As a mother of quite the circus, getting outside isn’t just another activity. Getting outside is how we save our sanity, decompress, and have fun all at the same time. If you didn’t know, nature is magical like that.
Our family recently made a big move from Louisiana up to the land of unending snow, polar vortexes, wind advisories, and school cancellations. You might know it as Ohio, but we have nicknamed it “Snow-hio”. This nasty weather has really put a damper on my family’s mental and physical health. I know some hard-core midwesterners who would laugh at us, hiding in our house until warmer temperatures, but our long, leisurely walks and bike rides just can’t happen with wind chills in the negative 20’s. In Louisiana, it hardly gets cold enough to hunker down inside. Maybe wet, raining, and muddy, but not lock-yourself-in-the-house-and-binge-baked- goods freezing cold.
It has certainly been a reminder of how much my family requires times spent outside. It’s like being unable to take a deep breath and then suddenly you’re free to go outdoors and you can breathe again. All the fresh oxygen comes rushing in and you feel so connected with your family, and life, and if you’re a spiritual person, God.
That’s how serious we are about getting away from our regular lives and responsibilities. Just taking a walk for an hour and not talking about homework, being in trouble at school, last night’s argument, or finances. No phones, no television, no begging to play a video game. It’s like a deep breath for your family. Five stars. Highly recommend.
I’m sure that evening strolls and bike rides aren’t possible for some families. There’s work schedules, practices, projects, and some have nowhere to walk. But I would encourage you to carve out some time, any time, to take a walk with your family. My kids love to find animals, leaves, acorns, sticks, mud puddles, watch airplanes fly overhead, run, skip, eat flowers our neighbor says are edible… it rejuvenates them. I’m certain it would do the same for your family.
We are so close to Spring here in Snow-hio, and I’m guessing in your part of the country, too. So get ready, dust off your sneakers and your bike helmets, and go fill your lungs with some fresh air!
Allison Pickett is a mom of four wild ones and married to a giant, bearded man. Reading, crying about things she reads, Netflix, crying about things she Netflix-es, eating cookies, crying about eating cookies… these are some of her favorite hobbies.