• Wis Outdoor Explorer

Be In the Moment

Sometimes You Need to Just Sit and Listen and be in the Moment

I think it’s safe to say that most of us out there have pretty busy lives. I know in my own life; our family seems to be constantly moving and going. Between work, school activities, getting things done around the house really can leave little time to enjoy some time outdoors. I recently was listening to a podcast about a woman who was going about her busy life when she was struck by a car while riding her bike. This accident changed her life forever. She suffered a bad concussion and basically couldn’t do anything without getting really bad headaches. She couldn’t read, text on her phone or even handle a birthday party for one of her kids. Everything was on sensory overload. Her only way to cope with her problem was to sit along a shoreline and just watch and listen to the waves. She said she could sit for hours and just stare at the water and just relax. It was the first time she could focus on anything and not get a headache. She was truly living in the moment. Taking in her surrounds and just being for hours at a time. I think this is something that we can all take a lesson from.

I’ve been guilty of not being in the moment and just going to an event or hiking a trail without really stopping to take it in. I think that the whole reason we seek to get outdoors is to get away from our busy lives. But if we don’t take the time to be in the moment, aren’t we missing the whole point of being outdoors? That’s why I want to offer some times on how to be in the moment more and get the most from your outdoor.

· Leave the Phone in Your Pocket

I’m not going to tell you to leave the phone in the car or at home. I know I couldn’t do that. And todays smartphones offer a lot when it comes to enjoying the outdoors. They provide maps, GPS coordinates, activity trackers and of course the biggest thing, cameras. Sometimes it’s the only camera that you’ll take with you and you don’t want to miss that beautiful flower or a chance to show your friends how big that fish really was. What I’m suggesting is after you set up your activity tracking app or check your location on your map. Stick the phone in your pocket and forget it. Put it on airplane mode if you can and just let the world wait for you to reconnect. You don’t need to text or return and email, it can wait. Your outdoors to enjoy the outdoors and your phone will be there when you get back to the car or even home. If you’re enjoying your outdoor adventure with a friend, ask them to do the same and enjoy this moment together. The only time you need to grab that phone is to capture that one moment to remind you of the great time you had.

· Give Yourself Time

I’m probably more guilty of this than any other thing that I do. I don’t allow myself enough time to simply take my time when I’m outdoors. Sometime our lives have so much going on that we schedule our outdoor fun and only leave a few hours to get out and enjoy it. This is ok to do, but it doesn’t leave much time to just enjoy the moment. Our family has been hiking and we’ve had to keep an eye on the time because of another commitment or because we knew it was going to get dark. We didn’t have time to just take 15 minutes and sit in a location and just take it in. By giving yourself time, whether it’s a day or half a day you’re giving yourself time to be in the moment to enjoy the moment and not feel rushed to hurry through whatever activity you're doing.

One of the biggest things you can do to enjoy the outdoors is give yourself time.

· Sit and Listen

This one is important to truly enjoy the moment that you’re in. It’s pretty simple. Just sit and listen. If you’ve ever been deer hunting you’ve experienced the calm and quiet of the woods. You sit for hours sometimes and just listen to the symphony of woods. Or if your fishing on a lake early in the morning. You experience the calm before the busyness of the day starts. Take some time, whether 15 minutes or an hour, to just sit and take in your surroundings. If you’re hiking on a trail with benches. Stop, sit and listen. Take it in and remind yourself why you’re out there doing what you're doing. Leave your everyday world behind and be in the moment that you’re currently in.

There are studies out there that say how important it is for us to relax our minds. It allows us to be more productive and focus on other tasks better than if we’d just go from one task to the other. How many times have you been working at your computer, maybe struggling for a resolution for a problem, only to walk away for five minutes and take a break and then find the solution when you return. If a quick five minute break can have that big of an effect, image how much good a day outdoors would do for your health.

Remember these few tips the next time you head outdoors and really live in the moment as one of Wisconsin’s Outdoor Explorers.

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