Just 21 images to help you relax on Earth Day

Our world is crazy. It’s also beautiful.

There are a lot of terrible things happening in the world right now. People around the planet are worried about politics, war, diseases and illnesses, catastrophes, and the general litany of concerns brought on by life, work, school, and home. It can be overwhelming. Sometimes, you just need a break, if only to replenish yourself for the next round.

Even if you can't get away from it all physically, you can take a quick mental vacation to appreciate the incredible planet on which we live. While viewing nature on a screen isn't necessarily a substitute for the real thing, it can help you relax—even if you're in a particularly stressful situation.

Here are some gorgeous images from the wilderness and parks of the United States. Happy Earth Day!

volcano
Cyrus Read, USGS

The Augustine volcano erupted spectacularly in Alaska in 2006. Ash from the volcano caused flights in the area to be re-routed.

grand canyon sunrise
NPS photo by Michael Quinn

The Grand Canyon is gorgeous at sunrise. The canyon was formed by water cutting through the 40 identified layers of rock that make up the canyon's walls.

milky way over cactus at night
Bob Wick

The luminous path of the Milky Way paints the night sky in North Maricopa Mountain Wilderness, Arizona

red and white rocks with water
Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist

Sweeping stripes grace the landforms in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Northern Arizona.

river mountains arctic
NPS Photo / Sean Tevebaugh

A river winds its way through Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in Alaska. The National Park has no trails or facilities, offering visitors a totally off-the-grid experience.

aurora over pine trees
NPS Photo/Katie Thoresen

The aurora dances over the trees in Denali National Park. The bright colors forms when particles streaming off the sun interact with our upper atmosphere.

waterfall off green cliffs into ocean
Michelle Coombs, AVO/USGS

A waterfall cascades into the sea on Tanaga Island, a volcanic island in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. A volcano on the island last erupted in 1914.

frosty morning scene
Tom Koerner/USFWS

Frost coats bushes and trees in Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge on a winter morning.

snowmobile trail through snow
Kevin Keeler (BLM)

The Iditarod National Historic Trail can now be traced by snowmobiles instead of just dogsleds. The historic network of trails is 2,300 miles long.

coral reef and fish
Jim Maragos/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Everything’s better under the sea. These coral reefs are located in Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.

sunset over river
Bob Wick, BLM

Browns Canyon National Monument is one of the newer national monuments in the country. It was only designated a National Monument in 2015.

alaska scenery
Shawn Carter, USGS

Snow capped mountains loom in Alaska’s Interior. The water here comes mostly from melting snowpack that has built up over time. This area of Alaska gets an average annual precipitation similar to Tuscon, Arizona.

red cliffs
BLM

It’s easy to see where the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area in Utah gets its name. The Conservation Area is part of a larger reserve of the same name, which aims to provide a safe habitat for the threatened Mojave desert tortoise, in addition to recreation areas for visitors.

natural rock towers at dusk with storm
NPS/Chris Wonderly

A storm rains down in the distance in Arches National Park. The landforms towering over the scene are Courthouse towers.

flowers coast mountains
Bob Wick, BLM

Sea and mountain meet at King Range National Conservation Area in California. The area was so rugged, that California’s iconic scenic roadway, State Highway 1, had to be built miles inland.

flowers desert mountains
Bob Wick, BLM

Nevada's Pine Forest Range Wilderness has a landscape that was carved out by glaciers during the ice age.

mountain view ridges
NPS | N. Lewis

Timber Hollow Overlook in Shenandoah National Park provides a glorious view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

sand dunes mountains moon
NPS/Patrick Myers

Moonrise over Great Sand Dunes National Park. What initially looks like hills at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are rows of sand dunes. These are among the tallest sand dunes in North America.

snow river forest
Jessica Bolser/USFWS

Snow falls in Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge's Horseshoe Bend. The refuge is located on a branch of the Mississippi in Iowa.

sunset joshua trees
NPS/Brad Sutton

Lost Horse Valley glows in the sunset in Joshua Tree National Park, with Joshua Trees silhouetted against the sunset. Joshua Trees are members of the agave family of plants.

wildflowers in bloom mountains
Bob Wick, BLM

Owens Peak Wilderness in bloom is a gorgeous sight to see. The wilderness, located in the southern Sierra Nevada also contains parts of the Pacific Coast Trail.