A Nature Challenge, 365.
I got 10 min on it. Year after year, around this time, we think of creative lifestyle changes we can implement to become better versions of ourselves. Gyms flood with new memberships, our fridges stocked with fruits & veggies, we knock the dust off our passports while we hope the dust collects on the liquor cabinet. It’s a time of self-improvement & inspiring our better nature. This year I’m putting my nature first by opening my front door more often, you are very welcome to join. I promise it will be fun. I’m calling this challenge “InTENtional Nature”. The goal is to promise ourselves 10 “intentional” minutes between you & Nature, every day, 365. Think of it as an appointment with your beautiful therapist, but her name is Nature & she won’t bill you.
Nature is proven to reduce stress, anger, anxiety & depression while improving our mood, confidence, kindness & overall wellness. Its science, I didn’t make it up. Speaking from personal experience, Nature’s presence in my life has always played a key role in my mindset, attitude & overall balance in this crazy world we live. It’s our happy place, whether we acknowledge it or not, dating back to our primal days. We weren’t built to battle this hectic, hyper-socialized lifestyle full-time. Think about it…depression, anxiety, suicide, stress, mental illness all epidemics at all-time highs. Then add a pandemic that’s kept us indoors & created a brave new virtual world. We are disconnected from our ability to disconnect.
So, without further ado, here’s the challenge: It’s easy as 1-2-3
- TEN INTENTIONAL MINUTES (at least) OUTDOORS, dedicated to enjoying it, every day. Meaning a planned, scheduled 10 min date with Nature within the day/night. Being inadvertently outside because we have to walk into Starbucks, around the shopping plaza or to your mailbox doesn’t count. It’s about an INTENTIONAL 10 outdoors. Setting an alarm is a great idea & likely one of the few you will look forward to going off. Mine is set to U2’s “Beautiful Day”. Go someplace new, see something different, experience a moment we would have otherwise overlook. Get your family involved. Watch the birds, enjoy the sunset, catch the sunrise, take a walk, run with the pup, find a trail, locate a park, do a workout, choose outdoor seating for lunch, swing in a hammock. You get the idea, the list of things we can enjoy outdoors is endless.
2. TAKE A PICTURE. Something you saw, a view you appreciate, a moment or place you cherish. My favorite part of this will be playing them all back at the end of the year, moments that could have otherwise been spent scrolling through social media, zombied out on a Netflix series or insert other unproductive task here_______. Maybe we make a reel of them all at month-end, year-end etc. Or whatever the next Instagram fad will be at that time (insert sarcasm). I mean, it’s kind of like giving yourself the gift of Nature, every day. Even Santa can’t give you that.
3. POST IT! We’re here to share, right? Tell your story. Use the hashtag #inTENionalnature & add whatever day out of 365. Example: “Day 4/365”. Posting everyday isn’t necessary, but hopefully we can fill the feed with some good nature vibes. My goal will be to post something outdoor/nature related every day of 2023. We will check the hashtags and definitely repost your beautiful photos.
Always remember to Leave No Trace & leave our outdoor destinations better than before. These are 7 fundamental ethics we should all practice when enjoying our Great Outdoors. Plan ahead & prepare, travel & camp on durable surfaces, dispose of your waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, be kind to others. For more info on Leave No Trace visit http://www.lnt.org
A challenge or not, the outside is our best side & we can never be surrounded by too much Nature. An opportunity to clear our minds, reset & appreciate the little things. Chase a little extra sunshine, fresh air & natural beauty. Wander off the beaten path. Live a better lifestyle. I’m confident our mind, body & soul will thank us. I do believe this is a simple lifestyle enhancement that can also positively impact our other upcoming goals, or maybe even inspire some new ones. Maybe it’s just me, but I find my sharpest thinking when I’m wandering the wild. I’m interested & excited to see what we gain from this, what new places we explored, what moments we can look back on that we otherwise wouldn’t have experienced. What things we saw when we paid more attention and focused on living in the moment (all 3,650 minutes of them).
Cheers to a year of Exploring Further!