Tackling Self-Care in the Great Outdoors
We've all heard the phrase - "you can't pour from an empty cup." With a busy, over-scheduled routine, it's easy to neglect one's own needs as the needs and expectations of others take a higher priority. You can feel depleted with all of the demands and responsibilities on your plate. Feeling overwhelmed with work and daily life can make self-care seem like an indulgent luxury when it is actually a crucial component to our overall mental health. A self-care routine helps prevent burnout, reduces stress and provides an opportunity to regroup and refocus.
There are several simple steps you can take to improve your self-care regimen while enjoying the outdoors.
Yoga: The physical benefits of yoga include increased muscle strength and flexibility. Yoga is also great for mindfulness as it improves the brain's ability to swiftly and accurately process information. Spending just 20 minutes a day practicing your favorite yoga poses during your next camping trip can bring a sense of tranquility and even improve your sleep quality. *If you're wanting to introduce your kids to yoga, Cosmic Kids Yoga is a resource we've found to be wonderfully helpful. There are themed story episodes providing easy yoga instruction and tips on mindfulness and focus for kids. We have found this series to be highly entertaining and engaging for our little campers. Check out Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube
Journaling: Don't forget to pack your journal when gathering your camping gear. The great outdoors sets a peaceful scene for connecting with your thoughts you want to put to paper. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can reduce stress, spark creativity and prioritize concerns.
Hiking: Not only does hiking outdoors provide you with perks like gorgeous views and fresh air, it also has many health benefits. Regular hiking can provide a good cardio workout improving blood pressure and cholesterol in addition to increasing strength and muscle tone. Find a good hiking stick and explore a new trail during your next camping adventure.
Meditation: The practice of meditation is known for reducing stress. Meditating can improve focus and attention span. There are numerous health benefits to this practice such as improved sleep and decreased blood pressure. The beauty of meditation is that you can do it anywhere. It doesn't cost you a thing or require any specialized equipment. Find a comfy spot, focus on the sounds of nature and take advantage of your time outside. *If you're new to meditating or you're wanting an easy guided meditation app, check out Headspace for simple, daily meditation sessions.
Reading: Curling up with a good book is truly a treat for your well being. Reading is mentally stimulating, improves your memory, reduces stress, improves concentration, promotes relaxation and boosts your vocabulary. Grab your favorite title, snuggle up in a hammock and indulge in some necessary self-care.
Diet: Camping doesn't have to mean you dine solely on processed junk food. Healthy and delicious camping foods are easier than you think. Take time to thoughtfully plan a well-balanced menu to keep your body nourished. The Green Canteen Company makes healthy eating options easy for our renters. We have partnered with And3 Foods to provide gourmet camp meals. Check out our customized camp menu. Don't forget the importance of enough water while camping, hydration is key.
Unplug: A weak cell phone signal at the campground doesn't have to be a bad thing. Unplugging and disconnecting from your cell phone and electronic devices can profoundly improve your health. Electronic distractions can prevent you from being present and interacting with those camping with you. Make eye contact, have a conversation and enjoy the moment! Digital detoxing can improve your communication skills, offer you the chance to disconnect from work and it can even help improve your sleep. Give it a try, it's pretty refreshing to not be tethered to a cell phone!
Fresh air & sunshine: Escaping a smog-filled city and filling your lungs with fresh air is highly beneficial. Fresh air helps clean your lungs and strengthen your immune system. In addition to fresh air, sunshine is helpful too. Exposure to sunshine can promote happiness, sleep quality, blood pressure, and brain function. Take advantage of your camping surroundings and soak in that Vitamin D!
Camping is a rewarding pastime and provides a wonderful opportunity to regroup and refocus. Take advantage of the simple ways you can utilize self-care practices outdoors. Make yourself a priority, fill up your cup.
Happy camping from your friends at The Green Canteen Company!