Wednesday, September 25, 2019

1000 Hours Outside & #BlueMind, 2019 Edition

Last summer I decided to do a little outdoor accounting of the number of hours I spent outside after learning about the blog 1000 Hours Outside. You can read more about that personal challenge here and then read about my results (here). I was delighted to surpass my goal of 200 hours outdoors and get 269 hours...which also was more than the seasonal math (given 100 hours) of 250 hours for the summer.

Well as we all know, summer 2019 has come, the days are starting to cool, and fall is officially here (at least by the calendar date).

Traveling back to the end of May 2019, I was once again inspired to carve a corner of my monthly calendar into a tally section, trying to see if I could do it again. Having read Nature Fix and being reminded of the neurological and emotional effects of nature on people, I was certainly up for it. Additionally, having read Blue Mind, I decided to add an extra layer, counting my #BlueMind Days to see how many days I could be in water (usually my pool) or near water like a stream, fountain, river, lake, or the Chesapeake Bay (which is in our neck of the woods).

My results:
Over the 94 days of summer (which was the 3 summer months plus September 1 & 2 due to it being Labor Day weekend--you can see the separation line in my August calendar), I totaled 326 hours outside and 61 days (2/3 of my summer) with some time in or near major water. I'm rather proud of those numbers and the benefits I gleaned from them.

My takeaways: 
  • I am a girl who craves and thrives when I have bulk time in the outdoors. Reading out there, or writing, basking, sitting, being in the pool, hiking, biking, or more. I had a hard time getting back into the "back to school" routine of being back indoors. (I'm reminded I had that bit of culture shock last year as well.) The first week of school meetings and then starting back with students had me going through a little Vitamin N & solar withdrawal. There just weren't enough hours in the day for me once school started back in session to get in my full daily desire!
  • The pool is my meditation and exercise space. I read in the pool, exercise our crazy canine there, and it's one of my favorite places to watch the wildlife that visit the backyard or the bird feeder.
  • A tropical family vacation in Punta Cana definitely was significant to my July numbers!
  • As much as I like my backyard critters, mosquitoes got in my way! I'm one of those people they love to chow on. Bug spray alone wasn't always enough, and after awhile, around dusk or so, I'd be forced indoors after feeling like I was their "feast de la resistance!" If the world had no mosquitoes, I'd have been outside even more!!
  • "BlueMind days" could have been "my everyday" if I went to stand next to my backyard pool. However, I didn't feel that alone counted. It had to be meaningful water--either me in it, on it, or going out of my way to be near it. It did get tricky when visiting my mom in the Midwest--but I found the lake, a fountain, or a duckpond to help me satisfy my quest. It got doubly tricky when I had a minor dermatology procedure that left me with stitches on my ankle for two weeks right before school started. Stitches should NOT be allowed in the summer time!
  • The difference (both in my ability to notate the numbers AND get outside) does shift dramatically when I'm working versus when I'm not. I kind of hate that. It has made me make sure to approach my evening and weekends more consciously, using the gifts of the beautiful outdoors in every way I can.
  • It's an experiment everyone should embark upon!!
Photos from my phone!

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