Is spending more time outside in nature, away from the cars and calls and work and stress the answer to everything? Pretty much or at least a nice big happy answer. The best part is that we can all incorporate a bit more time outside. I’m not a lovah of nature by nature but as I age, and thankfully develop more wisdom, I see the importance and the positive effects of spending time outside – HOWEVER and WHENEVER you spend it – makes it all better.
There’s a reason little kids just want to be outside. It just feels so good. December of 2016, my daughter wanted to come home each from school and run out right to the park behind our house. She wanted nothing to do with the coming-in-the-house part, and getting re-dressed part, or having some dinner part – it was from CAR to park. I would look at my husband with those pleading eyes, like “PLEASE HONEY GO OUTSIDE WITH HER, PLEASE.” And thankfully he is an amazing father and husband and would find his gloves and hat and push her endlessly on the swing. She would finally come home with a freezing nose and usually frozen hands and a snotty runny nose, but was happy as a clam. She loved it.
And that’s how we’re all build. We must breath in that fresh air, and expose ourselves to just the simple beauty of nature. Whether it’s a walk around our neighborhood, or time in a big park, or going for a hike, or a run, on the beach, or a bike ride alone, we must get out.
If you are not used to and opposed to spending too much time outside, start off with a walk. Maybe a walk with a purpose. Just around your hood. When we lived in NJ, I absolutely loved walking to the bagel shop on a Saturday or Sunday and getting bagels for the kiddos and a hot cup of coffee for us. It was so fun to USE our legs, and just be outside. Even here, I started taking my daughter to school via bike or walking her. On the weekends, we could walk the 2 miles each way to Publix to pick up any goodies we needed.
Whenever I run down a road, I am always amazed, that regardless of how many times I ran down the same street, I always see something I did not see before. The running or walking routes that became my favorite are always the ones I go on the most.
If you know that you do need to spend more time outside, get it done. If this means making a DRASTIC life change like finding an older bike to use, or getting rid of ONE car, or moving closer to where you want to spend more time outside – get it done. Life is so incredibly short. My husband spent several years in Alaska with the Army. I have a friend on FB who lives there now, and spends a lot of time outside. Personally, it’s not my cup of tea. I need WARM weather most of the year to function well. Whatever you need to do nature – get it done.
If moving is NOT an option for you – which I totally understand (because it’s hella drastic), make it happen anyway. With warm jackets, and fleeces, and hats and gloves and thermos, go outside regardless. Commit to taking a walk each day, regardless of the weather. Or commit to biking for groceries as often as you need to this year. Challenge yourself to something that will bring more breath and life to your lungs.
Do you have an awesome hiking trail near you, or the beach or a lake or some sort of getaway? Nature is open all year! When it’s rainy or windy or chilly or snowy or too hot or too humid or too sunny, or too cold or too freezing, I get the sane choice of staying indoors. But be different. Do different. Your body still needs fresh air, and to be out and about. Do you have a HUGE backyard you never spend time in? Do you have a favorite park or area that you can be more outdoors in? Do you have a dog that you can take to a dog park? This alone is everything. Watching your POOOOCHY FURRY BEST FRIEND play with new friends brings so much joy to most of us. Start there. Go outside for someone else.
How can you immediately incorporate more NATURE and OUTSIDE time? Can you do something each day at lunch? Can you commit to spending at least two hours outside each Saturday or Sunday? Can you just sit quietly outside, staring up at the sky every day pre or post work? Can you discover new trails? New parks? New beaches? New lakes?
How many adventures can you have? That’s what’s beautiful about nature. It doesn’t mean you have to pack up several suitcases and book flights, and travel to some gorgeous and amazing destination to experience nirvana. You can put on your sneakers or big warm boots or easy flips (depending on your location), and just be outside. It’s soooo much fun, because it’s so simple, yet so freeing.
We recently took my lil guy to the beach. It wasn’t bikini swimming season, but there were so many people wondering the beach, and running with their dogs, and playing with their kids. The wind was blowing in our face, and I was wrapped up like a freezing mamacita, but it was fun! And it was FRESH. And it was FREE. And it was just cool to be out and about.
We just got back from bike ride with our dog. He needs to get out and exercise and walking on a leash at times isn’t enough for this part Shepard mix. He needs to run, with his tongue hanging out his face. We rode about 5 miles in total, and went through a new neighborhood, and enjoyed the beauty that surrounds us. Was it super hot and warm and sunny? Nah. The wind blew at times, and at times I was warm, but it’s all good, because I needed to be out. We’re in front of our computers, and phones, and in our kitchens, and stores, and work, and in our beds, and talking, and texting and reading and writing, and paying bills – and we need a break in all of this.
Go out. Be naughty in nature. Have fun. Let that sun get into your skin, let the wind blow out your hair. Let that sea air free you. And let nature’s beauty be you.
Cheers Nature Lovers!