Over the past few months I feel like I have finally got a grip on wilderness self-care. It is really easy to get lost in the work of running a camp, work into the wee hours and loose yourself. It happened last year and it may happen again, but I have found some things that really have helped me find a balance and remember to LOVE where I live and what I do.
1. Make Time for LOCAL Friendships: I finally found my network of Northwoods Girls. I see them all together and indivudally on coffee dates, running errands, car pooling, helping out when each other is in need and so many fun things. These ladies have become my unit, my family! They each bring something so different yet now necessary into my life. When we first moved here, I felt guilty making friends, leaving camp and spending time with them. BUT, lets remember I am a social creature, a very social creature and need my girl time. An hour coffee date before grocery shopping is like the best 60 mins ever and I come back home relaxed and in a wonderful mood. That being said, making time for local friendships is #1 on my self-care list!
2. Make plans with long distance friendships: I miss home a lot, last year especially around the holidays. I just wanted to go shopping with my girls, or grab a nice coffee, hang out on their couch and be part of their social media pictures. I wanted my ladies back. Well, now I make plans to see them with lots of notice. I have done this a few times now and I LOVE IT! I say, hey i’m coming, lets make it worth it and guess what, it totally is! I love my long-term long distance ladies that have put up with not only be moving 5+ hours away but also my lack of communication since living such a rural life. I love you all!
3. Read: Bad day, long day, stressful day or rainy day… get out of the funk with a book. I have just started reading again and man was that the right choice. I have been making the time, not waiting for it to come and I am so very glad I changed my habits. Some nights when I am in a crappy mood, I head to bed early and read with a cup of tea after a hot relaxing shower. When the morning was too stressful, I swing in my hammock and read before opening up the store in the afternoon. If the weather is crappy and the to-do list is done, I pick up the book instead of getting lost in the TV. It is so peaceful and makes me feel more balanced and reconnected.
4. Run, Walk or just get the hell outside: This is a big big big one! I sucked at this for over a year and just now am mastering it. I am concentrating on getting outside more and moving my body!! Our new pup helps that of course but sometimes its just me, taking a walk to the marina or heading out for a run. Fresh air really does wonders for your body. I am also working hard to hike twice a month and man oh man I don’t regret that for a second! I hope to hike all the mountains in the area by the end of next year. Lets see if I can do it!
5. Looking out the front window, taking a deep breathe and remembering that this was the RIGHT CHOICE: My hubby is good at helping me with this. Whenever I get depressed, I can look out my front window and see the lake, the mountains, some really awesome animals and my husband by my side. Our lives before here were chaotic, city-like and not nearly as beautiful. We are so lucky to call this place home and I need to remember that and cherish it!
I know to some it might seem crazy that I need to focus more on self-care here in the woods then I did when I was back home. Yet, when i was home I had my whole life to learn how to cope and heal and take care of myself. I had the ocean, my family, my familiar surroundings. I often found comfort in coffee shops and my gym and I don’t have any of those here. I am still learning and growing as an adult and now in a world so different from where I lived most my life or where I ever thought I would live. I am happy here and now even more happy that I am finding my grove and becoming the best version of myself.
Tell me, what are your self-care tools? What do you find relaxing and helpful in grounding and calming yourself?