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In case you’re new around here, I’ll fill you in on a secret: our family loves the outdoors. We spend almost every day of our summers camping in or near the Adirondack Mountains. While we are there, we go on almost-daily family hikes, play in the dirt, take nature walks, and enjoy the peace and serenity of swimming, splashing, and canoeing on freshwater lakes.
Nature is near and dear to our hearts. When we’re not in the mountains, we are dreaming of the next time we can go back, and we’re fortunate to be able to spend so much time in the great outdoors. My husband is a school teacher with summers off, and I am a self-employed writer and social media strategist who can do my job almost anywhere. As long as there is a decent internet connection and phone signal, we are good to go. Typically, we take off in our 29’ camper the last weekend in June and gypsy our way around almost all summer long.
Although we usually try to find campgrounds with at least a few bars of service so I can work, we also enjoy getting off the beaten path a few weekends out of the year to truly unwind.
While it can be anxiety-inducing to be fully disconnected, I’ve learned a few things that help me get by without my phone glued to my hand and work constantly on my mind.
- “Taking time to live will only inspire your work.” I found this quote on Pinterest awhile back and it really resonated with me. While it’s super convenient to be able to work from virtually anywhere, it also makes it hard for me to stop working when I should be enjoying moments with my family. Being a business owner and having clients to keep up with isn’t something I take lightly, but it’s also important for me to remember that it’s okay to take some time for myself to just be.
- Tune out from constant demands and tune into what truly matters. It’s hard to feel preoccupied with work and the stressors of normal life when you’re standing atop a 3,000 foot mountain. Surrounding yourself with the things that mean the most to you – whether that be a beach on a tropical island by yourself or a dirt-covered campground with your kids – serves as a reminder of why you do what you do in the first place. What’s the point in working hard to provide for your family if you can’t provide them with love and memories that they will really thrive on?
- Go ahead and check in once or twice. I get it. It’s hard, if not almost impossible, for me to relax and enjoy myself after almost a week with no communication with clients or friends / family at home. I usually allow myself a few hours mid-week to touch base with things: checking my email and social networks, sending a message or having a quick phone call with my parents and sister, etc. Going “Cold turkey” isn’t easy, and if taking a tiny chunk of time to fuel my workaholic ways is what it takes to be able to enjoy the rest of the trip, so be it.
- Lower expectations usually result in better times. A lot can go wrong out on the open road. From fender benders in parking lots to crammed campsites or noisy neighbors, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and just wish you could be home in your normal routine. I’ve found that lowering my expectations and being better about going with the flow of things helps me make happier memories. When it comes to doing work on the road, expecting a slow internet connection helps me build up my patience when it comes to client work and making ends meet. Factor in your location and do your research when you can, and don’t forget to check the weather forecast! There’s nothing worse than having to miss out on a lake day with your family because you have deadlines to meet, especially when you spent the day before feeling bored and unproductive in the rain.
- A little dirt never hurt anyone. As a mom, I’m used to having to go longer stretches between showers and washing my hair. (Life with newborns hardened me for this.) While three-day-dirty hair is typically unacceptable in the “Real world,” I’ve come to embrace the fact that when you’re camping or on vacation, anything goes – including matching french braided pigtails with my 4 year old daughter! Along with scheduling our family’s bath and shower times throughout the weeks and making sure our camper has enough battery life to run the hot water heater, finding the right products for my hair and body are key to surviving the great outdoors (and helping me feel better about being in family photos)!
Speaking of dirt… If you’ve ever attempted a decent shower in a camper or campground bathroom, you know the struggle is real when it comes to actually feeling clean. While I’m typically trying to wash dirt and nature off of my body on our camping trips, I never really stopped to think about the products I was putting in my system or why and how they worked.
When I discovered Mother Dirt, I was instantly intrigued by the fact that their products actually contain dirt and other bacterias found in nature to help you get naturally clean.
Mother Dirt believes in a “less is more” motto, which is something I can definitely get on board with. Their products contain healthy bacterias and promote clean, healthy skin and hair rather than sterile skin and hair. Along with improving oil production and body odor and the overall look and feel of skin and hair, their products are beneficial for both men and women and have a clean, natural scent.
Since using the Mother Dirt products myself, I’ve noticed that my hair feels fuller and less weighed-down, and even though camping season is over and I have the ability to wash my hair in a hot shower every day, I don’t always feel the need to the way I did before. Now, I can stretch three-day-dirty hair without having to braid it or hide underneath a baseball cap. Just a quick mist of the Mother Dirt AO+ Mist and I’m ready to go! Last but certainly not least, the cleanser is by far my favorite. While I’m not typically much of a girly-girl when it comes to face washes, the Mother Dirt Cleanser leaves my skin feeling clean and fresh without drying it out or making it oily.
What are your go-to’s for reconnecting with the things that matter?
If you have any tried and true methods of disconnecting, I’m all ears!