The Healing Path: How walking in nature can help you move forward

Walking in nature can be a powerful tool for healing and moving forward, especially when you’re dealing with childless grief and/or infertility trauma. In this blog, we’ll explore the healing power of walking and hiking in nature, and how these activities can help you find peace, clarity, and purpose.

I always wanted to be a mom, but it never happened. Instead I went through almost 6 years of fertility treatments and after all that hard work ended up on the other side of IVF. That side that makes everybody uncomfortable and no ones likes to talk about.

The first day of being ‘officially’ childless-not-by-choice, meaning that there was no more hope, I woke up in a big black whole of nothingness. I felt overwhelmed, isolated, stuck and unable to move forward. I couldn’t see a way out, until…

After a couple of weeks of crying myself to sleep and dreading the day to start the next morning, I had enough. I needed fresh air. I put on my running shoes, put my headphones on and went for a walk in the park. And from that day on.. my life changed.. Slowly, but it changed…

Virtuele wandeling in een park met Rianna Hijlkema

The path toward healing

What if I told you that a simple walk in nature could help you find a path toward healing and renewal? It may sound too good to be true, but research* has shown that spending time in nature can have a profound impact on our physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

Walking is so much more than just a physical activity. When we immerse ourselves in the beauty and serenity of nature, we create an opportunity for our minds and bodies to connect with the natural world around us.

Nature walks can be a form of mindfulness, helping us to focus on the present moment and be fully present in our surroundings. This is especially important when we are dealing with childlessness grief and/or infertility trauma, which can make us feel disconnected from ourselves and the world around us.

Walking in nature can also help us tap into our creative and intuitive selves. It can inspire us to think outside the box and to see things from a different perspective. This can be especially helpful when you never planned to end up childless and you are unsure about how to move forward.

But perhaps most importantly, nature walks can help us connect with a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in our lives. When we are feeling lost or uncertain, it can be easy to forget what really matters to us. But spending time in nature can help us tap into our inner wisdom and connect with our core values.

This is why I believe that walking in nature can be such a powerful tool for healing and renewal. And it is why I am so passionate about sharing this with others.

Finding your path in nature

Now, you may be thinking, “That’s all well and good, but I live in the city. How can I possibly find nature walks near me?” And I hear you. But the truth is, nature is all around us. Even in the heart of the city, there are parks, gardens, and other green spaces where you can find a moment of peace and tranquility.

One of my favorite activities is to take a “micro-walk.” This means finding a small patch of green space, even if it’s just a tree-lined street or a few potted plants on a balcony, and taking a few moments to immerse myself in the natural world. I take a few deep breaths, feel the sun on my face, and try to be fully present in the moment.

Of course, if you have the opportunity to go for a longer nature walk, I highly recommend it. There is something truly special about spending an hour or two in a forest, by a river, or on a mountaintop. But even if you only have a few minutes to spare, taking a micro-walk can be a powerful tool for finding a moment of peace and renewal in your day.

Now, you may be wondering, “What does all of this have to do with healing and moving forward?” And the answer is simple: when we take time to connect with nature, we create space for healing to occur. We may not have all the answers, but we open ourselves up to new possibilities and to the wisdom of the natural world around us.

In fact, some of the most profound moments of healing and insight happened when I was in nature. Especially after being childless not-by-choice and feeling so lost, overwhelmed and disconnected from myself and the world around me. By taking walks in nature, I created an opportunity for healing to occur. And trust me, nature has a unique way of showing us what we need to see.

Healing is a personal journey

So if you are dealing with childless grief, and/or infertility trauma, or other challenges in your life, I encourage you to take some time to connect with nature. Find a park or green space near you, take a micro-walk, or even just spend a few minutes sitting outside and listening to the sounds of the natural world around you.

And if you have the opportunity, consider taking a longer nature walk or join me and a bunch of cool childless women on one of our adventures around the world. These are not regular retreats, this is an experience! And it’s unlike any other program out there, because I know that rebuilding your life being childless takes more than goal setting and visualisations.

Remember, healing is a journey, not a destination. It is a process of discovery, growth, and transformation. And nature can be a powerful ally on that journey. So take a step outside, breathe in the fresh air, and let the healing power of nature guide you on your path forward.

Don’t go through this journey alone. Connect with other women who understand and support you. Sign up for our monthly (free!) women’s circle now! And don’t worry, we barely cry during our sessions.. 😉 Hope to see you next month!


  • Bratman, G. N., Hamilton, J. P., Hahn, K. S., Daily, G. C., & Gross, J. J. (2015). Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(28), 8567-8572.
  • Coon, J. T., Boddy, K., Stein, K., Whear, R., Barton, J., & Depledge, M. H. (2011). Does participating in physical activity in outdoor natural environments have a greater effect on physical and mental wellbeing than physical activity indoors? A systematic review. Environmental science & technology, 45(5), 1761-1772.
  • Hartig, T., Mang, M., & Evans, G. W. (1991). Restorative effects of natural environment experiences. Environment and behavior, 23(1), 3-26.

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