This is the time of the year that I really start to drag. While I still manage to get outdoors daily with my boys, I am in desperate need for a bigger adventure (that is so much easier with the help of Mtn Papa.) The wildfire season will start to slow down here shortly, and I look forward to spending the fall outdoors. I need longer than an hour here and there (and that is so much easier with more than one pair of adult hands to help!)
Often, I get people asking me, “How do you do it? How do you manage all these hikes and trips and time outside with young kids?” I am always a bit baffled by the question, because the honest answer is that I do it for my own sanity. I need it more than almost anything else in this world, and they do too.
I find great peace and contentment in the woods and on a mountain. And so does the rest of the family. I always laugh at what seems to be an audible sigh of relief and giddy laughter from one or more of us about twenty minutes into a hike or ski or bike ride. It is the sound of the “pressure” of our daily lives (as simple as they may be) being lifted and a burden being eased. Even with our kiddos being so young, it is where we connect best as a family. It is where our best conversations take place, our tangled thoughts become clear, and great ideas are born.
I am nearly certain that everyone feels the same peace in the outdoors, in their own way and in their own time. I know that not everyone is “outdoorsy”, but that has nothing to do with one’s ability to connect with nature. What may rejuvenate one person may be completely draining to another (and vice versa.) But, the fact is outside time is outside time. Taking a stroll down a paved path has the same outdoor benefits (at least in one sense) as does summiting a peak.
In our society, it is much too easy to get caught up at work, school, and even home in front of a screen and indoors. Research has proven time and time again that even 15-20 minutes outside a day has immeasurable benefits to both personal health and work productivity. Our disconnect (in general) with fresh air, the breeze through the trees and the sound of the natural world has become an extreme detriment to our well-being.
And stay-at-home parents – this is for you too. I get it. The days are long and the years are short. It can feel (or actually be) a full-on 45 minute wrestling match to get all the kids dressed appropriately and out the door. The laundry piles up, the meals need prepared, the house is a disaster (3 minutes after you cleaned it.) Do yourself a favor and don’t just send the kids outside, but go with them. Plan a little “adventure” (which can be as simple as hide and seek at the playground) and laugh and breathe with them.
My time outdoors is my therapy, my reenergizing, my prayer time, my reset time. I challenge you to join me this week and make it your time too.
Nature Valley is working hard to help promote the fact that people need outdoor time to help rejuvenate and be the best version of themselves through their Nature Project.
“The goal of the Nature Project is to learn more about how nature energizes people. Whether it’s a long hike, a climb to the top of a mountain, cooling off in the ocean, going to the park with your kids or simply just taking a step outside on your lunch break to take a deep breath, we want to know how nature energizes you.”
We whole-heartedly agree. Check out their Tumbler site – it’s chock full of great quick inspiration.
This post was sponsored by Nature Valley. However, these thoughts are completely my own and are in no way influenced by the sponsorship.
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