Have you ever got to the end of Sunday and realised that you’ve spent all weekend procrastinating? Pottering about the house, lying in bed, binge watching Netflix and eating snacks? Do you look back with regret at another weekend lost? Here at OLPRO we want you to start making the most of the free time you have, and taking yourself into the outdoors for some wonderful mini-adventures.
There are many ways to bring the wild into your spare time. Take your lunch outside and enjoy a picnic in nature. Take a colleague and walk around the block – discover some local footpaths. Get up early and head up a hill for a dawn walk before work. Take the kids wild camping – even if it’s just in the garden. Find a nearby campsite and visit just for a night or a weekend, stargaze and roast marshmallows. Micro-adventures that will leave you with a sense of time well spent.
What with prices rising, Brexit looming, and the environmental crisis, it’s easy to get bogged down in the national gloom. However – we only get one life. One life, with a UK life expectancy of 81 years. 81 years, 52 weekends a year – it’s vital that we don’t waste them on screen time and the sofa. Mini adventures benefit the local economy, your health and well-being, and the environment. Holidaying closer to home is great for cutting down your carbon footprint, and your physical and mental health will thank you for getting more exercise and Vitamin D (proven to help boost your mood naturally).
The mental health charity Mind recently commissioned a report which has shown that being outdoors, whether it be growing food, gardening or undertaking conservation work, has a hugely beneficial impact upon mental health. Camping, hiking, picnicking and walking are some of the best ways to get outdoors and have fun whilst easing mental stresses and strains.
The Guardian says that ‘we are twice as likely to be emotionally distressed if we are urban rather than rural (and four times more likely to suffer schizophrenia). Part of the reason for this is estrangement caused by lack of exposure to natural sights, sounds and smells, to dislocation from the natural rhythms of the seasons, of night from day. Ecotherapies work because they reconnect us with nature; its external reality but most fundamentally, our inner natures.’
Obviously, we’re not suggesting that you give up your medication or therapy – but by adding in more time outdoors, you’re sure to feel a little (or a lot) better.
Find the time to get outside more – and never regret your weekend again.