Me time: Enjoying the Outdoors!

Hello Readers!  Well, it’s almost time for school to return to session, and our long hot Summer days are about to become cool and crisp Autumn afternoons.  This is the time to make the most of the warmth before it’s too late.  And what better way than to celebrate me time with the outdoors!

Now, I get that most of us women are too busy to even consider me time, but I’m telling you it is the perfect time to celebrate yourself and get some fresh air at the same time.  We need it sometimes.  I, personally, feel like I spend a lot of time cooped up inside with my son, and I try to get out regularly as a result.  Both of us need the fresh air, and it doesn’t hurt to get some sunlight.

Personally, I try to find different ways to get outside, even if I have to take my son along.  A couple favorites are picnics and walks.  As I have mentioned before, we do weekly picnics with my husband in a park near his store.  It gives us an opportunity to connect as a family while also providing us with some much-needed outside exposure.  Also, it gives our son a chance to learn more about his environment and his world.  I highly recommend having a picnic right now with your kids.  When we had our first picnic in March, I wasn’t quite sure how well it would work, but it has become a huge part of our weekly routine.  And, best of all, it’s free entertainment!  You can treat it like an adventure, and your kids will love it!

If you still crave some “me” time, however, why not set up a play date/picnic at the park with a friend?  I recently had one with a friend, and I was not disappointed.  We were able to catch up on our lives a little while our kids-her son is nearly 2 and her daughter is 3-played with some sidewalk chalk and bubbles after a quick lunch.  It was an easy way to get a little “me” time while still with my son, and it was refreshing to talk to another mom for a change.  So, check with your friends to see if they would like to do a picnic in a nearby park this week.

Another way I find some “me” time, even with my son in tow, is to go on a walk.  I do this frequently, though I will admit that I don’t do it as frequently as I should.  But during the warmer months this is a great way to get some fresh air that is always free.  During my pregnancy, Ryan and I tried to go on at least one longer and two smaller walks a week.  Today, we are lucky to get a walk in together each week, but that hasn’t changed the way I look at them.  Sean and I have frequently gone for walks to our local coffee shop. We’ve gone for walks in shopping gallerias while visiting my husband at work. On Ryan’s days off, we have attended various local, and often free, events in order to get walks in.  Since Sean’s birth last September, I have taken him on walks on nearly a weekly basis.  It has helped improve my own health while strengthening his by exposing him to his environment and getting him some fresh air and sunlight.  As an added bonus, we have taken him to various local events to give him something new to look at and to expose him to different cultures.  Just last week we took him to see the classic cars at one of the local resorts during our annual Hot August Nights event.  Even though it was hot and we weren’t entirely sure he understood what was going on, the cars were painted in such a variety of colors and tones that it was a colorful event.  And he seemed to enjoy it; even though it was noisy, he never cried, and he smiled at everyone and everything.

My point is this: getting outside for some “me” time, even with your kids in tow, can actually be quite enjoyable and relaxing.  There are always sights to see and places to roam.  Taking a walk through the neighborhood and pointing out different elements to your environment-asking your kids to count the number of cars that drive by or are of a certain color, the number of animals they see or the number of birds overhead-is a great way to engage them during your walk while also helping to teach them to be aware of their surroundings and to count higher each time.

Now, if you are lucky enough to score some “me” time and it’s a nice day, why not head to a local park with a good book?  On a couple of occasions that I have been able to get some me time, I have found ways to get outside on my own.  I have packed a lunch for myself when I knew I was going to be out running errands while Sean was with my in-laws for the afternoon, and I had a picnic alone in a nearby park.  I have taken my laptop a couple of times and I’ve sat in the outdoor patio of a coffee shop with a cup of my favorite coffee, and I’ve worked on my blog posts or one of my many projects.  I have even taken along a book or my everyday journal and I’ve sat outside to read or brainstorm on projects on occasion.  Just before a trip with Sean to spend some time with my mom, I was able to enjoy the outdoors on the patio at my in-laws’ home after our weekly dinner with them.  While everyone was inside watching the latest sports game, I sat outside with a cup of coffee and my everyday journal and I had a brainstorming session on a decorating idea I’ve been contemplating.  Even though I was nearby my family, it was the perfect opportunity to get a few minutes of “me” time in an otherwise busy day.

So, Readers, I would love to hear of ways that you have incorporated the outdoors into your own “me” time.  Can you offer any suggestions or ideas that would help us out?

Until next time,

-BBM

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