From mid November through mid December I have been in CA, NV, HI and CO… With little time to spare for more than doing laundry, writing checks or attending Christmas/holiday events in the few minutes spent at home. I’ve bathed in the Pacific, peaked dunes in the desert and fed goats in the Rockies over the last month. To say the least my experiences have been eventful. I am walking away from my Fall tour exhausted yet filled with love, because every experience I had was filled with just that.
The truth is, I needed a break from reality. I poured my heart and soul into The Era Agency since January and Aura Avenue since June, and I burnt myself out. I ran myself thin, pushed myself too far, and I needed a break. I needed my soul to feel and my heart to be at ease. I needed to reconnect and I didn’t know how or where until now. I truly can say after my month long sabbatical that I have found the place that I needed to reconnect with. A place where bonds become stronger & memories become more vivid. Outdoors. A little bit of below is what I came to find.
Being outdoors relaxes you.
Faster physical recovery for your muscles and body by having clean air & vitamin D.
Decrease in stress hormones. Getting outside gives opportunity for more exercise and exercise is the best natural mood booster there is. “Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings.” – Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing
Physical energy converts to mental energy by increasing Neurogenesis – the process of changing/challenging and even growing new brain cells in adults. “Researchers have found that physical exercise leads to the release of cellular growth factors that are important for neurogenesis.”- Harvard Medical School Dr. Kathryn Papp
Being outdoors sharpens your mind – making yourself aware of multiple senses at a time or challenging yourself to remember certain scenes such as mountains, the ocean and nature in general can trigger your brain to improve attention span.
Eases stress. Practicing breath-focused exercises to mediate can help protect and strengthen your brain.
You get better sleep after spending time outdoors. If you treat your mind and body better while you are awake, the sleep you get will increase in quality rather than hours.
From a perspective of a person of faith, He created it for us to be in His environment.
When outdoors, you can find ways to connect w your creator.
Being outdoors can give a sense of purpose. It truly gives meaning to all of us. We are here to manifest and manage what God gave us. In essence, you get to feel you are a part of something bigger by taking the time to take care of the environment, indulge in it, respect and honor it.
It’s rejuvenating. A feeling of being revived and refreshed can be obtained merely by taking time to S L O W down. Breathe in crisp air, feel the ground under your feet, touch leaves and untouched surfaces, smell flowers and plants.
Ultimately being outdoors gives you a sense of perspective.
How you can use this information:
Be Practical. Start with the goal to get outside MORE.
Here are different ways that I believe are easiest to start to get in the habit with; physically, mentally and spiritually.
For me it’s always easiest to begin with the physical benefits of being outdoors. I love taking hikes, walking around town, and being on the water. There are many ways you can add fun and recreational outdoor activities to your schedule. First off, try to mix up your workouts with an outdoor regiment at least once a week. You can take a jog, go to the local park and do a quick ab and leg cycle, mountain bike or of course my favorite go stand up paddling. Once you get in the habit it usually becomes standard daily or for the week. If it’s hard for you to make time for this try to find someone who can do it with you or hold you accountable. Joining a club or a team are also great options.
Mental can be more difficult to grasp as we pack our brains full of ‘to-do’ priorities that often trump our health and wellbeing. I can’t seem to let go of my woes and worries enough to let my mind relax and breath to get back into my belly. But, luckily there are a few tricks to help de-bug and re-set our brains and be conscious of our efforts. Start by combining the effort with things you do already to get outside in the morning. Drink your coffee on the porch, walk the dog, go get the mail and read it outside. Any of these can be done and help you to have a positive mindset to start the day with.
Find new places to go.
Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “an early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” I believe he had a lot figured out and he most likely took the time to enjoy the outdoors to help his inner wellbeing. You can find many ways to meditate and take time to slow down, connect with your maker and enjoy the little things in life. Outdoor naps, Yoga and bonding with pets can all be done outdoors to help your wellbeing. You can also find ways to bond with friends & family members outside. Nothing is more powerful than a shared experience. Try doing more in bare feet. Taking time to use your sense of touch and feel cold sand under your toes or tall grass brushing your legs can trigger memories and enhance moods. If you can’t get outdoors, make sure you fill your indoor surroundings with beautiful outdoor imagery or green plants. Multiple studies show that people can recover from stress faster with photos of outdoor/natural environments too.
Be mindful of the needs of your body to reconnect with nature and all of the benefits that come with it. May the sun shine upon you, love surround you and peace be within you!
XOXO – Chelse K