When stress and even burnout begin to cloud your professional and family life, finding a quiet place to unwind and recharge can help you feel centered and balanced again. Below are a few of our favorite spots on the North Shore where you can relax, unplug, and avoid burnout.
Good Ol’ Mother Nature
Independence Grove Forest Preserve – Libertyville, IL
There’s nothing like the great outdoors to recenter you when you’re feeling burnt out, and a great spot on the North Shore to experience nature is Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville, IL. With over 1,151 acres of forest preserve, playgrounds and picnic tables, and lakeside trails, this park is a wonderful way to find some quiet time amongst the forest. This Libertyville Forest Preserve surrounds a 115-acre lake and offers plenty of space for outdoor recreation and nature viewing. Surrounding grassy plains and forests provide “a picturesque backdrop for hiking, biking, picnicking, and other fun activities.” Next time you need a quiet spot near Lake Forest to literally “take a hike” and unplug for a while, check out the Independence Grove Forest Preserve.
You Can Learn A Lot Of Things From The Flowers
Chicago Botanic Gardens – Glencoe, IL
If hiking isn’t your style, the Chicago Botanic Gardens near the North Shore have been renowned across the midwest as one of the best places to, well, stop and smell the flowers. With over 385 acres of floral covered space and over 255 types of birds sighted, if you’d rather see rare floral species, bonsai trees, and giant “Corpse Flowers” named Spike, then the Chicago Botanic Gardens is the place for you. Relax and unwind in the beautiful gardens and read over 110,000 volumes of books, periodicals, and special collections in one of the nation’s best collections of rare botanical books.
Embrace Fall with Apple Picking
Heinz Orchard – Green Oaks, IL
Partaking in outdoor activities is a fantastic way to recharge and unwind from the stress of daily life. During the fall, apple picking is a favorite outdoor activity for those in the North Shore. If the idea of endless gift shops, expensive markups, and kid-filled corn mazes aren’t your cup of cider, the Heinz Orchard provides what many Yelp reviewers call a “no-frills” and “inexpensive” approach to apple orchards. The Heinz orchard doesn’t host any extras, such as corn mazes, hay rides or food and drink, but instead specializes in “pure apple picking fun in a beautiful surrounding,” according to their website.
Visit Your Local Animal Shelter
Heartland Animal Shelter – Northbrook, IL
Studies have shown that playing with or spending time an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease your body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol. The next time you’re feeling burnt out, stop at your local animal shelter to hang out with some furry friends. Most shelters require you to fill out volunteer forms to walk dogs (which is also a fantastic stress reliever!), but nearly all shelters will let you spend time with the animals. Check out the highly rated, privately-owned Heartland Animal Shelter* in Northbrook, IL, which houses dogs and cats. Find their list of volunteer opportunities here.
*Always check reviews and ask thorough questions when adopting a new family member!
Soul Moving Coffee
Prarie Espresso & Hansa Coffee Roasters – Lake Bluff
If there’s anything busy entrepreneurs, small business owners, and corporate employees alike can agree on, it’s the need for caffeine. If small batch craft coffee is more your style, look no further than Lake Bluff – home to two amazing coffee spots. We’ve included two brands in our list due to the uniqueness each spot provides.
Prarie Espresso can be found down a small side street in Lake Bluff. There isn’t a lot of cafe space for digital nomads to post up for the day, but they have a killer cup of java and offer tons of cool, community-based events. Check out their Instagram to view some!
Hansa Coffee in Lake Bluff offers more of a traditional cafe setting, with tables for telecommuters and a detailed list of global bean sources for their roastery. Their staff receives specialized training in brewing the absolute perfect cup of coffee. View their Instagram for picturesque photos of espresso, coffee drinks, and more.
Productive, Collaborative Spaces (that aren’t your home office)
LifeWorking Coworking – Lake Forest
Working from the same office can get mundane, even if you regularly work from home. Don’t let the same 4 walls decrease your productivity! A break the monotony of your usual commute and/or office space can be just what the doctor ordered in preventing burnout and reinvigorating your creativity and passion. Coworking spaces are an excellent way to collaborate and network with other professionals, sparking creative conversations and making meaningful connections. Whether you’re a corporate employee or a telecommuter, coworking spaces can help you recharge and prevent stress and burnout. Join the LifeWorking Community at www.mylifeworking.com
Do you have other favorite spaces to relax and recharge near Lake Forest? We’d love to hear about them on our social channels!