, including the elusive deer which both made me very happy and surprised me. My mom loved spotting the deer too. I think being in the woods, far from Irvine really made me feel tranquil. I didn’t need to worry about school or the roommate drama, I could just relax. In-between the banter and jokes, my mom and I would sit silently and look out.”

All journal entries must include DATE, ACTIVITY, AND MOOD sections

For your nature experiences journal, please be aware that going to an amusement park or other activities (e.g., playing basketball in the outdoor courts, swimming in a pool, etc.) that are outside but not in “nature” do not count.

You are to spend time in nature (e.g., trees, greenery, flowers, water elements like the ocean). Your time can either be spent in structured spaces like parks or the beach or spaces that are a bit more informal (e.g., walking around your neighborhood or visiting a local garden).

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