Let's not dance around it, this shelter in place things sucks! To say the least. We are facing unprecedented times, and it is definitely not easy. But to those of you who are following the rules, I applaud you. I know it is hard when you see your friends going on camping trips or actors/actresses sheltering in place in big mansions on private beaches. But just because we are stuck inside, doesn't mean that we have to put our lives on hold. Below I have put together a full week of activities you can do from home to adventure on!
Monday - Start a Yoga/Meditation Routine
I had been hiking for two days on my annual solo journey, this time it was the Skyline to Sea trail in the Santa Cruz mountains. Jamming out to music in my headphones, I was on a roll. About halfway through my hike, I saw a gorgeous overlook and decided it was the perfect spot to stop for lunch and a stretch. As I turned off my music and started to quiet down, I started to let the silence of the present moment wash over me. That afternoon, on a mountain-side just sitting and being by myself, I gave myself the opportunity to quiet my mind, and that is when I realized the adventure wasn't all about the journey, but about learning how to live in the silence, live in the present moment.
If you follow my social media, you know I have started my own yoga/meditation morning practice to tap into this silence and ground myself in the day, the present moment. It is a stressful time to be a human on this earth right now, whether you are worried about getting sick, losing your job, or your kids are just driving you crazy while you are trying to work from home, or in my case your spoiled pup is driving you crazy, it can be tough. Whether it be incorporating a morning yoga routine or an afternoon meditation practice, schedule some time in your day check back-in with yourself and re-center.
Pro tip: Set yourself up for success by queuing everything up the night before and setting you intention for the next day. Even better set aside some space in your house for your practice, a place where you can get away from it all and focus on your routine.
Personally, I have started taking a half an hour each morning to make my coffee, jot down a few things I am grateful for in my journal, and then doing a 15 minute morning yoga routine. Beginner at yoga or meditating and don't know where to start? There are a ton of free resources online. I actually just YouTube morning yoga routines and save videos I like to a morning yoga playlist. I like really like Yoga with Adriene, she has a bunch of free context that is all super accessible to beginners and advanced yogis. Also, there are a bunch of meditation apps you can download now on your phone that remind you to take time out of your day or will lead you through a guided meditation. I've used Headspace in the past and it worked pretty well (I believe they even have a free trail period so you can just try it out) or I also currently use the free version of the Luminosity app, which includes both mind games to keep you sharp as well as guided meditations. Also a good friend of mine turned me onto Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or taping) a few years ago, she recently sent me a link to Tapping Soultions app which I plan on checking out.
Tuesday - Explore your Backyard
The days are certainly starting to blur all together, and it is definitely easy right now to stay in your pj's, skip the shower and lose your sense of time. Although I would not recommend going to any larger parks right now (how can you get around people on a small trail without breathing or touching each other), slap on your bandanna which can double as a face-mask (my favorite multi-tool) and go explore your neighborhood. I have been having so much fun exploring my local pocket parks and found some pretty awesome local views or unmarked parks.
Pro tip: Explore via google maps first to find spots you may have never known were even there, just look for large green areas or cool names.
This can also be a great opportunity to break-in new gear or train for your next backpacking trip. So throw on your pack and hiking boots and get used to how it feels to walk further distances with all your gear. Start easy with the pack empty or with just a few items, then start working your way up by adding more weight and walking more hills. Also is a good opportunity to break in new gear, such as hiking shoes, or just experimenting with new gear, like new socks.
Wednesday - Inventory your hiking gear
What better way to use your time then to do a little spring cleaning...of your hiking gear!
First bring everything you have out and determine what you may need. Next, see what you have excess of and see what you can swap with other people for things you may need.
Pro Tip: Swap excess gear with friends and trade for something you need.
If you can't strum up a trade with somebody else, use your REI bucks you should have gotten in March to get those few items you will need for your trip that you are planning with your squad. Also REI, as is almost all retails, are having big sales right now, so now is the time to buy.
Thursday - Re-Connect Nature
Whether it be something as simple as stopping to smell all the beautiful flowers blooming right now, watering your plants, buying flowers to put on your desk, or planting something new and watching it grow (aka. a victory garden). Take some time today to re-ground and use your senses to pull yourself back into the present moment.
Friday - Plan Your Next Adventure with Your Squad
Set-up a virtual Friday happy hour to check-in with your besties and plan a group adventure. It doesn't have to be anything special, maybe you just pick a date and fantasize about where you guys want to go. Plus, it can give you guys something to look forward to when all this is done. Unfortunately, international travel may be out for quite a bit longer, according to this USA today article, we may have to wait as long as August till we get the official green light. But this give us the perfect opportunities to check out the good ole' USA. There are so many places across the country that I want to check out, I recently went to Iceland, Zion and Crater Lake and the North Umpqua Trail in Oregon and have some curated trips for groups you can check out. High on my list of places to check out include Yosemite (yeah I know I live so close and still never been) Arizona, Utah, Montana...the list just goes on.
Pro Tip: Make a google doc that everybody can edit from which you and your friends can brainstorm trip ideas.
Extra bonus, have you ever been backpacking before. Well if this shelter-in-place has taught me one thing that is to seize the day. Maybe push yourself a little and start planning your first backpacking trip. Check out one of my later blog posts on tips for planning your next backpacking trip.
Saturday - Be a Kid Again
Remember when you were a kid and you would set up a tent in your backyard or build a fort in your living room? Life sucks right now, so lets change our perspective and have fun with it. Pull out your hammock and set it up in your living room, break out the headlamp and tent and re-create the backcountry in your backyard, or try out new camping recipes over your backyard firepit or fireplace...or keep it simple and just make s'mores in the microwave. I guarantee soon your worries will melt away and be replaced with childhood memories of what it was like to be silly and play with life and all the experiences it may bring.
Pro Tip: Get silly with it, the wackier the better.
Sunday - Take it Easy
Sunday is the day for rest, so practice some self-care at the end of the week. Just because you are at home doesn't mean you have to be productive all the time. Allow yourself a day to give yourself a break, maybe pick up that book on the shelf you have never been able to get to or better yet, light a candle and throw on a face mask. This is a stressful time and it is super important we make sure to take care of ourselves right now.