Something happens to most of us when we become adults. Those long summer days we would spend outside as kids running and biking and getting dirty get traded in for bills, binging random YouTube videos for hours, and staying inside as much as possible. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with lazy days. But where did our desire to be outside disappear to?
If you have been craving more adventure, an inexpensive getaway, or a way to feel grounded again through this crazy world, consider getting back out in nature again. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
You don’t have to take a huge camping trip or go fishing if that’s not your thing. You don’t have to climb huge mountains either, if you don’t want to. Just start by going to your closest park more often. Cincinnati alone has 70 parks to choose from! Go when your schedule allows. It does not have to be for hours and hours. Take a walk, or just pick a bench in a quiet area and admire what you see. I promise you will keep going back.
Take your kids.
Once again, you may have to keep it short. But I have seen the benefits of this one first hand. When my oldest was in preschool, we did not get outside very much because I did not understand the importance. When we started kindergarten, we joined a nature-based homeschool co-op in the heart of Cincinnati, and I watched the love of the outdoors bloom in her. I followed her interest, and now she is our resident bird expert! She is learning about all different types of trees and flowers and animal tracks on her own, too. Your child may come alive in dirt and mud or during an afternoon at the creek. It can be messy, but go with it. Make sure you bring plenty of water with you, a nature journal to write or draw about all your interesting finds, and a good insect repellant. If you go somewhere with water, buckets are a fun way for them to collect cool bugs or leaves. Always make sure to check for ticks when you get home, too!
Read about the benefits of the outdoors on mental health.
We have a lot on our plates as mothers. Sometimes we need a break from it all, and there is no shame in that. Taking a walk through nature has so many positive effects on our mental health. It can reduce stress and can increase focus. Cincinnati has an abundance of nature trails that you can adventure through, from easy to difficult, and varying lengths. You will feel a sense of accomplishment, too, if you successfully hike a longer trail. The views at the end of so many uphill hiking trails are so worth it. Go at your pace and just feel the stresses of life melt away.
I hope this encourages you to take the first step to getting in the outdoors this summer. I hope your love for nature is rekindled this year, or that you find a new hobby in adventuring outside!