“I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us all right.”
Henry David Thoreau
Hungry to get outdoors but lacking the motivation? It’s hard to get through worry, fear of failure, and just standard apathy sometimes and make moments that can really improve our lives.
Time in lockdown in the perfect moment to focus on your psychological strength and plan for inspiring moments in the future.
Do you remember that moment in the Shawshank Redemption? Tim Robbins says “it’s time to get busy living or get busy dying”. It’s an inspirational moment. Here’s a guy who spent years doing hard time for a crime he didn’t commit, and he decides to get busy living. Most of us don’t have negatives that big to ignore, so let’s ignore what we’ve got and get moving.
Benefits of getting into Nature
There are studies showing that time spent outdoors can change people’s mindsets. It can make you more creative, more relaxed, get more Vitamin D, live healthier and feel the calmer. These things are so often taken away from us in modern society.
And for some reason it’s so easy to forget about nature. The business of our lives holds us back, but sitting with friends next to a fire, looking up at the stars, those are the simple things that help us reset.
How much do you need?
120 minutes. Yes, just 2 hours. In a study conducted on 20,000 people, the results were conclusive: nature is not a nice-to-have, it’s a must have, and less than 2 hours doesn’t cut it. The effects on health and well-being were found to be massive, and for very little effort. We haven’t evolved to sit indoors all the time. Something deep within us needs to get out and breathe fresh air.
How to plan a DIY Adventure today
Where should you go? It all depends on your level of experience. If you are just starting out, consider crossing a forest or natural area near where you live. Set yourself a day or two. Open up Google Maps or Google Earth right now and take a look for the biggest patch of green you can find. Satellite mode can help find hidden green patches. How long does Google say it takes to cross it on foot? What about by bike?
Think about your comfort level and add 1 point, I call this the i+1 principle and it’s the principle I live by. It keeps you improving without traumatising yourself in the process. If you do i minus 1, you don’t grow…
I’ve always found it amazing how much you can find on your doorstep. Here in the UK, for example, I have spent days crossing the New Forest (which despite the title dates back to 1079 AD). This is a 566km² tract of natural grazing and woodland. It has houses, yes, but it also has horses grazing free, and vast areas with very few people.
I chose to cycle across with my wife. Of course, your method of transportation depends on your resources, your time and your ability. Waking up at 5.30am and seeing our bikes laid in the wet grass, looking out at the scorched morning sky and feeling the chill of the air gave me that bite of adventure. It doesn’t have to be the jungles of Peru to have that expedition feeling.
So what have you got to lose? Get the map out, forget your preconceptions and go and see what the outdoors has to offer.
nb. camping is currently prohibited in the UK, but if you get up early, you can make a day of it!
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