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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Why camping is good for you! | Mindfulness and Wellbeing

Camping.

A lot of people shudder at the thought of camping as it’s not luxurious whatsoever but to me it’s a sheer treat- so much so that it has benefited my mental health and today I want to tell you why.



Being Outdoors

It’s an obvious one but a good place to start, being outdoors does wonders for your body and mind. The fresh air and being exposed to nature can do wonders for you, with studies proving that even a walk can give you lasting positive feelings for up to seven hours after* CountryLiving.com (source)

So just think about how that being in the outdoors, being at one with nature could benefit you when going for a long weekend or a weeks break in your tent.

We watch the sun go down over the horizon each night which was spectacular and I couldn’t help but say the same thing each night to Chris which was “this is what it’s all about”. But it’s true! This is what life is about. Beautiful everyday occurrences that we take for granted rather than how many likes have validated me on Instagram that day or if my outfit is new...



Natural Light

We’re all aware of how bad artificial lights can be for our bodies; in particular phones are especially bad. I found that through sleeping in a tent I was waking up a lot earlier and going to bed earlier too. The nylon semi-translucent material of the tent allowed light to flood our sleeping area from as early as 5:30am so by 6:30-7am I was wide awake and bright as a button, ready to face the day and open up the tent to let in some well deserved fresh morning air. I definitely don’t get the same effect when I’m back in my fully insulated home with heavily lined curtains and black out blinds. If anything I’m trying to shut the outside out and prolong sleep or at least I was until I’d been camping. And of course at night in the summer the sun goes down anytime between 9 and 10:30pm so my body clock was telling me it’s time to sleep, you’re tired and you’re ready to settle down for a good sleep.



Almost Living... Off the Grid?

With our tent set up we did have electricity so we weren’t entirely basic but we only used it to charge phones (which tbh we only really used for photos and map features whilst we were away), to boil a kettle because we all need a decent brew in the morning and then to cook. The rest of it was “roughing it” so to speak, not having the luxuries of a big comfy bed, sleeping instead on an air bed and with our clothes and belongings in piles around us. It made me appreciate our little space and that this was really all I needed to essentially survive with the husband and hound.



My Mental Health

Going back to my first point about being outdoors and my main point of this post- all of the above helped me to feel much more happy and content in my mind. I have a habit of getting into a bad cycle of feeling anxious of going out and in particular on my own. It might sound strange but the thought of doing a food shop on my lonesome or walking the dog without someone else can sometimes make me feel really really anxious. Even nipping across the road (and I mean literally a 2 seconds walk) to the shop can make me feel uptight so I’ll put it off. I’d rather go without that food thing I wanted or think oh well the dog can go out with Chris. So going and literally being outside for a week probably sounds like it would be hell for me..right? Well surprisingly no. It has the reverse effect and the more time I spend outside, the better it is for my well being and bizarrely the more I want to be outside and do things for myself like walk the dog on my own. I can't explain it but it feels as though my brain is at ease in nature and the outdoors once I give it the chance. It's easy to get into the comfortable trap of home, being in your own little fort where no one can get you but sometimes you're better pushing yourself and your boundaries as it will do you and your mind the world of food. So if you're anything like me and find you can anxious- give camping a try. What's the worst that can happen?




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