Updated: Jul 11
In the current social climate, our mental health is taking on new challenges; new perspectives, and we are tested to newfound limits. We are given the opportunity to grow from these experiences, build mental strength and resilience.
Not dissimilar to a multi-day hike, these tests, and trials we collectively face in overcoming this virus, build the same mental fortitude in the physical challenge from a multi-day hike. The latter giving you a cathartic experience and nature immersion to soothe the soul.
So whilst Melbournian’s face lockdown for the next 6 weeks, let’s use this time to plan our ‘great escape’ and find a physical/mental challenge that you can set as a goal – do something that you always wanted to, something that scares you or challenges your comfortability.
Perhaps you’re new to hiking or wanting to create an adventurous goal to work towards, using your time for focussed attention and drive will cultivate a positive mindset.
When we push outside our perceived and figuratively drawn lines we step into an empowered version of self.
Through hiking and exploring nature we are primed to come through whatever challenges faced, wiser, and stronger.
Power hikers Vicki & Fiona at the summit of Mt Oberon - March Retreat 2020
There are a number of considerations before taking on a multi-day hike from how you move; how you nourish your body and strengthen mental capacity. Each aspect is interconnected and required for such an experience.
Last week on the blog I discussed the importance of injury prevention for hikers. We can’t aimlessly wander off into the wild without preparing body and mind for the task. As important, this week I explore how Mindset plays a role in achieving our goals. Whether a weekend hiking, fitness goal, or otherwise, these key factors still apply.
Play the long game- Instant gratification V Reward
In our current society, we have access to almost anything we want through a few clicks. Instant connectivity, answers, and uber eat in under 15mins. The idea of delayed reward or satisfaction is somewhat outdated but I still believe it has a place and is an important element in what constitutes well-being.
The concept of having something to look forward to being a camping trip, overseas holiday (not for a while Victoria), a birthday party or Christmas builds excitement, anticipation and this in itself is what brings so much joy to our lives. It isn’t a quick hit of instant gratification but something to be excited for that is yet to come.
Women's Retreat- March 2020. Booking a trip allows the anticipation and excitement to build, improving our well-being
Meditation, affirmations, visualization, breathwork – all are great ways to reprogram the subconscious mind. We are a collection of our thoughts and habits so ensure that these are positively reflecting your goals and ambitions. Catch and reflect negative self- talk. Creating stability in the stillness, clarity in the quiet mind and imagining the best possible future allows you to work towards these with the actions you take and the narrative you play in your mind,
If you’re hiking up a hill with 10km to go and constantly moaning about how hard it is. Guess what? It will be bloody hard. Flip that around and channel your inner grit, drive forward with determination, change the story to one of empowerment through challenge and well, you will easily hit the summit and feel energized, not drained, from the change of perspective!
Or simply believing that you are capable of achieving this, what you believe you perceive.
Break down the tasks into small achievable goals and work out HOW you will get there- what actions are required? What skills can you draw on? SMART goals are; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely, and used to drive results through small, achievable goals that are directly relatable to your bigger goals and have a time frame in which to achieve. This way you need to get clear on what you want, how you will achieve, and by when.
Ok, so you’ve booked the multi-day hike weekend and you’re keen to get started with a fitness routine. The best approach here is to start gently. Get the walking kilometers up in your legs and over the following weeks slowly integrate some resistance training and some Pilates or yoga classes (online for now). Don’t go in too hard at the start as you will likely injure yourself and mentally, won’t want to continue.
One foot in from of another- that's how we move forward. Hike & Yoga retreat Feb 2020
Action overcomes anxiety
What is the one thing that you can do today to change tomorrow? Book the weekend hiking trip. Do something that challenges you a little. Create a list of action steps as identified through your planning and do them! With a dedicated focus on what you want, avoid distractions (play the 80/20 rule here guys) and commit- you will be astounded by the results in such a short period of time.
So you want to commit to Iso Workouts. Be realistic in your commitment. What is the minimum that you can realistically commit to whilst working, homeschooling, and general lockdown life? There is 500% more washing when EVERYONE is home ALL THE TIME! Consider these factors before over committing then stopping completely.
Whilst there are many ways that can we can positively alter our mindset, essentially it is up to you to create the changes you want to see. We are in a thick fog of uncertainty yet we have an opportunity to create our own light, forge our way forward, and be the hero of our own story.
I hike because it empowers me not because it is easy. It’s my investment in my happiness. What’s yours?