You can get outdoors even when you’re a busy mom.
Nature has a way of rejuvenating our senses, refreshing our thinking and causing us to slow down and reflect.
Sounds great right?
According to Nature of America’s survey, 60% of adults reported spending 5 or less hours in nature each week.
How is it with all the benefits and beautiful sites in nature that we are not spending more time in outdoors?
Are you one of the many moms who find yourself day after day struggling to break away from the daily business of life to get outdoors?
Well let’s deep dive and find out how we can bust through many of the barriers blocking us from all that nature has to offer!
From finding the time in our schedules to making hitting the trails fun, let’s start on our path to having more good times with sunshine and fresh air surrounding us.
WHY GETTING OUTDOORS MATTER
When we make time to get outdoors and explore nature this is the greatest way to teach by example to our children how to appreciate, observe and care for nature.
Taking time to observe a butterfly. Examine the meticulous details of a crafted spiderweb. Or listening to the quietness of a stream in the woods.
Your children will long remember these experiences. And, exploring nature together are special and often free ways to bond and spend quality time as a family.
HOW NATURE BENEFITS OUR BODY
Getting outdoors serves a bigger purpose that can greatly affect our physical bodies in positive ways.
Studies show, that walking in wooded parks can improve blood pressure, boost mental health, and decrease cancer risk.
More research also showed that walks in nature boosted working memory much more than walks in urban environments.
And, spending time outdoors in nature has been proven to lower stress levels.
I know from own experience, there are some days when things have been so hectic that I know my only resolve is to get outdoors.
I instantly begin to feels much better.
It has been scientifically proven that even a view of nature can help relieve stress.
Studies shows that inflammation in people was lowered when they spent time in nature versus those with inflammation who spent time in the city.
NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS ARE RESTORATIVE
The average single person makes about 35,000 decisions everyday day.
For us moms, that is said to be twice as many.
No wonder we’re zapped by the end of the day.
For most of us there are many ways we choose to treat ourselves to “me time”.
Let’s make sure we include spending time in nature as a FREE way to do give ourselves some T.L.C.
Going for a walk and getting fresh air helps with mental fatigue too.
Listen moms, we have to get out and use the most holistic remedy available for us…mother nature.
Simply put, nature has the ability to physically restore our health, strength, and feelings of well-being.
Walks in forrest settings have been associated with decreased levels of anxiety and bad moods.
And, if that wasn’t enough did you know you can boost your performance on creative problems just by taking time to immerse in nature?
SCHEDULE TIME FOR OUTDOORS
Now that we are totally convinced of the many benefits and reasons why we should get outdoors here comes the tricky part.
Scheduling time to get outdoors.
Over the years I’ve used many strategies for getting out consistently.
Here are some of my favorite.
1. GET OUTDOORS EARLY
You know that saying, you do the most important task first thing in the morning.
Well this is a great plan for getting you and the kids out especially during hot summer days.
Before we start any schoolwork, or any activities we get dressed, put the baby in my Moby Wrap and get moving.
My older son prefers his bike. But none the less, we use whatever works and just get out in the fresh air.
2. SAVE TRAILS FOR END OF DAY TREAT
Right now this is the plan we use most often.
Mostly because I like waiting for my husband to get home from work so we all can enjoy hitting the trails and bonding together.
But I let the kids know if we get our tasks done for the day we can all go to the trail.
I honestly think I look forward to it more than the kids.
But this is a fantastic way to end a long day, get restored and tire out the kids before we go back home and get ready for bed.
Tip: If you’re going to hit the trails at the end of the day, make sure you have dinner ready BEFORE you leave home to make the evening easier for you!
3. PLAN TRIPS FOR OUTDOORS
Planning trips may look a little different these days post-pandemic, but we can still plan to get outdoors and enjoy trails, walks, and hikes.
In this video from Kids in Parks they share with us all about the basics of hiking with kids and getting prepared for a trip outdoors.
INCLUDE NATURE IN LEARNING
As a homeschooling mom or a mom who just wants to encourage learning at home, adding nature in learning is a great solution to getting outdoors without too much disruption from your day.
Are you studying bugs?
Outside is the perfect classroom for seeing different bugs you can find.
Get outside and discuss the weather, temperature, and practice projecting the forecast.
Our outside classroom is always ready to be used by anyone waiting to be inspired to discover.
MAKE OUTSIDE FUN
You want to know the secret ingredient to making the entire outdoor experience fun for everybody?
You already have the answer. Yep!
It’s having the right attitude.
You see having a positive attitude about enjoying nature is contagious and will connect outdoors as a pleasant experience for your kids.
As our children see we are excited and think well of being physically active and appreciative for being able to get up close and personal with the earth God blessed us to enjoy, is noticeable and sets the tone for getting outdoors.
Be mindful not to complain too much about the heat, sun, bugs bumpy paths, wind etc.
As adults this may be annoying, but children often enjoy these elements of nature. (well, maybe not the sun)
But you get the point.
Kids like outdoors.
And the more I learn about why I should be outdoors, I like it more myself.
So let’s prepare ahead of time to make the best of our time in nature.
Grab your camera and the right attitude and get moving!
As you explore more trails and decide to venture out beyond your neighborhood, you can explore some of the 62 national parks in our country! (Definitely on my bucket list)
YOU CAN GET OUTDOORS EVEN AS A BUSY MOM
Getting outside and enjoying nature is more than a hobby or leisure time.
It is literally a component that makes up a healthy lifestyle.
If all else fails, you can still take advantage of the health gains from nature by getting outdoors and just playing with your child.
THE LIFE CHANGING HABIT OF GETTING OUTDOORS
Once you begin to fully embrace all that nature has to offer, you may just become a little more “greener”.
After living in what is considered a rural area, outdoors has become a huge part of my normalcy.
Not to mention, no matter the size of your budget a good long walk doesn’t cost you anything!
I really discovered how to maximize natural environments as a way to have fun without always spending money.
As a family of 7, being financially creative is a way to save money without sacrificing fun.
To help make getting outdoors a little more motivating for little ones here are a few “outdoor investments” that are well worth it:
- bubbles (some type of battery operated blower is easier)
- bikes, wagons, scooter, skateboard etc.
- roller skates
- stroller / supportive baby carrier
- outdoor science kits
- sidewalk chalk
- water table, slip and slide, outdoor water play
- water balloons
- gardening tools for kids
More time spent outdoors can become a life changing habit that’s fun for all.
The gift of nature will be long appreciated by your family for years to come.
So no matter how busy we are as moms let’s commit to taking more time to get outdoors.
Until next time.