Hey all! I originally wrote on this topic over on WinnebaGoLife. With summer here, it seems more fitting than ever, so thought I’d tweak it and re-share…
You probably know this, but we aren’t full-time RVers. James and I have an actual house, yard, and all the headaches that come with those things located near the ski canyons of Salt Lake City, Utah. I’ve got a full load of personal training clients whom I adore, and that tethers me (to some extent), to our home. While we love having our roots planted in Salt Lake on most days, there are times when city living gets to us. The traffic, the smog, the sirens, the long lines…
On particularly bad days when we’re not on the road, I look out the window at our RV, Lance, longingly. Because sometimes, I just need a nature fix.
I’m sure you can all relate to this. After all, humans have found solace in nature since the dawn of time. And yet here we are living in an era more disconnected from nature than ever before. Did you know that Americans spend more time in vehicles than they do outdoors? That was the findings of some research done by the Harvard School of Public Health. I find that troublesome.
Because it means we’re getting it all wrong.
Nature has healing powers, there are 100’s of studies that back me up on this one. Time spent in nature has been proven to significantly lower the stress hormone cortisol, drop blood pressure, improve our mental performance, and lower our heart rate. Being in nature lets us dial down, and gives our brain a rest, too.
As RVers, we are fortunate. With our adventurous genes and the rig to get us there, getting back to nature can be as easy as opening the RV door.
James and I work hard to lead a “fit” RV lifestyle, and it isn’t always easy. There’s also a misconception that being fit simply means lots of exercise and healthy eating. But that’s only one part. Managing our emotional health (which includes our stress levels) is another. That’s where nature comes in. Immersing ourselves in nature helps with the emotional side of leading “fit” lives. Here’s how we do it.
Plan stops in forests and state parks:
Don’t you love it when you hit your destination, somewhere new with beautiful surroundings, and it’s such a surprising treasure of a spot you marvel how it’s possible you’ve lived your whole life never knowing it existed? RVing gives us so many of these breathtaking moments.
There’s a big difference between a bustling RV park and a remote BLM campground. One is more social and busy, the other offers serenity and solace. While both have their place in a healthy RV lifestyle, camping in more remote locations puts nature right outside your door. Don’t you feel your stress levels melting just thinking about it? I do!
Do your normal inside stuff outside:
We’ve all got established habits in the RV we do with no thought; SOME of us more than others (ahem, James). But when you shake things up, even just slightly, you’ve suddenly got a whole new perspective on it. Try taking some of the stuff you normally do inside outdoors; have coffee, read, cook dinner, yoga stretches, Facebook (and while you’re at it go like our PAGE!), you name it.
Finding excuses to get out of the RV immerses us in nature, and allows us to recalibrate our senses. It’s not only a boost for our well-being, but also a way to be more mindful and present in our daily tasks that we otherwise thoughtlessly breeze through.
Exploring your natural surroundings means you’ll get a little exercise, and exercise is the best natural mood booster there is. On top of that, there’s something rather peaceful about squatting down and touching a plant, investigating the fossils in a rock bed, or spotting wildlife as you walk through the forest.
So gang, there you have it. Hopefully, as y’all plan your upcoming trips you’ll make sure some nature time is at the top of the agenda. Because while we all are just trying to survive stress and the inevitable challenges life sends our way, surviving it isn’t enough. We need to take care of our emotional health and make sure we’re taking breaks from the stresses surrounding our daily lives; our health depends on it. Time in nature can be just the ticket. And really, there’s no one right way to reap the healing benefits of nature. Regardless of how you do it, research shows you’ll be thankful you did.
As always, rooting for y’all! Here’s to living our BEST lives.