Have you ever needed a recharge? Not a bottle of wine at the end of a bad day. Not a trendy "cleanse" that you'll quit on day four. Not a new diet plan to make you shed the same five pounds you keep gaining and losing over and over again.
No, I'm talking about a mental recharge, where you try to slow life down a bit and get back to what really matters.
There are any number of reasons you could be looking for a recharge. Maybe someone close to you recently passed away. Maybe you don't like your current job. Maybe you're going through a break-up. Or maybe you're just tired of the craziness of life — always being scheduled, constantly stressed out and never having time to just be.
I can think of about 33 reasons I need a recharge, so here I am … ready to document my 21 days in a very public and honest way for all the Internet world to read. And I hope that you'll consider joining me along the way.
Now this is the part where I should pause and take a moment to reassure you how legit this recharge is. You know, how it's medically sound, based on scientific research and guaranteed to make you a better, happier person.
Um, actually, it turns out that I’m not authorized to do that. In fact, my editor told me I can't make any medical claims or guarantees at all. [Chirping cricket sounds]
Okay, this just got a little awkward. But before you click over to BuzzFeed and its latest quiz, hear me out. I might not have a medical degree or any authority whatsoever to make recommendations on what you should do with your physical or emotional well-being, but as a journalist and writer, I've done a heck of a lot of research over the years on one main topic: getting kids outside.
I've written a few books on this topic and could spend thousands of words and multiple hours telling you how important this is. For instance, I could tell you how the research shows that kids who get outside are healthier, smarter and happier. I could also tell you how doctors are prescribing nature as an antidote to stress, anxiety and depression.
Now since you're on a website with "nature" in its name, I'm going to assume that you already embrace the importance of the outdoors. So let's just skip the big stuff and go straight to the epiphany.
If there are countless benefits to getting kids outside, then shouldn't it work for adults, too?!
Either your mind is blown right now or you're thinking something like, "Is she getting paid for this?" In any case, this pretty much sums up the crux of the 21-day recharge. (Psst: The foundation is about getting outside.)
Yes, for the next 21 days, I'm going to make it a priority to hang out with Mother Nature. Walking to the mailbox or from the Target parking lot into and out of the store doesn't really count. (Aw, snap!)
Now I'm a pretty outdoorsy person already, and I'm going to guess you are, too. Being outside in nature every day in a real, purposeful way sounds awesome, right? I agree. So let's challenge ourselves and take this recharge one step further. Along with each day of spending quality time outside, I'm also going to choose one thing from this list of 50 ways to live your life happy. Some of the items on this list are simple, like take a nap or treat yourself to a coffee. (Yaaaaaaasssss! I want to do both of those multiple times!) While others are more complex, like visiting a farm or taking a road trip. But the beautiful thing is, you can choose anything you want and interpret it how you want. For instance, "random act of kindness," is on the list, and it's very general. You could seriously take that in 41 different directions.
I'll be writing brief updates about my recharge daily on my website. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag of #21dayrecharge. Feel free to join in, posting pictures or comments about your own recharge. Otherwise, I invite you to follow my progress and keep me accountable along the way.
I know life can get crazy, busy and messy. Sometimes it feels like I don't even have time to fold my laundry, let alone recharge my life in a profound and meaningful way. But it's only 21 days. I get to go outside every single day of it. And I get to pick from a list of things to do that are supposed to make me happy.
Hmmm. I think I can handle this. #21dayrecharge