Yesterday, I was pissed. I hated everything, and I had a bit of meltdown about it, to be honest.
To start, I’ll say that it should have been the BEST day for me, yesterday. Some might say that I have an unnatural love for snowstorms. I wait all Summer and Fall for my favorite season to start again, while many of my friends dread it. My family does not understand me, but the snow is amazing.
It’s just so magical and exciting – like a winter wonderland – with the glistening everything, everywhere. I LOVE IT! And yesterday was our first big snowstorm of the season, so I should have been outside frolicking and getting all of the benefits that we know that the outdoors can give to our mental health, memory, physical body and a myriad of other amazing things we know all about.
I was not outside yesterday.
Instead, I was inside getting frustrated that nothing was working and I was never going to get outside when my partner came into the studio in the middle of the day unexpectedly and interrupted me during my freak out. I just lost my s***t and had one of those meltdowns we only share with the people we love…because humans are messed up.
I decided not to give up on the whole day and tried something normally enjoyable, though I didn’t even feel like it, to salvage the day.
And it worked! So, I made a list of a bunch of different things we can all do to get some of the calm and peace we would normally get from going outdoors – when we really don’t want to go outdoors.
Now, this list is not going to be a regurgitation of all the other lists on the internet on how being outside can boost memory, increase vitamin D intake, help weight loss, and help with depression.
It’s a list for those of us who know these benefits already, but we tend to get wrapped up in life and forget those ever so important reasons to get outside and care for ourselves – especially when we need to do it the most – or we get overwhelmed by the thought of doing anything before we can even start.
Try one of these simple things to promote your self-care, for those times when you JUST can’t get outside today.
1) Create a space dedicated to stretching, yoga, and meditation.
Having the space ready, even if it is just a yoga mat laid out, takes away the decision-making step and potential cleaning time (ahem…the excuses) and gives us a ready-made opportunity to enjoy the physical activity we need without putting on clean pants.
2) Morning Stretches or Desk Stretches
I love to do these stretches at my desk when I can’t or won’t take a break to go outside, but I need some space in my head and body. Take 10 minutes to move your body – right where you are.
I like to think of this not as the meditation where you have to free your mind of all thoughts, but as a time when I get to create the mental path I want to take for the day or shift how the day has been going to a new direction. Take a moment to allow your mind to explore, so that creativity and organization can come in.
4) Decorate your room with plants and nature-inspired decor.
Plants help with oxygen levels, brighten the room, and force you to open the blinds to let in that natural light, even if you want to hide. In addition to plants, you can place things in your space that remind you of the outdoors or even motivate you to get outside. Images of places you want to hike or images of places you already have hiked will work well. Surround yourself with nature-inspired motivation.
5) Write, journal, draw, or in some cases throw or splatter paint.
This is literally what I did to deal with my meltdown yesterday. Instead of crying and perpetuating the anger, I drew. When I didn’t like the drawing, I resisted a secondary meltdown and put some paint to it. Soon enough, I was actually enjoying the painting and it sparked my productivity again.
My partner also was able to escape relatively unscathed, for those of you who were wondering, so that’s good too.
So the next time that you feel your worst version of you welling up, don’t give up. You don’t need to plan a four-hour excursion to escape those feelings. You can try one of these low commitment things to add a little bit of the goodness you would get out there.
Have you tried any of these indoors self-soothing strategies before? Do you have any ideas for adding a little outdoors to your indoors to keep you calm? Share them below and join the conversation.
See you next time,