Coming up with practical ways to get more quality time outdoors either with your kids, your friends, your partner, or by yourself is a challenge well worth tackling.
There’s a heck of a lot of evidence out there proving children need to spend more time outdoors. Maybe barefoot. Perhaps no toys, no organised games – just time to potter around, come up with their own imaginative scenario, forgetting about time passing, structure, or routine.
But I’d like to put the case forward that MUMS need time out like this, too! ‘Well, that’d be nice’, I can hear you thinking – ‘if I only had the TIME!’
Burnout is just so common these days. We’re all trying to pack in so much every day.
If you’re sick of hearing ‘You look tired!’ (Gee, thanks LOL) try to spend LESS time doing
- things you hate
- things that waste time
- things that are not worth the extra effort (eg don’t even buy clothes that will need ironing!)
and MORE time doing
- things you love
- relaxing with your kids
- getting outdoors (um, all three!)
- Prioritise your tasks each week. You do NOT have to do ALL THE THINGS.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate.
- Encourage the kids to step up and take more responsibility for their own things, like folding and putting laundry away, emptying lunch boxes etc – ‘the more you help, the more time we can all spend outside playing.’
- Avoid rush hour traffic as much as you can
- Batch cook meals and food prep for school lunches etc. If you’re cooking meals or baking, do a double batch and freeze one.
- Try to get into a system of only checking your emails once or twice daily
- Less Netflix binges, more jobs out of the way instead, more time to spend outside tomorrow!
- Turn off all unnecessary notifications on your phone so you’re not tempted to open it as often
- Say ‘no’ more. Yes, it is hard. But being on endless committees and constantly running errands for others will empty your cup.
- Book things in advance! You’re more likely to take part in an activity, go on a field trip, take that hike, getaway with the family or your partner if you think ahead and book it in.
- Think about all the things which interrupt or affect your personal productivity. What can you eliminate?
- Keep one of those flexi-tubs in the back of your car with things you’ll need for a quick diversion to the beach or park on the way home from school, or for impromptu weekend missions. This was a really popular thread a couple of weeks ago in our Facebook group The Outdoorsy Mama. You could include things like towels, sunblock, changes of clothes, gumboots/jandals, insect repellent, longlife snacks and water, notebooks and pencils in a waterproof bag, a first aid kit, wet wipes, swimming gear etc…all the little things that will make a quick play stop stressless and more successful!
- Join a group or club – make your outdoorsy time educational as well as relaxing, and enjoy the fact that somebody else has done the organising for where you are going and what you are doing for the day!
- Volunteer days – really fill your cup by taking the kids tree planting or helping at a local nature reserve etc. You get double the satisfaction of a family day out, and teaching your kids they can make a difference.
What are your tips for saving time so that you can spend it outside? Please share your ideas in the comments 🙂
Calling all outdoorsy mamas!
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