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25 Calming Pictures That We All Need Right Now

Take a moment to relax with these peaceful photos that'll take you to your happy place.

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A moment of peace in your day

We surely don’t need to tell you that we’re living through a very stressful time right now with the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the shuttering of many aspects of our daily lives. As difficult as it can be to just unwind and try to feel at peace, we hope these tranquil, cozy photos provide a little bit of relaxation to your day. And if you’re bored right now, here are some ideas for what to do when your whole life gets canceled.

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Waterfall

There aren’t many things more peaceful than a waterfall. Even though that churning water actually contains a whole lot of power, the consistency and beauty of waterfalls can still make us feel totally calm. This gorgeous photo displays the Rio Celeste waterfall in Costa Rica’s Tenorio Volcano National Park. Here are some of our favorite moving quotes about peace.

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Naptime

All together now: Awwwwwww! We wish we could all be as calm as a blissfully snoozing baby. Even just for a minute or two. Is that too much to ask? Babies can be calm, but they can also be downright hilarious—just check out these 40 funny baby photos.

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Vacation vibes

Sure, it’s not particularly wise to go to the beach or a resort right now—nor is it advisable to share drinks, unfortunately. But hopefully, this ultra-peaceful image can help put you in your happy place.

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Lost in a book

Raise your hand if you wish this was you right now! As if the idea of curling up with a good book wasn’t calming enough, imagine curling up with a good book in a cozy hammock like this one. What’s more of an epitome of relaxation than a hammock? If you need some reading material, pick up (or listen to) one of these 100 books to read in your lifetime.

Yaquina Head Light off the coast of Newport OregonJanet Abrahamson/Country

Alone with nature

“On vacation in Oregon, we got up bright and early and drove to Yaquina Head Light. We were the first and only ones there at the time. I love the colors of the landscape, with golden grasses and a gorgeous dark blue sky.” –Janet Abrahamson for Country magazine. For some more calming pictures like these, check out Country and our other sister brands. Plus check out these gorgeous pictures of America’s most beautiful lighthouses.

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Graceful flight

What’s more calming and peaceful than the symbol of peace itself, a dove? We certainly wish we could be as carefree as a bird flying through a clear sky. Check out more calming pictures of the most majestic birds found in nature—or if you need a laugh, you’ll love these hilarious bird photos!

lazy summer afternoons in the countrysideBob Oehlman/Country

Swingin’

“This photo is all about nostalgic, lazy summer afternoons in the countryside, and the simple pleasure of swinging in an old tire hanging from a sturdy tree branch.” –Bob Oehlman, Irvine, CA for Country magazine

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Setting sun

A pristine beach lit up in spectacular vibrant colors by a beautiful sunset? Now that’s peace! This shot comes from a beach in Hikkaduwa in the South Asian country of Sri Lanka. Check out these photos of the most gorgeous sunset in every U.S. state.

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Snuggle puppy

Oh yeah, you knew there had to be a sleeping baby animal picture in here somewhere. Raise your hand if you wish you were as relaxed as this puppy. Hopefully these calming pictures can help get you a little closer. Get a look at even more adorable puppy pictures that will make you melt.

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Tea time

Now that we’re stuck indoors, there’s no better time to curl up with a hot cup of tea (or coffee, or hot chocolate, or whatever you prefer)! Pair it with a cozy blanket and (yes, again) a good book, and you’ve got quite the inner-peace setup. Use this photo for inspiration. Plus, check out these perfectly cozy reading quotes.

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Sand dunes

Yes, it’s another beach photo. But there’s a reason “lapping ocean waves” is one of the most calming sounds, available on white noise machines, and “Sea Breeze” is a common candle scent. The lightly lapping waves and sand dunes—can’t you almost just hear them rustling?!—of this Denmark beach provide a nice slice of calm. These photos of the 50 best beaches in the world will also put you in your happy place.

key west pier sunset April Surprenant/Country

A warm glow

“One winter, my husband and I visited his parents in Florida and we spent a few days in Key West. This picture has a warm glow about it that made us forget about how cold it was back home in Connecticut.” –April Surprenant for Country magazine

yellowstone baby bison spring Becky Farrell/Country

Baby bison

“The first year I worked in Yellowstone National Park, I fell in love with the bison. This little fella was sound asleep as the sun glistened over his head.” –Becky Farrell for Country magazine. Check out more incredible pictures of America’s national parks.

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Blanket fort

Thinking back to your childhood, was there anything more fun than making a blanket fort?! It was such a simple way to totally transform a familiar space and create an awesome new space to play. Plus, no two forts were ever alike! And if you’ve never made a blanket fort, well, maybe now’s the time! We think a blanket fort would make a great place to social-distance.

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Want s’more?

What’s better than a warm, crackling campfire? A warm, crackling campfire that you’re using to roast marshmallows. It doesn’t get more comforting than a tasty, gooey bite of a perfectly cooked S’more.

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In full bloom

They might be called “wild” flowers, but these stunning California wildflowers in Joshua Tree National Park still produce quite the calming image (not to mention beautiful!). For some more calming pictures of flowers, here are 18 dreamy lavender farms.

outerbanks sunrise sunset Susan Grove/Country

Early morning beach

“The Outer Banks of North Carolina are known for beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Although most people don’t like to get up early while on vacation, I wasn’t about to miss the beauty of the sunrise each morning. The beach is so peaceful, with just a few people and the sand crabs to keep you company.” –Susan Grove for Country magazine

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Cozy kitty

We present to you the pinnacle of calm! Wearing a cozy sweater, snuggling with a cute kitty, blocking out the world with your favorite tunes. Honestly, if you’re doing even just one of these things, you’re winning at the calm life. Just like these happy, calming photos, these hope quotes will instantly lift you up.

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Fresh baked

Is your mouth watering right now? There’s nothing like seeing (and smelling!) a batch of fresh-baked, untouched cookies right out of the oven. Go ahead, take a bite of one. They’ve cooled off enough. Cooking and baking is one of our favorite wonderful things that will never be canceled.

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Soothing tunes

Just imagine being in the comfort of your own home, surrounded by gentle acoustic guitar music. Or even a ukulele!

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First snowfall

No matter how you feel about winter in general, you can’t deny how peaceful it is when the ground is covered in a fresh, white snow, untouched by footprints and free of unsightly mud. And if you’re not a fan of winter, you’ll like these calming pictures of the beauty of spring instead.

deer water tranquil spring Beth Meyer/Country

Pure peace

“I kayak nearly every morning in the summer. Sometimes I admire a sunrise, a flower, or an eagle. These moments give me pure peace, tranquility and a chance to appreciate what a beautiful world this is.” –Beth Meyer for Country magazine. Here are some more amazing photos that will make you fall in love with country life.

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Whale that’s relaxing!

For a lesson in being calm, look to whales. They mosey through the ocean as if they don’t have a care in the world. And you know what else is calming? Whale song. You can literally find videos called “Whale Song for Relaxation.”

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Beautiful butterfly

Even people who really, really don’t like bugs can appreciate the calming effect of a butterfly gently landing on a flower. Plus, there’s something inherently relaxing about the symmetry of butterfly wings. This particular butterfly photo comes from the historic village of Waterford, Virginia. Next, get an incredible look at the most peaceful places on Earth.

Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for RD.com who has been writing since before she could write. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine. She is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap.