I love spending time outdoors. In fact, I love it so much that I spent a couple of decades working as a pet sitter so I would spend my days walking dogs - outside. It was the best job! Not as much on rainy or really cold days, but it did get me out of the house and in the fresh air. Any bit of sunshine was a welcome part of my day.
The problem was that it was work too. I had to keep an eye on the time, my mind wandered as I thought about my never ending to do list, and my work hours started early in the morning and ended right before I went to bed. Eventually it took a toll on me and I started to feel burned out.
Since my move to the sunshine state, what I realized most is that while, yes, I was spending more time outside working than sitting at a desk in a windowless room, I really longed to be out in nature. Now that I’m not working weekends, I spend part of my saturdays and sundays exploring parks, trails, beaches, and so on. The more I do this, the more I realize how much I enjoy it and need to make this a bigger priority in my life.
There are so many reasons why nature is good for the soul. I find it that it clears my mind and I can think more clearly. Getting away from the hustle and bustle of life makes all the little problems seem not so big anymore. I feel calmer and can focus more on the present moment instead of worrying about the past or future. Moving my body, whether I’m walking, hiking, kayaking or riding a bike feels so good as well.
Being in nature helps me get a better perspective on my life. I usually unplug from technology, so I’m not thinking about social media or email updates. When I go back home, I find that I don’t feel as rushed to get things done. Yet, somehow in this state of mind, I get even more done, but in a better frame of mind. I’m not short with my husband or taking my frustrations out on my dogs by telling them to leave me alone. This has to have a positive effect on my body as well. Slower heart rate, deeper breaths, and better sleep at the end of the day.
The more time I spend in nature, the more I see all of these benefits. This past weekend, my husband and I rented a kayak for an hour and paddled around Lemon Bay. It was a pretty sunny day, so we returned just shy of an hour so as to not get sunburned. I wanted to stay out there all day. It was when we went back long before I was ready to return, that it hit me how much I need to make a point to get out in nature as often as I can. No more excuses. I’m going to build it into my weekly planner. Whether I do this alone, with my husband, our dogs and/or friends, I am making this a goal to do on a regular basis from now on!
Do you like to spend time in nature too? Where are some of your favorite places? Share them in the comments below. I’m always looking for new places to explore!
Thanks for reading!