In this hustle generation, it is ironic that while social media has highlighted the importance of mental health like never before, we often prioritize our self-care habits last. We see it as something we can do when we have time, like a reward for ourselves after many weeks of hard work. Yet, when we get that break, we pass the time to scroll through our social media, making us more disconnected from reality.
The natural world pokes at us at every opportunity: the trees we pass by on the way to work, the flowers sprouting from the weeds in between the cracksin the road, the garden that was aesthetically placed in our offices. Still, we are glued to our screens, chasing deadlines or the following projects.
We call watching Instagram reels or TikTok videos a form of self-care, but what it does is just distract us from our reality, cause more stress in our brain activities, and even strain our eyes. If not addressed quickly, it can even overwhelm the pleasure circuits in our brain that cause addiction. That is why we often struggle with parting with our gadgets and immediately fish out our phones at the slightest hint of boredom.
There are many other ways to show our love to your body. Many do not involve screen time and are more effective than laying in bed, scrolling our whole rest day away. Some of the best self care ideas usually include activities that are best done alone. Like theactivitylaid out in this article, this is the type that can be done amidst nature, whether alone or with people, depending on your preference.
The Call of the Wild
Do you ever get the feeling that you just want to disappear sometimes? Buy a cabin in the middle of the woods and just not talk to people? Maybe that is our body telling us we are due for some fresh wind and green surroundings. The wilderness may pose a great threat to our vulnerable and meager survival skills, but it can also teach us so many life skills that we not only get healed but become more resilient when we return to our daily grind.
Hiking may be a physically draining activity, especially for those who do not have a very active lifestyle. Still, it is also a spiritual journey that allows you to reflect on yourself as you climb. Taking in the breathtaking view of the mountains and trees surrounding the trail awakens our senses and rejuvenates our souls. It gives us a sense of peace and oneness with the natural world that has sustained our existence for a long time.
Hiking is a versatile outdoor activity that people who are used to a sedentary lifestyle can start immediately with a short, easy hike on beginner-friendly trails. People who are up for a challenge can go for a steeper trek that leads to remote, barely touched landscapes. This can be a chance to work out those soft muscles and earn ourselves a healthy hobby while embracing solitude or enjoying the scenery with friends and family.
An adventure notorious for its wilderness extravaganza, complete with survival challenges, camping can be enjoyed alone or with comrades. It is a favorite weekend activity for some families, reconnecting with each other while being healed by the surrounding symphony of rustling leaves and wild insect and animal hums.
Camping is a perfect avenue for disconnecting from digital distractions and learning life skills such as setting up a tent, starting a fire, as well as collecting and cooking through firewood. We are free from the buzzing sound of email alerts, social media notifications, and task reminders. Instead, we can take our time reconnecting with ourselves and our companions through sharing stories, burning smores around a warm bonfire, and basking in the beauty of starry skies.
Fishing is an activity that may be famous for the Dads, but everyone can do it, too. It can even be a family outing or a fun day with friends. On the outside, fishing may look like a sedentary activity, as you spend hours sitting, waiting for that rare bite. However, it requires endurance and physical strength to pull the rod in and carry that catch with your bare hands.
This outdoor activity is also very meditative in nature. You can sit in silence for hours, giving you plenty of room for reflection while breathing in fresh air and staring into the fresh or saltwater. When you fish with your favorite people, you can share the joy of catching a fish and even share the catch, over laughs and light stories.
The healing power of nature has been proven through countless scientific and social research. Many powerful retreat programs are based on philosophies that explain the rejuvenating connection between humans and nature, with individuals testifying about having their traumas healed simply by being around trees.
There are so many more we can do outdoors, some meditative, while others require physical activity, but everything can do wonders for our mental and physical health. So what are we waiting for? Nature is waiting to embrace us with open arms, and the benefits we reap will be nothing short of exhilarating.