Being outside tends to make people happy. I’m no exception to this.
I discovered on our 10-month RV trip that being outside is one of the best ways to give me a quick mood boost and keep my depression at bay. I rediscover this every time I head out of the house for a midday meeting or to run errands in my neighborhood.
When I leave the house:
- My creative juices start flowing.
- My energy levels soar.
- I sleep better at night.
And yet actually getting my butt outside on a regular basis is a constant struggle for me.
Why don’t we do the things we know are good for us?
I have a long list of excuses.
There are a few factors working against me.
- I work from home.
- We have one car, which my husband uses for work.
- My kids take the bus to school.
- We live in an age that allows just about everything to be done with the power of the Internet.
All of that adds up to me being able to go days without having any reason to leave the house – other than my survival, that is. (Apparently not putting on real pants trumps mental well being.)
Am I the only work-at-home mom who finds herself homebound?
Not according to Twitter.
I’ve decided to set a goal that will help me get out of the house more. Of course, “get out of the house more” is a horrible goal that’s destined to fail because it isn’t specific or measurable.
I will go outside for at least five minutes every day in December.
Why only five minutes?
Because baby-sized goals are less intimidating and easier to follow through on. Because if I commit to going outside for five minutes, I’m more likely to go outside for an hour – but saying I have to go do something for an hour might feel so unmanageable that I do nothing at all.
“You can do anything for five minutes.” – my mom
Five minutes a day for 31 days.
It does get cold in December, but I’ve already decided that I’m going to appreciate this winter. Fortunately, I own a winter coat and lots of knitted accessories designed to keep me warm in the cold.
I can do this!
Will you help me?
Accountability is always a powerful motivator for me, which is why I’m sharing my goal with you. I’m also going to try to take a picture when I’m outside and share it on Instagram and Facebook. Look for me there and feel free to harass me if you don’t see me posting proof of my adventures in the outside world.
You could also join me – power in numbers! – and tag your own photos with #GoOutside.
Yes, I know this is a little sad.
Leaving the house should not be a project. It should not be hard.
But it is currently a challenge for me, and I don’t should on myself.
Instead, I accept what is, identify what I want it to be, and make a plan to bridge the gap. I’m tackling this plan five minutes at a time.
Are you with me?