While there seems to be a never-ending stream of terribleness in the news these days, I plan on keeping this blog mostly free of any political rantings. I see enough of that crap elsewhere online, and you’re probably just as sickened and upset by it all as I am. I don’t think ignorance or turning a blind eye to what is happening is always the right thing to do, especially given today’s social climate, but I also believe that there should be safe spaces online (and in the real world!) where you can get away from the onslaught of negativity and seek a few moments of peace, comfort, and healing.
My goal is for this space is to somehow create a digital reflection of the clarity and energy I feel when I’m surrounded by nothing but wilderness and sunshine. I know this blog won’t do much to combat the terrible awful in the world, perhaps it can encourage and promote the idea that caring for our bodies, minds and the earth is paramount to our well-being.
Even just a walk through my neighborhood park elicits an immediate improvement in my mood. It’s actually borderline creepy. My 9-5 has been super stressful lately, and scrolling through my Facebook feed or reading any news outlet usually manages to trigger an instant bad mood. Yet I’ve found my daily ritual of slipping my pup Scout into his harness and heading outside for an hour-long walk has been an incredible antidote to the tension, anxiety and sadness I’ve been feeling recently. I’m lucky to live in a (mostly) safe and quiet neighborhood, so strolling around with an audiobook playing in my headphones is almost always a positive experience. I marvel at roadrunners, interesting houses and say hi to fellow neighbors out walking their own dogs. When I get home and sit back down at my computer, I feel a renewed sense of focus and calm. My walk is usually the best part of my day (and Scout’s). And when I miss a walk? I feel it, and my mood suffers.
I think there can be a hesitation to get outside due to the misconception that, unless you’re super fit and able to summit a peak in 4 hours or have the latest high-tech outdoor apparel to strut around in, you’re not doing it right. But that is so, so wrong. You don’t have to be an “outdoorsy” person to benefit from the outdoors. This medicine is for everyone and, for the most part, it’s free for the taking. A slow saunter down a paved path wearing flip flops is still time spent in fresh air, moving your body, and clearing your mind. Even if you can’t completely set your worries aside, you are still presented with a simplified perspective of the world or, at least, feel the sun on your face.
As we approach warmer months and longer days, the opportunities for getting outside will only increase. Hallelujah! If there was ever a time when we needed the peace and solace found in nature, it’s now. I’m so excited to be able to fit in hikes after work up in the foothills, pursue more ambitious weekend adventures, and sit around campfires with friends. I also can’t wait to take my bike down to the Bosque to ride along the river (mosquitos be damned) or play tennis with Steph. Hurry up, Earth! Keep tilting on over to the best season ever. Our happiness might just depend on it.
See you in the sun,