- Take your coffee break outdoors – when was the last time that you sat outside with a hot drink and nothing else? No iPad to scroll through emails. No book, magazine, or newspaper. No phone to have a chat to somebody else. Just you, your refreshment, and the elements. You only need five or ten minutes, but during that time, you can really be present for yourself, rather than everybody else for a change! Think about the gentleness of the sun, or the feel of the wind crossing your face. See the trees shake in the breeze. Watch an ant as it industriously goes about its business. Listen to your breath rise and fall. Think about the taste of your drink and the way it warms you from the inside. For these few minutes, appreciate the small things. You’ll be surprised how relaxed you feel as a result. And isn’t it incredible how energising a bit of relaxation can be! One of my favourite juxtapositions…
- Get your stretch on – take a yoga mat or towel outside and have a really good stretch. There are lots of great free guides online (try Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube), or for a kiwi flavour which doesn’t require wifi, Wellington supermum and yoga teacher Shirley McLeod has produced the ‘Yoga Deck’ – a set of fun, informative cards showing various yoga poses and different sequences in which you can do them. You’ll walk away feeling taller!
- Make friends with the night sky – turn off the tv and take a blanket out onto the deck one clear night. Settle down for some serious star-gazing! Watch for falling stars and satellites, and see if there are any constellations you recognise. You’re sure to sleep better afterwards.
- Commit to doing something active outside every day – get up a little earlier and go for a walk, noticing the buds and blossoms unfurling on the trees as the month passes. Go for a bike ride and remember how exhilarating it felt as a child, flying along with the freedom of being on two wheels. If you get your heart rate up you’ll feel the positive endorphins for hours. And hey – some chaotic days your activity might only consist of a trip to the letterbox, but at least you tried!
- Plant something green to eat – this is the season of new growth, after all. If you don’t have a vege garden, plant some herbs in a pot on the windowsill. Try and get more green into you every day – this will work wonders for your energy levels.
- Plan a day trip somewhere new – take the family on a hiking trail you’ve never done before. Visit a little-known beach. Are there any caves to explore near where you live? Paddle up an estuary. Go to a wildlife reserve, park, or playground in a different neighbourhood. Broaden everybody’s horizons on your adventure.
It’s hard to fit in ‘me time’ isn’t it? But totally necessary for our mental health 🙂 Hopefully some of the ideas above will be actionable for you this month, and may just help you to have a more energetic and outdoorsy day. Happy Spring from the southern hemisphere!
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