Like many folks, I love this time of year. Fall in Asheville is pretty incredible. The reprieve from the summer heat. The cool crisp morning air. The splendor of the leaves as they change colors and paint our mountain views with their beauty. I truly savor this season, in large part because I know in the just a little while, winter is coming (haaa I didn't even watch Game of Thrones but look at me using the reference).
For me, savoring this season means being outside as much as possible. It's scheduling hiking dates with friends and taking long walks at the Arboretum with my Sadie girl. It's going for trail runs and bike rides. Fortunately, I have a very flexible work schedule. I have the ability to (generally) be able to fit in an hour outside each morning and (when motivated) an hour in the evening as well. Sometimes I'll go out for a mid-day break too. But of course, not everyone has this luxury. You may work a 9-5 desk job or exhausting 12-hour shifts. You may feel like there's no margin in your life for time outside when you're shuffling kids to school and various activities while meeting the remaining demands that come along with just being a living, breathing, functioning human being.
Most people know that being in nature is good for us. Time spent outside benefits us both physically and psychologically. But did you know that, according to a 2019 study, just a minimum of of 2 hours spent outside each week is linked to improvements in overall health and well-being? That may seem like a lot but broken down it's about 17 minutes a day. Furthermore, the study showed that it didn't make a difference if the 120 minutes was done all at once or split up over several days. Whether it's a 2-hour hike or 10-minute walks breaks, the benefits are the same either way.
So what could spending some intentional time outside look like in your life? How could you fit it in? Maybe it's a short walk at the park or in your neighborhood before work. Perhaps it's taking your lunch break outside. Maybe it's taking the kids for a bike ride or having a creek-side picnic. Maybe it's trying something new like camping or hiking if you've never done it before. Whatever it may be, my challenge to you is to savor this season and reap the rewards that come from spending some quality time outdoors.
Journeying with you,
Recommended reading: The Nature Fix by Florence Williams
What I'm working on:
Consistency with writing for this blog (since it's been a year and a half since my last/only post)
What I'm reading:
When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown
What I'm listening to:
The Dream Big Podcast with Bob Goff and Friends