Another one of my favorite forms of self care is going outside and being in nature. This takes many forms for me. I might sit outside to eat or read a book. I might pull weeds in my yard. Maybe it’s walking barefoot in the grass. It could also be hiking in the mountains. No matter what I do outside, I find that I reconnect with my true self just by spending some time in nature.
Recently, I’ve been feeling a little tired. I think it’s a product of fitting too much into my busy schedule and having unreasonably high expectations for myself. Because of this, I’ve been not only tired but more irritable. This isn’t a combination that leads me to getting more done in my life. Really, this state is counterproductive. I want to get more accomplished. So, I try to fit more into my day. However, the more I try to fit in, the less I actually accomplish because I’m too tired to do anything well. Obviously I was in need of a little self care. It was time to play.
My choice for downtime was to go hiking and this past weekend I went on a 7 mile hike with my son. The hike itself was strenuous at times. I challenged myself, but I also got to let go of my daily challenges for about 4 hours. I marveled at the flowers that were blooming. I got my feet wet in the streams. I checked my balance as I walked on fallen logs. I had good conversations with my 16 year old son. I listened to the birds singing. Most importantly, I quit thinking about my to-do list.
We hiked from Ceasar’s Head State Park to Jones Gap Falls. We stopped at the falls for a picnic lunch. Sitting at the base of the falls, I took the chance to just be in nature. I absorbed the sounds, the smells and the feel of the surrounding area. I watched the water tumble down and over the rocks. I sat in the sun and just enjoyed being at the falls.
I noticed when we left the falls how refreshed that I felt. It wasn’t only the food that gave me energy to finish the hike. It was also the energy that I got from being outside and in the sun. Being outside gives me mental energy. I reconnect with Mother Nature and I feel ready to face my life again.
I finished this hike tired, but this was a different tired than when I started. I started out mentally tired. When I was done I was mentally energized, but physically tired. Mentally I was ready to jump back into my day or week and do the things that I needed to do. Because I was mentally refreshed, I actually could get things done. I was back to feeling like myself as well. I had more patience and liked those around me again.
I think that I lose sight of who I am at times as I get caught up in daily life. Giving myself time to just be in nature, I find myself again. For me time to be in nature is a form of self care that brings me back to myself over and over again. My goal is to experience Mother Nature on a consistent basis rather than wait until I am overwhelmed. So, look for me to be outside whenever I get the chance. I’ll be finding myself again.
If you would like more information on finding yourself through yoga therapy, then email me at Becky@PByogatherapy.