One of the best ways to reset your mood and melt away stress is to get outside. Tend the garden, read a few pages, take a walk, play with your kids, or just open the door for a moment, look around, and take a deep breath.
I woke up with a sore throat and a very low energy level last Thursday, which was very untimely, since I had planned to work on my garden constructing the plant towers. Postponing it was not an option, since our landlord dropped in a note that our fences will be de-constructed on the coming Monday. The towers had to be completed by then, as otherwise our soil would be trampled. I needed wood for the towers, so once the baby was asleep, I stepped outside and found some branches sheered off a lilac bush that I could use. The sun was just starting to warm up the air, the birds were singing, and I got to breaking up the branches. Within ten minutes of this all-absorbing activity I felt better.
I have continued working in the garden throughout the day, constructing two plant towers, taking breaks to take care of the baby, document the tower construction, have lunch, and tend to beading orders. The day flew by, and instead of feeling exhausted and more sick, I felt recharged, light, and joyful.
The next day, my sore throat did not get much better, and the energy level was not terribly high, but, once again, as I stepped outside and paused to survey the garden, I felt like it was the best morning ever. Digging out the strawberries to clear space for the third tower, and replanting them into the existing towers, took a couple of hours (as I did have quite a few). My leg muscles were like iron from the day before, but in a few minutes I was so engrossed in the process, that when the baby woke up I could not believe how much I have accomplished.
It is almost magical how stepping outside of the house “box” and into even a tiniest patch of nature can change your perspective, bring more enthusiasm, and unlock hidden physical strength reserves. Try it! Leave your electronic devices at home and experience the nature around you. Go for a walk along the river or even just around the block. Be present in the experience and notice smells, sounds, and sights around you. Play outside with your kids – throw a ball around, search for pine cones, blow soap bubbles on the grass, pretend you are Optimus Prime, – whatever game you like. Have a break on the deck with a good book, or sip on a drink and observe the nature around you. Listen to the birds, watch squirrels hide peanuts in your flower beds. Lie on the grass and meditate on the clouds moving overhead. Incorporate your gratitude ritual into your time outside. Work in the garden: it is such a marvel shaping nature and watching things grow.
Whether you have one minute or the entire day, step outside. Take in the fresh smell of snow or the pattering of rain, the play of sunlight on leaves or chirping of the birds in the trees. And remember to breathe deeply. The day is full of possibilities.