A walk in the snow - getting outside is good for the soul
Do you sometimes wake up in the morning and instead of refreshed you feel burdened with the tasks ahead?
I'm someone who tends to overthink things, stress out over small stuff and sometimes feels overwhelmed with the never-ending list of to do's ahead. Luckily though, I'm also a dog owner. No matter how rainy, stormy, icy or hot it is outside, little Dachshund Lars demands his walk. He does not care if I am tired, have an early appointment, or don't want to drag baby Smilla out into the rain. While some mornings this feels like added stress, or even daunting, it is a huge blessing!
Once I'm out there I immediately feel the burdens lift of my shoulder. I breathe in the fresh morning air and am grateful that I get to be out in nature.
Some mornings, the wind makes the trees crack and it is scary out there. Some mornings, my face is moist with the raindrops hitting my forehead and slowly trickling down. Some mornings, I see my breathe in the cold air and my fingers feel like blocks of ice. Some mornings, my legs feel tired and are burning with every step. All mornings, I feel lighter, happier and rejuvenated upon arrival back home.
I read this saying "In nature you may not have Wi-Fi, but I guarantee you that you will find a better connection" and it really is true. Most of our days, we are constantly connected. With the internet, with things, with people. The solitude you can find in nature is what our busy brains need to re-boot our systems. Increasingly, I leave my cell phone at home entirely (my ever worried husband doesn't like this one bit) and focus even more on what's happening around me. I hear birds chirps their morning songs; little mice making their homes in the leaves next to me; I hear a woodpecker and spend minutes trying to actually locate where it is sitting & hammering away.
It is out there in the woods, on my morning walk, that I feel closest to myself, closest to nature and also very much connected with Smilla, that I carry on my back. Sometimes, we just enjoy the silence together. Other times, we sing, jump or stomp around more loudly. Every so often I stop and let her touch leaves, bark, fern, dew or snow. I want her to feel a deep connection with mother earth early on in life. My greatest wish is, that she carries a deep respect for the wild in her and the great desire to surround herself with nature. I hope for her to always feel the want to explore everything. However, I also know, that unless I get outside with her, as often as I possibly can, this will not, can not become true.
When I say I feel much happier out there on my walks, I'm not just making this up by the way. Stanford researchers have found out that nature is in fact some sort of mental health prescription and neurologically linked walking in nature with reducing depression. You can read more about these amazing findings here.
I understand that not everyone is lucky enough to live in the midst of a city and has a stretch of woods right next to their front door like I do. However, even if its just the nearest park you have access to, do yourself a favor and find yourself a piece of nature today. On the weekends, pack up your family and seek the solitude and beauty of the mountains, the forrest, the beach. Get outside! Your inside, your soul, will forever be thankful for it.
What is your favorite way to regain energy? Do you have small islands of nature that you retrieve to in your city and where do you go when you leave your urban setting behind? I can't wait to read your comments.