Last weekend I was camping with my sister and her family at Clippesby Hall.  If you’ve not been, it’s a beautiful place.  The campsite is set out well, with lots of small camping areas surrounded by trees and the all-important toilet and shower blocks are kept very clean.  If you have young children, it’s very safe and perfect for letting them run free through the wooded areas and play on the zip wire.

The wonderful thing about camping is that everything slows down, after the initial effort of erecting the tent of course.

Benefits of Camping

There are many benefits of camping:
 
Peace and Quiet
The peace and quiet and enjoying the simplicity of nature. Just spending some time in nature instantly leaves you feeling refreshed and energised.

More Exercise
Ok, I’m going to admit it – putting the tent up and down (and all the extra equipment) is exhausting! But the rest of the time the physical exercise of walking around the campsite, preparing food, washing up, exploring the woods, and going further afield, beats sitting at a desk and is fun too.  I move far more than I do at home or in my office and feel better for it.

Reduced Stress
One of the important health benefits of camping is that it reduces stress by removing common triggers like work pressure, traffic, and the general rush of life, replacing them with the calming effect of bird song and the gentle breeze through the trees. Even the rain sounds better under canvas.  The real thing is much more therapeutic than anything you’ll find on your MP3.

Improved Memory
When you’re out camping and surrounded by trees and fresh air, your body releases higher levels of serotonin, a naturally produced neurotransmitter that helps regulate your mood, appetite, and sleep. Serotonin also improves cognitive functions such as memory and learning.

Spending time with family camping
Family fun at Clippesby Hall.  Why does food always taste better outside?

Better Sleep
Melatonin is a natural hormone that helps control your sleep and wake cycles. When you’re stuck in an office or working indoors for long periods, working in artificial light, your melatonin levels can be suppressed by the blue light in artificial sources like incandescent bulbs. Camping outside exposes you to melatonin-friendly yellow light, which can help you achieve a more natural alignment of the sleep-wake cycle with sunrise and sunset.

In fact, research has shown that waking up with natural light at dawn is a key factor in resetting our body clocks to help us get healthier sleep patterns.

My favourite thing is how quiet it is at night. I love getting up in the early hours, whilst everyone is still sleeping.  It’s just light enough to see, as I emerge from the tent and make the slow walk to the toilet block. Everything is still and peaceful.  The air feels invigorating yet serene.  Often the dawn chorus has just started, and I will just stand there and listen, gazing at the tree-lined skyline, as the sun starts to rise. This is heaven.   

Vitamin D Boost
Being outside, your body absorbs huge quantities of sunlight. The sun provides a healthy outdoor glow to the skin, and internally the body uses it to synthesise Vitamin D which helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus, two minerals essential for healthy bones and teeth.

Really Tasty Food
Food just tastes better when prepared outdoors. There’s something about cooking food outside, whether that’s over a campfire or a gas cooker that just can’t be replicated when you’re eating at home. Plus, sitting outside makes everything taste amazing.

I love how just as we are ready to serve, suddenly my nephews and niece return, and we are together as a family.  

Boiling the kettle becomes a relaxing task, as patience is required and you are “forced” to relax.

Even washing up feels less of a chore and instead becomes a shared task that builds camaraderie and shared purpose that adds to your wellbeing.

Sunset at Clippesby Hall
Thanks to my sister, Sally Charge, for the beautiful images of Sunset at Clippesby Hall

Being in the Moment

And of course…

You Enjoy the Benefits of Being in the Moment
A lot of research has been done in recent years on the benefits of mindfulness, a type of meditation that involves being very present and in the moment. Camping is a prime opportunity to experience mindfulness and see how it changes your mood and stress levels.

Listen to your body and how it feels in the natural world: the weight of your feet on the ground, the smell of the plants and trees, the feel of the wind, the ache in your legs after a long walk (or putting the tent up!), and so on.

The results, researchers have shown, are hugely positive and help you act more intentionally; rather than sitting down mindlessly in front of Netflix with chocolate, you’ll be more aware of what your body is telling you, and hopefully, listen to it with more attention.

Give camping a go.  If you can’t get to a campsite, then spending just 30 minutes a day in nature can make a massive difference.

Interested in learning more about living in the moment and mindfulness, then read more about my Mindfulness X Programme.

Would you like to know more about mindfulness, hypnosis, and how your mind works? Then sign up for my newsletter and discover how making a few simple changes can help you become more relaxed, confident, and happier. Plus each month you will receive my free download of the month for you to enjoy. You can sign up here.

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