Enjoy nature and reduce stress, being outdoors in nature has a positive effect on our wellbeing, simply relaxing outdoors can help us mentally and physically
The studies have been done and in a world that moves faster than a speeding bullet it is no wonder that taking time out and appreciating one of the finest things we have makes us feel better. Getting out in nature works, it helps relax us, helps reduce blood pressure plus a whole load of other benefits we won’t list here, basically, getting out into nature and switching off is a big positive.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”– Albert Einstein
Overlanding can be as dynamic or as chilled out as you want it to be, recently, following Covid, a health scare and the cost of living crisis we’ve been taking easy on the driving and the trips away, so much so in fact that 2022 has been the year of staying local.
Not going very far as opened our eyes to what we have on the door step and taught us to enjoy nature close to home. We’ve been up for numerous sunrises, cooked breakfast in the woods, hiked the hills and free camped under the stars. Best of all though we’ve stopped, taken a breath and just sat outdoors enjoying where we are in that moment.
Walking & Short Hikes
Walking is something we’ve raised out game with ever since I came out of hospital having had the stroke. At first it was just a few yards, then just a few more until it was 2km a day which at the moment at least, 16 weeks on seems to be the sweet spot without over doing it. Most mornings we get out early and see the sun coming up, stopping to take it in even just for a few moments.
Short hikes have become a thing, Gayle gets dropped off an hour away from our favourite park up and I have begun to hike the surrounding hills once a week, it’s hard going at first but well worth it once you get to the top and open that flask of coffee ready for the sunrise, it is also an opportunity to think and enjoy the silence before the world wakes up and the day starts.
Being creative in nature is something we can all do, my choice is photography but there is also putting pen to paper, painting, arranging what is around you and much more. For me, photography used to be a business with all the client pressure and deadlines etc. Now I shoot because I want to, because I enjoy it and because I find it chills me out taking a more laid back approach without worrying about post processing in Lightroom, hi res delivery and proofing.
A new approach to photography is why I switched camera systems from DSLR’s and all the glass to one single fixed lens Fuji. Post processing is, for me, a thing of the past, quite honestly I don’t care what others think of my images, I just shoot because I enjoy it.
Enjoy nature and reduce stress with nature’s vibes, I play the didgeridoo and have done for a few years now. Circular breathing helps in many ways when it comes to health benefits and the whole experience of feeling and hearing the tones of a didg once it starts singing really are hard to describe.
Playing the didgeridoo promotes deep breathing, and also puts you into a more relaxed state of mind. People who have heard the eerie and mellow sounds of a didgeridoo describe it as calming and meditative.Spirit Gallery
I frequently take my didg on trips, even if we are just nipping out for a quick overland lunch and especially when we go out wild camping, the sound of the didge at night is somethind else. It’s a proven fact that music is good for you so why not take the guitar or whatever your instrument of choice is and get playing outside?
Spoon Carving / Wood Whittling
I was sitting in my workshop one afternoon preparing and shaving fatwood when the thought came to me that this would be great to do outside in some shape or form. I had recently been watching more and more videos on bushcraft and had discovered ‘spoon carving’, a hobby that I did not know existed as a ‘thing’ but it caught my attention immediatly.
I could picture myself sitting outside with the kettle on in the back of the Shogun, whittling away on a piece of wood, creating something and being immersed in what I was doing. From a young age I used to chop kindling sticks [a winter’s supply worth] for the farm house fire, I’d split logs with my Father and later build all manner of things using offcuts from the saw mill we used to live right next to.
I am not a carpenter but enjoy working with wood in it’s raw form even if its just collecting it for winter wood supply. Sitting there stripping bark from fatwood and my wife Gayle commented “that looks quite therapeutic”, that pretty much sealed the deal for me so for my birthday a set of carving tools was ordered.
Since then it’s been about watching Youtube videos and practicing on wood we have at home – ‘watch this space’ as they say…
My wife Gayle introduced me to grounding in 2020 and to be honest it’s something I need to do more of. Initially I thought it was just the removing of footware and having the wind blow over your bare feet that made the difference but I admit there is more to it than that, grounding helps you connect to the earth, here is a quick explanation from Gayle about what grounding is:
Simply put, grounding or earthing is when you connect to the earth’s natural energy and absorb the soothing, calming, healing benefits of mother earth. You can do this by walking barefoot anywhere in nature, sitting on the ground, touching the earth or trees or even gardening without gloves.
The aim is to physically and energetically connect with the earth. You know how good it feels when you walk barefoot along a beach, go wild swimming, hug a tree or lie on your back on the grass? That’s grounding and the more you can do it, the better you will feel.
It’s difficult to just stop. There have been many times I have gone out with the specific purpose of relaxing and clearing my head but instead have returned home realising that I been ‘busy’ shooting video, making images and thinking about publishing etc. While these activities are all good when you enjoy them I feel that they form part of a structure to spending time outdoors and should not individually be all of it.
The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.Galileo Galilei
For example, driving to a great location, taking your time and going for a stroll with the camera is very different to shooting images all the time you are there – it’s an easy trap to fall into and one created by the fact that we live in a fast paced world where we are used to doing most things at speed, or at the very least having our minds concentrate on completing tasks as soon as possible with premium results.
Getting out of the work frame of mind and just taking time out can be difficult but once you get your head in the right place it’s highly beneficial. Nature is free for us all to enjoy and one the best things in life. This has become more apparent to me as I get older and learn to appreciate more of the world around instead of being glued to a computer, concentrating on making money and essentially missing what was going on around me.
How are you chilling out and do you use overlanding/the outdoors to help you do it?