Fresh Air: Fall Reflections for Caregivers

As the chill of fall arrives and the greens around us reveal their oranges and reds, the natural world invites us to take in its beauty.

Even for those of us not living in a seasonal location, there still exists a similar opportunity to step outside and enjoy the richness of the earth around us.  I realize that such encouragements can seem cliché, but when we really think about, many of us spend far too much time inside our homes and our cars and our offices.

We spend too much time staring at screens of one sort or another.

Given this reality, it can be easy to forget just how revitalizing it is to breathe in fresh air and to pause long enough to notice the sights and smells and sounds around us. This is true regardless of whether we’re out in nature or in the midst of a city.  Often, an outdoor walk can offer a useful counterbalance to the demands and pressures of the day—especially as caregivers. By either walking quickly to create a cardiovascular workout, or walking more slowly to create a more contemplative experience, the act of getting outside can offer a much needed recharge in the midst of our day-to-day life.

As caregivers, we rarely have any time to “take a walk.” But if you can, step outside for three minutes, and don’t do anything except notice what’s around you. Three minutes outside will help put things back into perspective.

Karen Horneffer-Ginter, Ph.D. is the author of “Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit,” newly released from Hay House and available for purchase at bookstores.

Karen Horneffer-Ginter has been practicing psychology and teaching yoga and contemplative practices for over 16 years. She has also taught graduate students and health care professionals, along with directing a university-based holistic health care program, and co-founding the Center for Psychotherapy and Wellness in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The aim of Karen's work is to reconnect people with the wisdom of their inner-life by reclaiming what gets lost amidst the busyness of day-to-day life: qualities such as stillness, self-care, creativity, joy, humor, gratitude, and compassion. Her intention is to support people in finding a sense of balance and sacredness in their lives.

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