5 ways adventure ensures selfcare

5 Ways Adventure Ensures Self-Care

 

~ A guest post by Shayne Seymour sharing his adventures regarding self-care. ~

 

Self-care isn’t just a buzzword or the mantra of 20-year-old life coaches. It’s essential for well-being. One of the best ways to make sure you’re taking care of yourself is by mixing in a little adventure.

I was stoked when Danielle asked me to seize control of her blog! Even more stoked when she told me the subject of self-care. The method I’ve used to ensure my self-care over the years is by mixing in some adventure.

Adventure isn’t just fun, it stealthily helps you with self-care. Pick your own level of adventure!

Here are five ways adventure ensures Self-Care.

 

Adventure Practices Presence

On a rock, a road, or on a trail, you have to watch what you’re doing.

If you’re pedaling a bicycle 25 mph with a cyclist a foot in front of you, one a foot behind you and cars passing at 35 mph (hopefully) three feet to your left…

You want to be present in those moments.

Mindfulness, presence, and meditation are highly hyped practices of self-care for good reason.

Mindfulness is one of the most effective means of self-care.

If you’re hiking a trail full of rocks and stumps, and the occasional slithery creature you want to know where you’re about to step. You also want to be aware of low-hanging branches and perhaps the occasional web-spinning creature ahead in your path.

Not only is that kind of focus great for the mind overall, in those moments you are not thinking about your growing list of deadlines at work or how you’re going to cover this month’s bills. The brother-in-law you have to tolerate next month may be creepy, but he’s not running through a spider web in the woods creepy.

Adventure puts you in the moment.

Those moments don’t have to be a line of 20 cyclists pushing 25 mph on a country road. It can be just you on a cruiser in your neighborhood waving at your neighbors.

At any level of adventure, you can give yourself the care of planting your mind squarely in the present moment without the criss-cross applesauce and ohms.

Adventure puts you in the moment. Click To Tweet

 

Adventure is Exercise!

Most adventures require some exertion or balance, chasing or running from something, pushing or pulling, climbing or jumping.

Maybe it just requires maneuvering a leash to guide your dog away from a neighbor’s rose bush.

Whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll for a few miles in the woods or running a 20K race, it’s exercise. And if I’m being honest, I run my races at pretty leisurely paces.

Exercise isn’t just about the heart and lungs pumping. Exercise flushes toxins that build up in your body.

Since meditation is a good way to flush mental toxins, you may eliminate some demons along with the physical toxins.

There are many reasons exercise tops most lists of self-care practices, and adventure is a great way to get in some exercise.

Adventure is a great way to get in some exercise. Click To Tweet

 

Adventure Awakens Your Inner Child

I’m talking play time!

Danielle’s already told us 10 reasons why we need it.

When my friends invited me to go on my first mountain trip, I reverted back to eight years old.

Whenever my family went camping, I disappeared into the woods. That was back in the 70s when parents didn’t freak out over their kids being out of site more than ten minutes.

I thought back to when my church youth group camped out and played Capture the Flag. Running through the woods, hiding out, climbing, and bushwhacking.

When my friends and I finally made it to the woods, I was giddy just like I was when I was eight. I ran around, climbing hills off the trails to see the views and to film my friends from above, making The Blair Witch Project jokes.

They said I was wasting energy I’d need for the summit, but just like a kid, I was having too much fun to care.

The same thing happened a few years ago when I ran a trail race at Possum Kingdom Lake. I ran through the woods thinking “This is my kind of Temple Run!”

I’m talking play time! Click To Tweet

 

Adventure’s a Great Way to Connect With Nature

I love aspen trees. I don’t know what it is, they’re a just thin trunk, light bark with some dark spots. I don’t know if I love aspen trees because there are so many in Colorado or if love Colorado because of all the Aspen.

I also love Bradford Pears, their thick leaves and wonderfully shady canopies, especially that week in March when they bloom in north Texas.

I get just as excited about the bunnies in my back yard as the bighorn sheep in the mountains.

Whether it’s a nice lawn, a neighbor’s Japanese Maple or some lady bugs in a flower bed, a walk in your neighborhood is a nice little adventure and a great way to connect with nature.

Connecting with nature incorporates many aspects of self-care, including stress-reduction, breathing clean air and grounding.

Connecting with nature incorporates many aspects of self-care Click To Tweet

 

Adventure Strengthens Resilience

A storm rolled through five miles into a 13-mile trail race I ran.

Lighting seemed to strike everywhere. I was pelted with rain and hail, sliding all over the muddy trail, freezing and soaked. There was no shelter from the storm out in the grasslands.

If I could have quit, I would. But the start was five miles back and the end was eight miles away.

I told myself the odds of getting struck by lightning were remote. That didn’t make me any warmer or dryer, but I was also just one of dozens of runners. We were all in it together.

I was pretty scared and pretty uncomfortable. The only option was to keep running.

 

Best.

 

Race.

 

Ever!

 

Getting out of your comfort zone and pushing through when you’re ready to quit builds resilience, which is so vital to our happiness and well-being.

Do your self a favor and register for a 5K or 10K run, whatever distance pushes you a little into uncomfortable. Walk it. Get your finisher medal. Send Danielle and me a picture.

Getting out of your comfort zone and pushing through when you’re ready to quit builds resilience Click To Tweet

 

Self-Care Through Adventure

Whether it’s the focus required or the novelty that attracts your focus, getting your mind off worries is so healthy.

The physical effort required, regardless of how strenuous, also burns stress.

The attention to life outside yourself, whether it’s critters, flowers, neighbors or fellow hikers, reminds us there is the world outside our problems and that our problems probably aren’t really that big a deal in the grand scheme of things.

An awakening inner child reminds us of a time when chaos still swirled around us, and life continued without us shouldering the world’s burdens.

Instead of hiring a life coach, you could sign up for Taekwondo classes or buy a cheap tent and sleeping bag.

Maybe a personal trainer could help you boost your energy and self-worth as well as a therapist.

A brisk stroll or even a great book will take your mind off your stressful job or step-mom.

Pick a level of adventure that suits you and takes care of you.

 

What Now:

  • Do you see the value of adding adventure to your life?
  • What level of adventure can you see yourself adding?
  • If you don’t have it yet, get Love’s Manifesto here and know you deserve to take that adventure, to be loved and cared for.
  • Share this and help someone else care for their well-being.

 

5 ways adventure ensures selfcareShayne Seymour is a father, husband, black belt, cubical survivor and Happiness Architect at IndependentlyHappy.com, sharing his experience to help others find their own purpose and happiness while surviving and thriving in these crazy modern times.  Connect with Shayne on his blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

 

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12 thoughts on “5 Ways Adventure Ensures Self-Care

  1. I agree Shayne! Best thing we can do for ourselves is to incorporate some adventure to keep life fresh. I love the out doors, I love to run in the sun and in the rain (minus lighting). Creation, music, laughter, jokes family, all good stuff. Thanks for reminding us to take some time out and JUST ENJOY THE MOMENT! Happiness in Pinckney Michigan my friend. John.

    1. Thank you, John! Ive ran and rode in the rain a few times, but I’d never run in the lightning on purpose. I guess I just got lucky that day. I agree! Creation, music, laughter and time with loved ones are also great ways to practice self-care. And I guess family too. 🙂

  2. Love, love, LOVE this article. Especially the section about adventure and presence. Presence and mindfulness does need to be practiced, and what better way than through adventure!

  3. I loved this post and it’s made me think of self care in an entirely new way. Having young children has been a different kind of adventure and I’m ready to get back to some of the wilderness adventures you reminded me of.

    1. Yes, Stephanie. Thank you for commenting! I considered adding a section on how adventure helps us connect with others. Wilderness adventures or any kind of play will bring you closer to your kids.

  4. Thoroughly enjoyed your article Shayne. It’s been a while since I’ve really had an adventure. When my husband and I lived in Germany while he was stationed there, we would take hikes, or just visit places we had never seen before. But since we’ve been back in the states. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Now we’ve still been living. Enjoying our grandkids, laughing. But not really having adventures. Across the street my friend actually has a forest for a back yard. There is a hill and we went there last year. We’re just waiting till there is no more chance of poison ivy and we’ll take a trek in there again with the grandkids. They LOVED it.

    I was wondering something as I read your article. Self care is difficult when someone is grieving. They have all they can do to just take the next breath. And one of the things you mentioned was staying in the moment. I wonder if that’s part of the problem. A person who has just lost a loved one, wishes they were anywhere but in that grief. Their level of resiliency is zero as well. It just made me think. I remember how long it took to just start seeing colors again. Great post.

    1. I also like exploring concrete jungles. 🙂 Suburbs present more of a challenge.

      That’s the hard part, right? Being present and mindful in an unimaginable situation when overwhelmed with grief or pain. The mantra is “this too shall pass,” but some things won’t pass. Some things can’t be unpassed. I think self-care, including mindfulness, can improve our ability to cope when grief happens. We get practice at letting go and accepting what we can’t change. We hopefully find it easier to get back to healthy habits. As much as I think these habits can help though, grief is a whole new level of emotional and physical pains to process.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      I am glad you’re seeing colors again.

  5. Excellent article, Shayne! I’ve always loved to try new things and tend to look at life as an adventure, but I never really considered it self-care before now. Thanks for the shift in mindset!

    1. Thank for reading and commenting, Dalene! Adventure can incorporate those things naturally. It’s the things we did anyway before technology made too many things too easy. It’s why play is so important.

  6. Excellent perspective. I am fortunate enough to live within walking distance of hiking trails and it is definitely a meditative experience. Yesterday evening in fact I got a late start and ended up getting caught in the dark, and not tripping over holes and branches definitely requires some focus that took me away from mundane everyday worries!

    1. Yes! I love a night hike! Or a predawn hike! I’m jealous. I’ve got about a half hour drive to trails from home. Thank you for reading and commenting, Kate!

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