Self-Care Challenge (Day 4): Walking in the Woods

Sunlight peeking through the trees

On day 4 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I explored walking in the woods.

Walking in the woods has always been a revitalizing treat for my soul. Somehow, being reminded of my smallness beneath the towering trees really puts the world into perspective. The feeling is something between humility and enchantment, and it often leads me to wonder What did I ever do to deserve this beautiful gift of existence?

Free from the distractions of technology and my never-ending to-do list, being outside releases me from the demands of life – admittedly, most of which are self-created. Nature is much simpler than the complex world we create for ourselves, and it offers proof that our shared earth is resilient and regenerative, often more so without the help of modern advances.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time outside in rural Ohio. I was curious about everything, and I realize now it was on our family’s farm that I first learned about self-care. Even then, I somehow understood that everything served a purpose to support the greater whole. When we fed our animals, we were also feeding ourselves. When we prepared our fields and gardens for planting, we were also nourishing the soil. When I spent the afternoon gathering berries, we would later spend time as a family, enjoying a homemade pie.

Sadly, adulthood hasn’t provided me with as many opportunities to play in the woods, but my husband and I frequently explore the trails near our home. A morning stroll seemed like the perfect way to spend the last day of the holiday weekend.

Aside from getting some physical activity, the walk also gave me an opportunity to sport a couple of the gifts I received for Christmas: a leather “possibles” bag, hand-made by my father, and beautiful knit scarf made by my mother. (My heart is still overflowing with gratitude.)

As we circled back, our minds returning to the impending responsibilities of the week ahead, delicate snowflakes surrounded us like confetti as if to say, “Don’t get so lost in tomorrow that you miss the beauty of today.”

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