Finding Work-Life Balance Outdoors
Like zen rocks stacked one atop another, life is about balance. Too much work and we burn out. Too much play and we may not be fulfilled. Downtime at home is needed, as is dedicated time with family, friends and even being alone by ourselves.
As the days get longer and warmer, it seems as if the outdoors beckons us to come breathe in the fresh air and feel the warmth on our skin. There is the excitement of being outside. But there is also the rush of thoughts about it being too hot, sweating, having to take a shower afterward, squinting, wrinkles, being thirsty, and so many other reasons for not doing it. We’ve made going outside a chore, when we know how rejuvenating it really is.
No one said we had to power walk to inject nature into our approach to finding work-life balance. There’s no requirement to climb a mountain or get our hair wet in the pool. Instead, we’re called outside to inhale the calm, listen to the birds sing and close our eyes to feel the sun dance across our face.
There are a variety of things we can do to de-stress and find balance just by walking out the door. Within a few miles of our home the secret to work-life balance may likely exist, if only we’re willing to seek it.
Many people look forward to spring so they can get their hands dirty and create a garden. Focus, attention, and a daily need to nurture not just the plants but your soul give us time to step away from the demands of our job, regardless of whether that job is in a high rise office building or in our home. The garden needs us to grow, just as much as we need the garden to grow our ability to balance.
If you’re not a gardener, you may be one someone who just likes a lovely yard. Picking weeds, pruning the bushes, readying the plants for the new life spring will bring. Each new bud is a reminder that we continue to grow, but only when we give ourselves a little bit of attention.
Winter and the cooler months often finds us indoors not wanting to go outside, instead relying on exercise tapes or other indoor fitness activities. Spring beckons us to go outside, to run, jog, walk, hike or bike. Feeling the cool breeze, the warm feeling our hair get, and the smell of sunscreen are reminders that we deserve to do a little for ourselves.
Most important of all is that being outside helps us recall those days of being a kid, carefree and focused only on having the most amount of fun before being called inside. Who said we can’t be a kid again? No one said you have to have the kids with you to go to the park. There’s no rule that says mom can’t get the sidewalk chalk and create art or a hopscotch grid.
We might have to build up to really enjoying and appreciating how important it is to disconnect from technology, work, and all the things on the ‘to do’ list and just be. Nature is there to be enjoyed first hand. Nature has a way of bringing about calm. Heading outside, even for a few minutes, allows us to clear our minds and refresh our thoughts so we can regain that balance and perspective that makes us the great moms that we are.
What outdoor activities do you do that help you find balance?