Let’s face it: the work thing can get old after a while, no matter what you do. Maybe you work in an office in a cramped cubicle, staring at a computer screen all day. Or maybe you work in a factory with limited engagement with the outside world. Or maybe you do deliveries for a company and you spend your days behind the wheel of a vehicle. Whatever the case may be, you do it over and over again – and you’re ready to get out and get in touch with your natural side.
You have to let loose! Let your hair down! Break free from the monotony and live a little!
That can be tough, especially if you’ve fallen into the dreaded rut. You tell yourself you’re going to get out this weekend and your plans never quite materialize. It’s an easy habit to fall into and a hard habit to break. We’ve all been there.
So now we’re going to break the habit. We’re going to get outside this weekend no matter what. We’re not going to go on a road trip across the country; no, we’re going to get a breath of fresh air, just enough to be relaxing and help break up the monotony of the day-to-day.
Here are seven tips to help you get outside this weekend and live life to the fullest.
1. Stay near home.
The longer you go without going outside, the more you feel like you have to do when you finally DO plan to go outside. Every weekend becomes an ambitious plan to hike the Grand Canyon or climb Mount Everest. The key here is to keep things small and local. If it’s been a while since you’ve gotten out of the house, you’ll want to go super small: spend a couple of hours down at the park, or if you live near the beach, spend an hour or so soaking up rays and swimming. Practicality is the key here; there’s no need to do anything huge.
If you get out semi-regularly, think a little bit broader – but not too broad. Is there a campground an hour from your house? Think about making it a weekend trip.
The point being: getting to your destination shouldn’t be part of the experience. When you think back on your weekend, the amount of time it took you to get there shouldn’t factor into the memory. You want to get out of work on Friday (or wake up on Saturday) and be able to go straight to your destination with little to no effort.
2. Use tools to help inspire you.
If you have a general idea as to what you want to do, just Google it. For example, if you know there are hiking trails a few miles from your house, then you already know what to do for your weekend. But what if you’re new to town? Or what if you feel like you’ve already done it all?
Not to worry. There are plenty of websites dedicated to helping you find things to do nearby. Check out places like Meetup, GroupSpaces, and MeetIn make finding new things to do and people to meet an easy task.
3. Plan ahead.
Commitment helps to reinforce your resolve to do something, and planning ahead means you’re going to maximize the experience. For example, if you plan to go camping over the weekend, make sure your campground is local. Make sure you know how to get there, and try to take routes that will bypass the Friday afternoon commute. Use your free time to plan for the trip. What are you going to need? What will the weather be like? Pack a little bit each day (or, if you already have a camping pack, go through it and make sure your supplies are fresh) and make sure you’re covered for every possibility. The last thing you want to do is get to your destination and realize that you left something critical at home.
4. Plan like a pro.
It’s one thing to plan ahead, it’s another thing to plan right. Sure, if you’re going hiking, you’re going to want to have water bottles, breathable clothes, and good shoes (among other things). But, you want to plan smart. Carrying an extra sweatshirt and pair of long pants if it gets cold? That’s planning smart. Carrying a sweatshirt, a light jacket, a heavy jacket, long pants, long socks, wool socks, a wind breaker, a poncho, a heavy hat and a light hat? Not so much. The point is, making sure you’re planning smart. Check the weather and plan accordingly. Bring water. Bring enough food. If you’re going to a national park, call the park rangers to hear what they have to say about the days ahead. If you’re meeting up with friends, get their advice on what you should bring.
5. Dress to succeed.
By the time you’re ready to leave, the only thing you should be doing are the things that you can’t do otherwise (like changing your clothes). Ditch the work clothes, put on some clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. Take off the metal jewelry and put on your silicone ring. Pack your car and off you go!
6.Make the most of time perception.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes time feels like it moves quickly, and sometimes it moves slowly?
For example, maybe you remember that summer vacations when you were a child seemed to last forever. Nowadays the months of June through August seem to shoot right by. Is it just you, or is time speeding up?
No, not necessarily. What you’re dealing with is something called time perception. Here’s how it works, and how it relates to your weekend camping trip.
When you’re introducing yourself to new experiences, your brain has more information to process. It slows down in order to digest all of the new input and make sense of it. For that reason, time seems to slow down. Once you’ve gotten a handle on whatever it is that you’re doing, time seems to speed up because you’ve done it before.
You’ll also notice that in the former case, the time seems to be of higher quality. These times – the times when time seems slower – those are the experiences you remember. When time seems to be moving faster, you’re less likely to remember the experience.
You do have some control over it, however. In other words, you can quite literally plan to have a memorable weekend. You simply need to do something that puts you out of your comfort zone. Introduce yourself to a new experience. Never been camping? Go camping. Never been hiking? Go hiking. If it’s nearby and you’ve never done it, do it and make the most of it. Your weekend will seem to last twice as long and you’ll remember it fondly for the rest of your life.
7.Spend it with friends.
This probably goes without saying, but the best way to enjoy yourself is with a shared experience. Bring along your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, best friends – whoever it is that contributes to your time. And remember that your weekend is YOUR time. Is there someone that doesn’t contribute to your time? Maybe it’s someone who always seems mired in negativity, who has a lousy outlook on life, who tends to do a lot of taking and very little giving. Feel free to tell them to stay home. Your weekend is about YOU and the people who make YOUR life feel fulfilling. You spend the rest of the week working and the last thing you want to do is make your weekend feel like work.
Fill your weekend with people who contribute to your time and you’re guaranteed to enjoy yourself.