When our days are filled to the brim, causing us to power through task after task, self-love and self-care can often fall to the wayside of our priorities. But, why? Why is it so easy to fall into the illusion that our value is determined by the number of tasks we complete? Regardless of the reason, it is more important than ever to remember that prioritizing your relationship with yourself, and ALL that you are, can carry a whole host of lifestyle benefits. And you can accomplish this in one of the simplest ways: Getting outside!
The American Psychological Association suggests that connecting with nature is beneficial for mental and physical health. Spending time outside in nature can clear your mind and allow you to focus on yourself. Nature can also provide a sense of peace and tranquility, helping to give you the confidence to focus on yourself and find inner strength.
Here are 8 ways to get outside for some enriching “me” time (weather permitting!):
1 – Hit the Trails: Walking through green spaces and wooded areas (or anywhere you’re able to get fresh air and take inventory of your surroundings) is a great way to reconnect to self. Seeing the plants and wildlife can serve as a lovely reminder of your own growth and beauty while creating a sense of peace and awe. Whether you take a leisurely stroll or a brisk hike, just go! And see how great you feel afterward.
2 — Practice Mindfulness Meditation: Taking the time to connect with your surroundings through this meditation style allows you to pay close attention to the little details that help bring peace and joy to your world. Practicing mindfulness can be a great reminder to be present and appreciate the current state of your being and your surroundings. It also steers focus towards the positive and cultivates a healthy sense of gratitude. Try it sometime!
3 — Go for a Dip: Show your body some love by swimming in nature. Many have expressed that swimming offers a sense of freedom, expansiveness and the opportunity to reset. It's also a great form of exercise that usually helps to boost energy and mood levels. Just imagine the freshness of the water working to wash your tension away, providing that much-needed break from life’s everyday hustle and bustle.
4 — Enjoy a Outdoor Meal: Taking the time to appreciate the sunshine and fresh air can have a calming effect and help lift the mood. Enjoying a meal in nature can also serve as a time to reconnect to self and reflect. Feel free to practice mindfulness and indulge in the present moment as you savor the flavors of the food and the sensations from the environment. And of course we all know that picnics are a great way to connect with others!
5 — Camping ‘n’ Glamping: Taking a break from your everyday life to connect with the night sky and the sounds of nature can be incredibly liberating. Camping is a great way to relax, unwind, disconnect and destress. Plus, it can be a great way to explore the outdoors and get much-needed time away from technology. Whether your roughing it in a tent or glamping in a cute cabin, this is a top notch self-care choice.
6 — Tend to Your Garden—Or Start One: Planting your own garden can be incredibly therapeutic. It help to reconnect you with the natural world through feelings of joy and accomplishment. Additionally, garden time is a great time to practice mindfulness and appreciate the phases of growth.
7 — Be Still and Birdwatch: Observing the birds in your area can provide a great deal of peace and tranquility, because you have the luxury of looking AND listening.. Why not appreciate the beauty of the natural world by opening your ears, just as much as you open your eyes and heart! Plus, birdwatching can be a great way to learn about the different species and their behaviors and can be a great way to foster a deeper, more knowledgeable connection with nature.
8 — Gaze at the Stars: Taking the time to marvel at the stars and appreciate their beauty can be incredibly calming and provide a sense of peace and wonder. It can also give you a sense of perspective, as it can remind you of your own smallness in this vast universe.
So when is a better time than now to pull out your schedule and prioritize a little self-love, even if it’s a walk around the park during your lunch break. Prioritize yourself by prioritizing time for yourself. Learn more about the benefits of incorporating mindfulness and nature therapy into your self-care/self-love regimen here!