The Great Outdoors: Part 5 – A Slow Experiment

“Let go of your expectations – what you think it should look like. Let the benefits flow as and when they will.”

I’m going to say this right now: this month’s experiment has been a game changer for me. Really, truly, honestly world shifting. I thought spending time in nature every day would be impactful, I even thought the benefits might exceed the wellbeing buzz I’ve come to associate with time outside. But I didn’t expect it to be quite so powerful.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I even started the experiment by reminiscing on my recovery from post natal depression, and the role nature played. My garden was the place I slowly remade myself, one tiny discovery at a time. I’ve known the power of nature for a long time.

In today’s poggie Ben and I wrap up our experience of the experiment, and chat about the wonderful (truly, wonder-full) final week of the experiment, which included birthday hikes, soaking in natural hot springs, snowball throwing playtime, skiing and discovering icy cold natural springs virtually in our backyard. I also had a timely reminder to let go of the “shoulds” and expectations of what these outdoor experiences would look like, and simply enjoy them for what they are.

We also look at the increasing number of studies finding a strong link between time outdoors and improved mental health. I wanted to steer clear of this conversation for most of the month as it’s always problematic to start throwing around the idea that certain activities and substances can cure mental illness, simply because there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution, but given the mental health crisis we’re facing in Australia and so many other countries, it’s a part of the conversation that needed to happen here and needs to continue happening.

 

It’s been such an incredible shift for both Ben and I, and I’d love to know if you’ve found it as transformative. Let us know over on Instagram using the hashtag #slowexperiment, or comment on Facebook. And also a massive thank you to everyone who’s joined us in the experiment – we’ve loved seeing your posts, and your passion and honesty in sharing has been inspiring. We’ll be announcing the May experiment later in April, so be sure to stay tuned for that too.

In the meantime, enjoy!

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