~ 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.
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.
- 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.
Shayne 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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