You Need to Log Off and “Touch Grass” This Spring (Here Are 13 Easy Ways to Do It!)

published May 1, 2024
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People enjoying a beautiful summer day in Sheep Meadow, Central Park. The sun shines through the trees in the late afternoon.
Credit: DW labs Incorporated / Shutterstock

In case you’re behind on your Gen Z lingo, here’s a quick refresher: Camp is good in an ironic way, cheugy is bad in an unironic way, and now you may need to “touch grass.” The phrase means, essentially, that when you’ve been spending too much time online, you should get outside, be in nature, and, literally or figuratively, touch grass. When you’re referencing TikToks multiple times in a conversation and even your blue light glasses need a break, the saying implies that it may be a good idea to close your laptop for a few minutes and go look at the sky. Although people online often use the phrase as a joke, the sentiment is real: Studies show again and again that getting outside can help people feel less anxious and in a better mood. 

Although packing a backpack and planning a hike may feel like a big undertaking, there are lots of tiny ways to “touch grass” — even in the middle of a busy workday. Here’s how Apartment Therapy editors take a screen break and reconnect with nature on a regular basis. 

1. Sky Before Screen

“Sometimes I’ll force myself to take a break from my screen and go outside to get a little treat. I’ll walk to get coffee even though I have coffee at home. I like to do it before I log on to work so I have some time outside before I even start the day.  —Blair Donovan, Senior Style Editor

Credit: motorolka/

2. Park Break

I love a good sit-in-the-park moment. Bonus points if there’s water nearby or grass under my feet. I also love just sitting on my patio or in my garden — as much as my allergies allow me to in the spring. —Charli Penn, Executive Lifestyle Director

3. Coffee Walk

I read this Grub Street Diet about someone who goes on an apple walk, where they take a walk every day just to buy an apple. I think I do that with coffee, and use it as an excuse to get outside every day. I also love to go on a run after work; it’s a great way to wind down. —Sarah Everett, Assistant Editor, Home Projects

4. Lunch Break

I touch grass by just going out for a walk. Whether it’s after work or if I can pop out for a second around lunchtime. Feeling the sun on my face is a treat in itself. —Danielle Blundell, Executive Home Director

Credit: Getty Images/Cavan Images

5. Dog Days

My most frequent outdoor experiences are with my dogs. We used to be able to let them loose in the yard to run around, but now the younger one, Finn, has escaped enough times that he can’t go out without supervision anymore. So taking them outside is my bare-minimum mandatory outside time every day. —Megan Baker Detloff, Home Projects Director

6. Meditation Moment

I’ll try to get outside in the morning. I’ll also sometimes fight the Sunday scaries by slamming my laptop shut and practice box breathing for a minute or so. Just taking a second to close my laptop and remember what really matters before I get back to it really helps. —Kylie McConville, Editor-in-Chief

7. Touching Sand

I love going to a park and bringing my speaker so I can listen to music. I like to bring a snack or something fun to sip on. And if I’m not touching grass, I’m definitely touching sand by going to the beach. —Noella Williams, Assistant Editor, News & Culture

8. Shoes Off

I’ll lay out in the park and read and listen to music for a couple of hours. I love to take my shoes off and literally touch grass by having my feet on the ground. I also love to do some yoga outside.”  —Quinn Fish, Kitchn Lifestyle Editor

Credit: HannamariaH | Getty Images

9. Bloom Walk

I take a little bloom walk around my yard to smell what’s blooming, look at the flowers, touch the leaves, and just check out my plants and see how they’re doing. —Adrienne Breaux, House Tour Director

10. Game Day

We have a little garden next to our apartment that’s part of the building and we’ll go out and play the board game Wingspan out there. Generally, I like taking things I’d do inside and doing it outside instead, like taking phone calls. I hate being cold and now that the weather is warming up, I feel like I’m alive again.  —Terri Pous, Executive Editor

11. Garden Time

Because I live in Hawaii, it’s always pretty much sunny for me. But every afternoon after I log off, I take my dog Leo out to the yard. He loves to sunbathe, so while he does that I’ll tend to our garden. He loves the sun, so I always have to force him to go back inside. —Stephanie Nguyen, Senior Editor, Cleaning & Organizing

Credit: Jon Bilous/

12. Lake Day

I don’t have a yard (otherwise I would literally probably never leave it). Instead, there’s a lake a 10-minute walk from my apartment, so I just go there to bake in the sun for hours. —Amrita Thakkar, Editor, Style & Design

13. Nails Out

One of my favorite things to do on a sunny day is bring my picnic blanket and some nail polish out to the park and give myself a manicure. It’s such a fun, slow form of self-care, and the natural breeze helps the polish dry faster and the whole experience feels that much more indulgent. Sometimes I’ll even try my hand at some nail art to lean into the plein-air painting of it all (but in my case, that’s really best left to the professionals).  —Sofia Rivera, Associate Lifestyle Editor