A Daily Nature Practice

Restorative Self-Care for Healthcare Professionals*

Enjoy a Free Recorded Workshop: Let Nearby Nature Restore You

Want to dive deeper?
Enrollment for A Daily Nature Practice opens again in October 2022.
Sign up at www.ThriveWithNature.com to receive an email when enrollment is available.
Read more about A Daily Nature Practice below.


"That was amazing! Thank you for slowing my mind and body. To bring nature to the forefront of my life and remind me how to play again has made such a difference. Each day I see the world in a different way. Taking nature breaks energizes me. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us!"

– Georgina Hartman, Recreation Therapy Assistant, Sherwood Park, Alberta


Are you:

...better at caring for others than caring for yourself?

...feeling crazy busy and frequently exhausted?

...concerned about burnout?

Noticing nearby nature gave me back my sense of self when my work and caregiving responsibilities felt overwhelming.

This evidence-based self-care practice may be just what you need in your daily life.

Restorative benefits are often felt immediately.

Previous program participants report feeling joy and rejuvenation, with improved mood, energy and focus.

"As a result of taking Shelagh's course, I realize how important it is to give myself a nature prescription. Even though the primary focus of my work is helping people connect with nature, I was always too busy caring for the well-being of others to take a break on my lunch hour. Now I find myself eating outside, going for a quick walk, or stopping to pick flowers.

I realize that I have more to give by giving myself permission to take a break and look around. I don't have to go far to feel reconnected to nature and part of something greater than myself."

- Emma Rooney, Creativity Facilitator & Founder, Blooming Caravan, Toronto, Ontario


This experiential online program is an 6-module interactive guide to savouring nearby nature for personal and professional self-care.

You’ll be guided through the process of creating enjoyable new habits to improve how you feel and function in your daily life.

*Designed with healthcare professionals in mind, it's also open to caregivers of people and planet.

The content is both playful & profound

I’ve creatively curated relevant research findings, nature photos, quotes, poetry, and real-life stories to inspire and inform you.

The sensory activities and self-reflections can be easily personalized to suit your unique nature interests, your location and the time you have available.

You're invited to share with other participants in the comments right within the program, on your own time. Stories from previous participants are there for you to enjoy and be inspired by.


“One of the most intriguing and most useful, practical courses I’ve taken in quite a while. So fun, informative and extremely useful practice of self care that can often be neglected. I was skeptical of online, but content was fun, delivered with a variety of tools such as video, poems, books. Such a perfect way to learn at my own pace. Loved it!”

– Anonymous participant evaluation


The nature activities will reawaken your senses to the beauty and wonder of your natural habitat, including your sense of curiosity and fascination.

“I just realized the other day when I was out for a walk, that prior to this course, if I was out walking, I’d be lost in thought. I could walk for an hour and not really observe my surroundings in any detail as I’d be thinking, planning etc.

Now, when I’m outside for a walk, getting fresh air, I’m actually 'lost in nature.'

I’m slowing down on these walks, and feel rejuvenated, refreshed, more connected to my world and surroundings. It makes me laugh a bit. I feel like I have a new set of eyes and ears now!

– Lindsay Hooton, Recreation Therapist, Coquitlam, British Columbia

Program Highlights & Milestones

All together, the six modules (plus a bonus module) include learning and activities that add up to a minimum total of 12 hours.

Diving into the participant comments and additional resources is optional.


Your Nature Muse

Shelagh Smith, HTR, MAEEC
Shelagh Smith, HTR, MAEEC

As a registered horticultural therapist and online educator, I'm passionate about promoting the health and well-being of people and planet through daily engagement with nearby nature.

For 23 years, I developed and facilitated therapeutic garden programs for seniors living in care homes, while supervising and mentoring many students and volunteers. I taught people with mental health issues how to grow their own food, collaborated on the design of restorative and enabling gardens, and created and taught a 130-hour Horticultural Therapy Certificate Program.

My current focus is to inspire healthcare providers and caregivers to notice and engage with nearby nature for restorative self-care. Sensory nature play is a joyful daily practice for me, a source of nourishment and delight, and an evolving journey that I'd love to share with you. Join me, as we learn together to thrive with nature.


"I just wanted to say how thankful I am for taking this online course during this weird and crazy time. I truly feel like my daily nature practice is one of the major things keeping me grounded right now."

– Kelly, Recreation Therapist, Canada


Creatively Curated Content

Experiential activities

Research highlights

Photos, videos, graphics, questionnaires

Stories, poetry, quotes

Inspirational picture books

Links to additional resources

"It was amazing! I found that since I have done the course, I really notice nature in a different way, a deeper and more meaningful way."

I really feel a difference in my body…. I find when my stress is so high, I notice nature more. I worried sometimes and wondered if it was dissociating, but then I realize it is a moment of sanity in amongst the stress. It is truly grounding me right now. Noticing the mountain ridge today just made me feel like everything was all going to be okay, and I think nature is there to serve as a reminder of that. The constant beauty and simplicity of it is such a gift!”

- Janay Babuin Funk, Recreation Therapist, BC, Canada


“I really enjoy your evidence-based information and the course was awesome – I would love to take another course with you, on just about anything!”

– Jessica, Recreation Therapist & Registered Nurse, Canada


"It’s amazing to be in this course at this time when there is so much uncertainty. Reading everyone’s comments, learning about stress and self care and connecting with nature has helped me keep things in perspective. Thank you so much Shelagh and everyone!

My awareness and appreciation of nature is really expanding. So very inspiring! So many simple things we can do that can bring so much joy! "

- Carol Shoji, British Columbia, Canada


But, but...

I'm too busy. I don't have time to do the program

It's when I was too busy that I most needed nature breaks, even short ones. Those breaks gave me more energy, concentration and perspective, not to mention relief!

I don't want to spend more time on the computer

I'm with you! That's why I provide a worksheet for each module. Print it off and take it outside with you, or wherever you choose. The worksheet includes key points, activities, and self-reflection questions.

I'd rather do the program at my own pace, with no requirement to keep up or to comment

I hear you. This is a self-paced program and you have access to the content as long as the program exists, so you can take your time. You're not required to comment or interact with me or the other participants unless you wish to.

When a cohort starts together, you have the option to complete one module per week along with the group, if you wish.

I live in a dense urban area without nearby nature to enjoy

In the program you'll discover creative ways to notice nearby nature that you may not have been aware of before. You'll also find simple ways to add more nature content to your everyday life, where you live, work and play.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the program start and finish?
The program is self-paced, and you have access as long as the program exists.
What if I'm unhappy with the program?
If you're unsatisfied with the program, contact me within the first 7 days and I'll give you a full refund. Consider letting me know how I might improve the program and your experience.
How is the program interactive?
We interact by commenting right within the program. You can type your comments, as well as share photos of your nature experiences. You'll get to read each other's stories on your own time, and type in a response if you wish. The comments are one of my favourite parts of the program. I get to hear how you're doing with the activities, respond to any questions you have and cheer you on!

"This course is truly fantastic! I was in a sad place when I first started and getting out in Nature and seeing life in a different perspective has really lightened my being. I truly believe this course came along at the right time."

– Debbie Boef, Instructor of Recreation Therapist Assistants, Okanagan College, Kelowna, BC


Is now your time?

...to let nearby nature restore you?

...to experience more joy and wonder?

...to enjoy being alive in this gorgeous living world we inhabit?

"Prior to taking the course, my time spent in nature could often be 'mindless', when I would be focused on my thoughts and not aware of my environment. I now make a conscious effort to say thanks and honour my environment and allow nature to heal and enrich my soul."

- Sherry Dodson, Horticultural Therapist, Ontario, Canada


Giving Back

3% of your program enrollment fee will be donated to The Nature Conservancy.

Their mission: Conserving the lands and waters upon which all life depends.

Their goal: A world where people and nature thrive.

Enrollment closed for now. Sign up at www.ThriveWithNature.com to receive an email when enrollment is open.