Getting Out There: The Power Of Playing Outdoors
It’s our favorite time of year here at the shore and we’re ready to talk all things outdoor play with you this week. Whether you love a good hike, are into forest bathing, hit the beach, surf some waves, or walk the city with a determined skip in your step, there’s no shortage of ways to play outside.
If you have the chance to be outside in nature, you'll be doing amazing things for your body and mind. Fresh air, sunshine (with proper sun protection), exercise, and even just relaxation outdoors can allow our bodies to thrive. We can find ourselves refreshed after spending some time outdoors and it’s often because we’re truly present in the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and sensations of the world around us. Our body also releases some positive chemicals when we’re outside enjoying, playing, and exercising so we’re keeping our bodies in balance as well!
Whether you live in a big city, on an island in the sun, in a small rural oasis, or a suburb that you love, there are usually so many chances to get outside and play. This week we’ll give you some tips for really enjoying some play time outside, no matter where you find yourself (or whether it’s even summer where you are!)
Plan To Play Outside
You might think our first tip only applies if you need certain weather to get your “play” on but we’d politely disagree (How nice of us, right?). Planning to play outside is definitely helpful if you need certain conditions to fish or surf or if you want to walk in the city and don’t want to dodge raindrops when you do. But planning can also be super helpful when you have other obligations lined up along with your desire to play. If we plan our play like we plan our meals or doctor’s appointments (to the point where they’re going to happen because we’re committed to making them happen) we get to really enjoy the experience of playing, inside or out.
Disconnect To Play All-Out
The fairly common phrase here is “Disconnect to reconnect” While we like that idea, we’d say you probably already are connected to who you are, so maybe just be honest with yourself about whether you need to keep the phone on or take an albums worth of photos and videos when you’re actively playing. We love our social media, obviously, but once we’ve gotten a few killer shots, we’re back and present so we can really make the most of the time we’ve planned to play. Disconnecting for you might mean unplugging from a cell phone, turning off notifications, or deciding when and how to do this stuff ahead of time. Speaking of which...
Worry Less, Play More...On Purpose
This tip is all about your mindset. When you decide that you’re going to get out there and play, your mind might give you lots of things to think about that are not “play”. Worries can change how we play and can take us out of the moment. That’s a fun killer for sure. So getting our minds right is a great way to prepare to play. Thinking about what we’re excited to get out of playing or what we’re excited to do when we play is a great first step as is deciding how we’re going to feel when we’re done and when we’re going to go back to our regularly scheduled program can also help us create a space in our mind for the play we’re going to do!
Play Your Way
It’s only human to have a few thoughts about what others might think from time to time. We’re just suggesting here that you don’t let that ruin the fun. If you’re painting the sky green or turning your run into a walk, creating a cup instead of a bowl in pottery class or taking child’s pose instead of headstand in yoga, allowing yourself to play your way is a lot of fun. It’s also a great way to solve problems or puzzles in a new way. Allowing the “right” way to be a suggestion is an awesome way to play as you...well...play!
Anticipate And Reflect
Ever notice that the anticipation of a big trip or party is often as much fun or even more fun than the event itself. We’d encourage you to enjoy thinking about the fun you’re going to have and to reflect and reconnect to that fun as often as you’d like so you can really enjoy the experience: past, future, or present.
Get Out There!
Since it’s summer in our hometown of Asbury Park the whole WOB team is really taking this Play thing seriously. Whether we’re hitting the beach or walking our dogs in the morning, we’re up and out enjoying the weather while it’s ours. If you’re ready to get out there and want to keep yourself naturally energized and nourished when you do, be sure to bring your WOB with you wherever you play this summer!
Ready to get your summer going? You can pick up your WOB products here.
Author: Marilyn Schlossbach