5 for 5 Self-Care Challenge: Get Outside

Self Care Challenge Day 5

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

It’s the last day of the challenge! How has your week been? I have been loving the connection, engagement, and stories that you have shared. I’m always so inspired by you during these challenges.

Today’s challenge is to go outside, even just for 5 minutes. I know it might not seem worth it to go outside for just 5 minutes, but my experience is that if you approach it intentionally, it can be a powerful tool for relaxation and connection to the natural world.

How to Relax Outside in 5 Minutes

Relax Outside in 5 Minutes

  1. Sit under a tree. Gaze at the leaves above you and watch the sunlight filtering through.
  2. Pick a leaf. Set a timer for 5 minutes and get to know your leaf really, really well. See if you can get familiar with each curve, vein, and color variation. See more about gazing meditation in this post.
  3. Lay in the grass and look at the clouds. When was the last time you did that? Can you still find dragons and butterflies?
  4. Practice experiencing the moment through your 5 senses – feel the sun on your skin, the breeze tickling your cheek, listen for birds, and smell the freshly cut grass.
  5. Do something you always loved to do outside as a kid: find a blade of grass and make it squeak, jump in rain puddles, turn in circles until you get dizzy, run down a hill, or anything else that strikes your fancy.

[bctt tweet=”Be 5 again: Jump in puddles, turn in circles until you’re dizzy, or run down a hill.”]

Get Outside and Get Inspired

 

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Comment to Win!

You’ve got to comment to be entered to win the Starting Your Art Journal e-book or the portable art kit. Will you share about your experience getting outside today?

For official rules and more information, click here.

Creatively Yours,

Amy

39 Comments

  1. Joy

    I get outside almost every single day (baring absolutely horrible weather). This was the first time in for-ev-er I just sat outside by myself doing nothing but listening to the birds, the river, and even some insane frogs who are coming out even though it’s still winter and quite chilly here. The sun was warm, my coffee was tepid (leftover from this morning) but tasty, and it felt wonderful.

    Reply
    • Hillary Shidfar

      Nature is a poor mans therapist I’ve always said! Beautiful surroundings.

      Reply
  2. Greer

    Today my 11-month-old daughter and I took a walk outside – Callie’s first ACTUAL walk outside! There is nothing more amazing than being outside with a child who has never experienced it before – I literally felt like it was my first time outdoors too. At first she was so excited about just walking in general, then after she got used to it she started to take it all in. Feeling the grass blades, each one, until she ripped it up and stuck it in her mouth lol. Looking up at the leaves in the tree and staring at them flowing in the wind. Delicately touching the bark, feeling it’s roughness, until she ripped it off and stuck it in her mouth lol. Looking at the sky and clouds. It really was an incredible experience with Callie.

    Reply
    • Hillary Shidfar

      She sounds so silly!
      No wonder people say kids keep them young, I no doubt think children let the child out you once were no?

      Reply
      • Barbara Shelton

        What a beautiful picture to imagine. 🙂

        Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Greer:

      Congratulations!! What a huge day it was. Isn’t it amazing experiencing the joy of the world through your childrens’ eyes? I love that. SHE is in the moment. Let’s all learn and imitate.

      Namaste,
      Amy

      Reply
  3. Bunny

    I sometimes forget that I have the option to step outside for even just a few minutes. I can get stuck in an all-or-nothing thinking..like either I take a 45 minute walk outside or do nothing at all. But even just stepping outside for a few minutes getting some fresh air and changing the atmosphere-it does help. This is a good reminder

    Reply
    • Hillary Shidfar

      I’m like that too sometimes! All or nothing! It’s all about balance.

      Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Bunny:

      I totally hear you! That’s why I have to keep reminding myself of the 5 minute thing. I hope it helps. Sending you lots of enjoyment and presence this weekend.

      Amy

      Reply
  4. Kristina Sumpthin

    This morning I went out front and noticed how humid it was. It was 6am and it’s usually cooler than it was today. The humidity was in the 90% and it was already 96 degrees. I felt like I was breathing heated liquid air. I looked up at the sky to see if the moon was still out. I couldn’t see it through some scattered dark grey clouds. The past few mornings at this time I was able to see it over head. I could smell the recently cut grass. I admired how tall the crate myrtle trees have grown and on the very tops of them, they had bright fuchsia pink as well as light pink bundles of bloomed petals. The air held still, not a single breeze rustling in the trees. I listened to the cardinals singing and watched them hop around from branch to branch.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Kristina:

      WOW. Steamy! Where do you live again? Yikes that’s hot! I love hearing about the trees and birds and how much you took it all in.
      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
    • Hillary Shidfar

      What a picture you painted!
      The floral shop I work at got myrtle in and my co worker was arranging a big vase with it and it smelled WONDERFUL!

      Cardinals always catch my eye, do they ever stare at you and tilt their heads back and forth? I notice them do that when I see one.

      Reply
  5. Paulette gill

    Went outside today and sat on my very rustic deck for about ten minutes. The birds were singing and I could hear the donkey in the neighbors field. I also did a few stretches and took some deep breaths of the wonderful clean air.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Paulette:

      Isn’t stretching outdoors one of the most delicious things you could do? Thanks so much for sharing that vision!
      Amy

      Reply
  6. Sarah

    so easy to spend time outdoors and not pay attentions! I spent my five minutes picking flowers from my parents’ gardens, favoring the blossoms and the sound of all the bees buzzing around. Now I have a reminder of those five minutes inside, so I hope I will see them and slow down throughout the day.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Sarah:

      It sounds like you are having an absolutely fun and lovely lead up to your wedding day. Congratulations and please keep me posted about how your big day was!

      Cheers!
      Amy

      Reply
  7. Hillary Shidfar

    Hillary Shidfar‎Creative Self-Care
    2 mins ·
    Today’s challenge was difficult for me.
    I’ve been up since 4AM with the most excruciating neck pain radiating from my shoulders up to my head.
    I was rear ended by a woman on Tuesday and she was quick to say it was my fault (lie)
    I went into work and the pain wouldn’t stop so I left I have a Dr appointment at 11:30 to see what’s going on.
    I sat in my back yard with some Persian tea and tried to let go of things beyond my control.
    I observed the growth patterns of the trees while crickets and song birds conducted a symphony.
    I just couldn’t get past the pain and anger. I want to be at work, my co worker was going to teach me floral work ( my boss lets her teach me and have me arrange once a week)
    I was going to get paid (since the salmonella poising I’ve missed two weeks of work and need money)
    This woman who decided to rear end my car and blames me for it has taken that away from me for the time being.
    At the end of the five mins my cat came to say hello, as I ran my hand against her smooth coat I was able to view her curiosity and I then again looked at the trees.
    I can’t hold on to my anger or frustration just as the trees can’t control the wind or sudden storm uprooting them, I must learn from these experiences because in nature, nature doesn’t hinder at forest fires or destruction it leaves the seeds that will root and begin again creating a whole new Eco system and that’s what I need to do for myself.
    These are only hiccups in a far bigger picture.
    Sorry for the long post it’s just one of those days

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Hillary:

      I’m so sorry about the difficulties of late, but heartened to hear that you are approaching it all as a process and in a mindful way. Those are great tools. I hope you get to enjoy some more time doing something that helps you feel better.
      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
    • Ime

      Hillary,

      I am sorry this morning started out so difficult for you and that things you were most looking forward to have been taken away for now. I hope you got the chance to rest and let go. Hopefully the doctor and insurance companies can take some of the stress off your plate.

      Reply
      • Amy Johnson Maricle

        Ime:

        Your response is so kind and sensitive, and exactly the reason I love the people who come to hang out here.
        Cheers,
        Amy

        Reply
  8. Ime

    for today’s challenge I headed to this backyard tea garden in my town. The space is all shade trees and cobblestones, with ivy growing up the sides of benches. In the corner is a tiny tent with homemade hot and cold teas. My drink is made of rose petals, hibiscus, and spices. Sitting here away from the rush of the world, watching the humming birds drink nectar and the tiny red spiders like little dots on deep green leaves go about their day, it feels a bit like magic. I am grounded. Heart open. Resonating with the calm and joy of people, plants, and animals here connected by the sole purpose of being here and now.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Ime – What a lovely, full sensory experience you are describing for us all! I love those tiny red spiders!

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  9. Lynne Percival

    Oh my! It is hot here where I live! I did find a walking path in community. The path goes into a wooded area. I decided to explore this path. While walking slowly, I listened to the cicadas sing their “hot day” song…this took me back to childhood and fond memories of visiting Grandparents in the summer.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Lynne:

      I’m really feeling for all you Southerners right now! It sounds so hot! I love to hear cicadas too – so many childhood memories, right?

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  10. Barbara Shelton

    I took my short walk to our mailboxes. It is extremely hot outside so that was a little unpleasant but there was a little breeze that was a welcomed friend. I am thankful to be feeling some better today.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Barbara – This is what it’s all about – doing what you can, how you can and being mindful about it. Thanks for being such a great example. I’m hoping you get a chance to check out the webinar exercises and enjoy this weekend.
      All the best to you,
      Amy

      Reply
  11. Andrea

    Day 5, get outside! I started my day with a cup of coffee and painted my nails on my balcony! I noticed the noises from construction and cars close by, but tried to be mindful and tune into myself, body and the other beautiful things around me… The sun, breeze, smell of my plants, and the birds and squirrels chatting. #5for5selfcare #getoutside Thanks for this challenge! It inspired me to be creative and have a more active role in my own self-care.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Andrea – This sounds great. I love the look of painted nails, but almost never do it because since mommy hood they always get ruined within a day. What color did you choose? I’m lucky enough to be outside experiencing a similar scene – so glad we both had the chance to soak it all in.
      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
      • Andrea

        I’m glad you had a similar scene to enjoy! I am going to a wedding tomorrow so I took some time this morning to do it. It’s a magenta color… a pinkish purple shade. I actually did my toes… Stays on longer! Haha! I sometimes feel better and more confident when I take the time to do little things like put on moisturizer (coconut oil) on my skin or put color on my nails. Nice to combine the task with being outside today.

        Reply
  12. Annmarie Wilson

    It’s always refreshing to go outside and just listen to nature. I spend several hours outside and this morning I spent some time on the patio listening to the birds. I also enjoy gardening, but this morning I watered my herbs, rose, flowers and pepper trees. What a refreshing daily activity that I enjoy each and every morning. Truly grateful for the opportunity to be able to do this before school starts.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Annmarie:

      Your trees sound amazing. Will you tell me how a pepper tree works? What kind of tree is it? I’m so grateful for your participation here and everything you add by sharing and spreading the word about creative self care. I am so appreciative of you and the fact that I can be a part of your creative process.

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  13. Amber

    In the summer, I do my journaling outside in the morning. Noticing the birds chirping, green trees, grass, flowers, etc.

    Today, I also took my kids and their friends to the pool and I swam laps during the rest periods. My young one and I also cleaned the car while my oldest went off to volleyball practice:)

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Amber – What a fabulous idea to journal outside! It sounds like you were really thoughtful about self-care today, which is 100% the point!

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  14. Tessa Wyatt

    I have enjoyed my 5 prompts very much – thank you Amy

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Tessa:

      I have enjoyed your participation IMMENSELY Tessa, thank you so, so much for participating and for your kind words. I’d love to hear what you’d like to see upcoming as well, so be sure to let me know here or via email.
      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  15. Debbi Plemons

    After 5 hours hiking in the mountains yesterday, self care today included not taking another long, hard hike. I did take a small hike in an area that allowed me to enjoy the cool air, beautiful mountain views and free range cattle. So, like a 5 year old might do, I mooed at the cows-we definetly had their attention, before they quickly moved off 🙂

    Reply
  16. Tayla

    Today I went outside and listened to nature. It was in the evening and we live in a fairly rural area with lots of trees so it was actually quite loud with the sounds of birds and insects. I’ve become interested in bird watching lately and was excited to hear an Eastern Screech owl, something I wouldn’t have been able to identify a few weeks ago. 🙂

    Thank you for this week of self-care reminders! It has been lovely hearing everyone’s stories.

    Reply
  17. Amy Johnson Maricle

    Hey Ya’ll:

    I wanted to drop in quickly and let you know I’m off to do my self-care for today – my Saturday long-run with a group of crazy, amazing runner friends. It’s exercise and social time all in one. I love self-care that packs a one-two punch, don’t you? I’ll work on putting together all the names and doing the drawing tonight so stay tuned. Be sure to check your email boxes today and tomorrow to see if you are a winner. If you aren’t on my mailing list already, please be sure you are on so that you can get some of the cool creative self-care goodies I offer just to my list of wonderful, creative souls.

    Cheers,
    Amy

    Reply

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