I feel most relaxed, at peace, and holistically well when I am outside. Ask me a year ago, and I would have told you that exercise in general is my self care habit of choice. But over the last year, I’ve learned that it is more than that. I love those exercise endorphins and the way I feel after a hard workout or a long run. But even more so, as I think about what I need to recharge, it is fresh air. I feel anxious when I’m trapped in my office for too long. I feel stir-crazy when I have to workout confined in a gym. So I prefer long walks, running outside, yoga in the backyard, anything to get those deep breaths of fresh air.
For me, being outside is about slowing down. It’s about taking the time to put my to-do lists aside and not worry about anything. It’s about feeling the sun/wind/warmth/cool/rain on my skin. I love feeling connected to something bigger than myself.
You don’t need National Parks or mountains or a beach to get out there and enjoy some fresh air. Appreciate the fallen leaves. Take a deep breath of cool fall air. Take a midday lap around campus. Go for a walk while you drink your morning coffee. Sit on a bench and eat your lunch. Take the time to slow down enough to look around and see beauty. Take a deep breath.
When I was an #SAgrad, as a cohort we read a poem each day before Counseling Class: “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. My favorite line from that poem:
“I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.”
Get outside and see some beauty.
This post is part of our #SelfCareSA series, which explores unique self-care habits of #SApros. Whether it’s faith, crosswords, or video games, you’re bound to be inspired to carve out some “you-time.” For more info, please see Sabina’s intro post. Be sure to check out other posts in this series too!