My mom would always notice when we had spent too much time with electronics (in my case TV and Atari were the only “electronic” distractions we had), and make us go outside. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reminded about how good that advice is.
As I’ve continued to get aggravated by what I read in social media and on the news, I’ve realized that I need to get away from it all and spend more time outside. I’ve also moved from my walks along the lake to long walks in Harms Woods. Going back to the woods has helped me reconnect with my younger wiser self who knew that the most important things in life are connecting with family and friends, making time to play, creating your own adventure, and spending time daydreaming. Being among my forest friends – the trees, streams, birds, squirrels, and deer – helps put things in perspective…and connect to my true self…the one who loves to splash through puddles, play with squirrels who are bombing me with acorns, cross the stream by walking across a downed tree, collect leaves and stones that catch my eye, or try to catch tadpoles.
If you aren’t ready to experience the woods as you did as a child, you may want to start with a walking meditation. Take a walk in the woods and notice what you can see, hear, smell, and the sensation of the air or sun against your skin. Pay attention to the movement of your body – the rhythm of your legs and arms, the sensation as your foot strikes the ground and lifts off.
Being outside in nature helps manage your stress, ground your energy, and improve your sleep. So as my mom says – stop watching the boob tube and go have an outdoor adventure today!