Have you ever met a badass woman on the trail? Someone who looks like they’re “dreamingbig, going hard and living life on purpose”?
We did! Adventure Mamas is a non-profit group committed to enhancing women’s health and in particular, post-partum wellness, by facilitating adventure, building community, and inspiring an active, epic lifestyle. This week, one of the founders of this awesome group has a message for all of you mamas out there. Here’s Justine Nobbe…
“As a mama, it’s easy to get into the habit of prioritizing everyone else’s needs before your own. In doing so though, you make yourself vulnerable to fatigue, illness, burnout, and more. Our kids deserve our best and most authentic selves and this is possible when we take the time to also care for our own needs.
Self-Care is the intentional act of attending to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It looks different for all of us, but for the outdoors woman, turned outdoors mama, adventure can be one of the most fulfilling means of self-care. After a week of committing time and energy to your family, there are few things more rewarding than heading outdoors for some personal time. So hit the trail, head to the crag, go surfing, or take your yoga practice outside because personal adventure is more than a selfish luxury, it’s important to your health!”
Here are six reasons why adventure is the best self-care:
1.Personal adventure helps you to confront mommy-guilt that isn’t serving you.
Even if a personal adventure sounds appealing, for many mamas the prospect of heading out sans-kiddo brings about feelings of guilt. There is a lot of pressure in being a mom and a lot of external and internal expectations that we are all trying to live up to. We are supposed to be self-less caregivers with an abundance of love and compassion but that is not sustainable if we do not refuel our own tanks. If the prospect of prioritizing personal time makes you feel self-critical, gently evaluate where that is coming from and work to get to the root of it. Recognize that you should love and care for yourself, and that you can better fulfill all of your roles when you do.
2. Adventure enhances your health and wellness.
There is so much research illustrating that an active lifestyle is critical to your wellness, and taking your exercise routines into nature is even more impactful. By participating in outdoor adventures such as mountain biking, rock climbing, and trail running, you reap the benefits of a cardio workout plus reduce stress, increase your levels of Vitamin D, enhance your ability to concentrate, lift your mood, and more.
3. When you prioritize adventure as self-care, you act as a positive role-model for your kids.
Kids are astute, they pick up on more than we even realize. They recognize our mood, whether we’re amped or we’re exhausted. They see how we treat others and how we treat ourselves. They hear what we say; they watch what we do— kids are sponges. If you want your kids to care about their health, love themselves and others, be independent, balanced, strong, and more: you must do the same yourself. Knowing that you are being studied, adopt this simple goal: strive to be your kid’s real-life hero. Model what it looks like to lead a fulfilled, passionate life!
4. Adventure Can Build Up Your Efficacy.
Simply put, efficacy is your belief that you can accomplish a task and also determines how you approach a challenge. One way to build efficacy is to confront and overcome a challenge head-on. For example, if you are anxious about lead climbing outside, but you train hard, muster the courage to go for it, and then succeed– you build your efficacy.
Efficacy is amazing in that it is both transferrable and it builds as you conquer and overcome. You can take that belief in your ability to accomplish challenging endeavors and apply it to other sports, professional endeavors, or even parenting. So… if you can get through child birth, you can work up to running a 5k. And if you can get through long sleepless nights with a newborn, you can get an alpine start to summit your first 14er. The examples could continue indefinitely. The people who go furthest are the ones who believe in their ability to do hard things.
5. You develop friendships and community through adventure.
Many of the activities we love require at the very least a partner, if not a team. When you adventure, you develop deep and lasting friendships. The relationships that are formed on the trails and mountains, during cold chairlift rides, while sleeping in the same tent and tied into the same rope are of a profound nature. By prioritizing personal adventure, you allow those friendships to blossom in your life and build up a support network that you care about and trust with your life.
6. Adventure teaches you how to ask for help.
We can’t do it all on our own, although so many of us try. As mothers, we must be open to assistance. In order to have the fulfilling experience of personal adventure, we have to ask people we trust for help with childcare. This requires both courage and vulnerability and you might find yourself surprised by how many allies you actually have.
Let go of trying to do everything yourself and recognize you can be a better mother, partner, professional, and more if you prioritize self-care.
Adventure Mamas is a non-profit organization encouraging intentional and empowered motherhood. We are dedicated to enhancing women’s post-partum health by facilitating adventure, building community, and inspiring an active, epic lifestyle.