If you’re like me, life moves at the speed of light. You wake up, eat breakfast, head to work, take a lunch break, head back to work, come home, have diner, relax in front of the T.V., and then head to bed. This is your routine, you follow it every day, looking forward to the weekend with great eagerness and anticipation.
When 5:00 Friday afternoon hits, you punch out and head home with excitement, “you are now free” (at least for a couple days). Throughout the week you have been looking forward to these two days, you’ve made what, in your mind, is the plans for the best weekend ever! You’re going to party until you drop, sleep as long as you want, and not worry about a thing.
Then reality sets in….
You’ve got errands to run, projects to complete, kid’s sporting events to attend, laundry to finish….
Before you know it, the weekend has flown by and your exhausted.
Where did the weekend go? What happened to your plans? How are you going to face the next week?
What do you do in these situations? Why do we do this to ourselves? How can we give ourselves a break?
The Solution: Slow Down and Enjoy the View
We have the best stress-reliver out there, it is simple, it is free; it’s nature.
Now, there are many other things that can help us relieve stress: sports, exercise, music, games (just to name a few). Some are quite wholesome; others not so much (i.e. drugs, pornography, etc.). However, it is my belief that nature; the outdoors; these are the best stress-relievers available to everyone.
Having a bad day? Go for a hike, sit under the shade of a tree, lay down a blanket and watch the clouds blow by. Enjoy the sea of color from a garden of flowers. Enjoy the strength and majesty of a forest of trees. Jane Austen put it perfectly when she said:
“‘To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment.'”
Do these things, and you will break away from the world for a time, you will transport yourself to a different world, one where there is no care, no stress. This is a tried and true method; one that has been observed for Millenia.
The Greatest Gift
This world is a gift we all have been given, it is chalk-full of things that can help us relax and enjoy the simple beauty of life. All we need to do, is slow down our lightspeed lives, and give ourselves time to enjoy the world around us. If we stop, even for 15 mins, and simply enjoy the view; we will find a sense of peace that we have never experienced before. We will find our ability to focus on the important things enhanced. In the words of Sylvia Plath:
“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.'”
The Bell Jar
Nature’s greatest gift for mankind is its beauty and calm. It is a gift that cannot be surpassed by commercial things; and all we need to do is stop and enjoy it.
So do yourself a favor, slow down your life; enjoy nature’s simplistic beauty, and give yourself the break you deserve. There is no need to punish yourself by racing through life and forgetting it’s true meaning: “to be happy”. In the words of Rachel Carson:
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. … There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”