sunny day at a public park with a body of water
Spending time in a local park is one way to help your brain recover from stress related to the pandemic. When visiting natural spaces during the COVID-19 lockdown, don't forget to practice social distancing and stay a distance of six feet away from anyone who does not share a home with you. (Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant/Irene Miles)
As a follow-up to the previous two podcast episodes about the COVID-19 pandemic in which we focus on spending time outdoors, we get yet another perspective, this time from Ming Kuo, director of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Landscape and Human Health Laboratory. How can this stressful time affect our psychological and physical well-being? What are some benefits of spending time engaging with the natural world?
woman stands on path in sunlit area with trees

(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign/L. Brian Stauffer)

In this episode of Teach Me About the Great Lakes, titled “The Hamster Wheel of Rumination,” Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant’s Stuart Carlton and Irene Miles talk with Kuo, a professor of natural resources and environmental sciences, who has studied how natural environments relate to healthy human functioning. She explains how finding ways to truly relax, or to be awestruck, can help support us through this time, and in general.

Teach Me About the Great Lakes is a monthly podcast in which Carlton—a social scientist who grew up in the South near the Gulf of Mexico—asks people to explain the biology, ecology and natural history of the Great Lakes. A new episode will be released on the first Monday of each month. The latest episode is embedded below.

Love this episode and want to hear more in the future? Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or use the RSS feed in your favorite podcast player.

If you have questions you want answered about the Great Lakes, reach out to @TeachGreatLakes on Twitter or email Stuart Carlton at

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a part of University of Illinois Extension and Purdue Extension.

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