Nature, the great outdoors, sweet sweet Mother Earth.
Such a lovely thing that was given to us. It was literally put here, for us to enjoy… for FREE! And we can’t say that about many things. So let’s go outside and enjoy this gift!
It’s no secret, I love the outdoors. I tend to run at a nice, steady 100 mph, full speed ahead pace most days. And you know what?! I actually kind of like it that way. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you also run full speed ahead, and put all the things on your metaphorical plate. And if you’re honest… you also kind of like it that way… most of the time. BUT, if we keep at that pace we also know we will eventually burn out, or crash. We are not made to go full speed ahead at all times, in all things, always. It is not possible!
This is why I love nature. For me this looks like walking, running, or hiking the trails. Give me a mountain or hill with a Ponderosa Pine Tree and I’m basically the picture of happiness and zen living (om - peace man✌) I’ve found when I’m feeling really good - being out on the trails is amazing. When I’m feeling bummed, sad, or down - nature is my therapy. When I’ve got a problem, situation, or something I’m trying to process - taking a walk or hike on the trails helps me to see things clearly and process whatever needs to be processed. There’s something about the air, the surroundings, the trees, the sounds, everything… it’s magic.
I like to think that Mother Nature and I are besties. We’ve been through some things. She’s seen me at my best, and at my worst. She’s given me the atmosphere to work through difficult situations, process grief, and create some really amazing things! I’m super grateful! Soooo, if you’re not besties with her yet, I’d love to introduce you!
Besides being absolutely beautiful, and smelling so good (you know I love the smell of those trees!) There are soooo many benefits to spending time outdoors, especially in nature! Let’s talk about it!
Benefits of spending time outdoors in nature:
It can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Nature simply makes us happy.
It can help lower blood pressure and reduce stress.
It increases feelings of calmness and improves your overall mood.
It restores ability to focus and also helps inspire creativity.
It can help to give you new perspectives on situations or things you are currently experiencing.
All of these benefits, plus so many more, are literally just from spending time outside, especially among nature. Literally standing, sitting, or laying there. You do not have to put an ounce of effort into your time to get these benefits. I call that a WIN!
*Quick side note - all of these benefits are also why many of my retreats, events, and activities have some sort of interaction or element of nature involved - there’s a method to my madness, my friends! 😅 Now… if you want to take these benefits to the next level, add a little movement to your time in nature. Walk, hike, do a workout or practice yoga among the trees. You are treating yourself to soooo much goodness! Watch those feel good endorphins flood in and the stress and anxiety drift away!
To my fellow midwest people, I know what you’re thinking… “Cool Chrystal. This sounds all fine and dandy during the late spring, summer, and early fall. But what happens when it’s so cold that the air literally hurts our face?!”
I hear you. Those frigid winter temps make me want to put on my sweats and snuggle under a heated blanket too. Even though it’s cold and snowy… it is still so good for you to get outside. Mother Nature has blanketed the earth in a beautiful layer of glittering snow! She’s begging you to head outside and experience it! Yes, you will need to BUNDLE UP! Invest in some quality cold weather gear so that you feel prepared to be outside. I’ll share some of my favorites in another post and throughout the year on socials. What I’m saying is, don’t let the cold keep you indoors. There are so many fun ways to have fun outside in the winter.
How to have fun outside in winter:
Go sledding with your kids. (or your significant other, your friends, or by yourself - whatever works!)
Not only is it super fun to connect with your inner child, but also, your kids will think you are so cool!
Go for a winter nature hike on the trails.
The parks often keep their trails groomed, even in the winter. And the snow can make that same trail you're used to taking, feel like an entirely new adventure!
I’ve never done this, but it is on the list! You can generally rent snowshoes from a local outdoor store, sun & ski shop, or ski resort. Check with Google - it knows things ;)
Skiing or snowboarding
Again, this could be a new and fun experience for you! Take lessons and have fun!
The lesson here is to not let the weather decide if we get to experience the benefits of the great outdoors! However, be smart. Dress accordingly and know when to head back inside!
I could go on and on about the power and the magic of spending time in nature! In fact, I will! But I’ll save it for another time 😀
Get outside, take a deep breath, and let your new bestie, Mother Nature, do the rest.
Stay Wild! xoxo - Chrystal
Side note: I really love the idea of sharing some winter weather faves with you. That will come soon!