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.

Being outside 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. It feels like 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, walking in the woods releases me from the demands of life – admittedly, most of which are self-imposed, but still. In many ways, nature is much simpler than the complex world we’ve create for ourselves, and it offers proof that our shared planet is resilient and regenerative, often more so without our helpful modern advances.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the woods near my family’s farm in Ohio. I was curious about everything, and I realize now that it’s where I first learned about self-care. Even then, I somehow understood that everything served a purpose in supporting the greater whole.

When we fed the animals, we were also feeding ourselves. When we prepared the fields and gardens for planting, we were also nourishing the soil. When I spent afternoons gathering berries, we’d later spend time as a family enjoying them.

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

In addition to getting some physical activity, the solitude also offered some relief on an emotional level.

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

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