Hunting and the Transformative Power of Time Off

Hunting and the Transformative Power of Time Off

Embracing the power of time off, a hunter is looking out over the snow covered mountain as the sun is setting

You usually hear from me about the latest in digital trends, but today I’m switching gears. I’m trading my keyboard for a hunting rifle. By the time you’re reading this, I’ll already be three days deep into the serene landscapes of Green Mountain in Northern Colorado for some Deer & Elk hunting. And no, it’s not just about the thrill of the hunt; it’s about mental well-being and the Power of Time Off!

In my daily life, I’m always on the move. Between running CopperPress, keeping up with breakneck advancements in publishing and web technology, and raising four daughters, my mind is a non-stop whirlwind of thoughts and problem-solving… It feels like I’m trying to solve a Sudoku while riding a roller coaster! But, when I’m out there in the Rockies, surrounded by below-freezing temperatures and layers of snow, something magical happens.

Experts like those at Harvard Health have shown that being in nature can significantly reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Studies have found that even just 20 minutes in a natural setting can lower cortisol levels, the body’s primary stress hormone. This is often referred to as “forest bathing,” a practice that originated in Japan, known as Shinrin-yoku. The idea is simple: if a person simply visits a natural area and walks in a relaxed way, there are calming, rejuvenating, and restorative benefits to be achieved.

But let’s take it a step further. For those of us in the digital world, especially in the fast-paced realm of publishing, the constant screen time and endless flow of information can be overwhelming. Nature acts as a counterbalance, a place where the mind can defragment, much like a computer. It’s a space where you can process thoughts without the interference of notifications, emails, or deadlines. And for me, this isn’t just a theory; it’s a lived experience. It’s a mental reset. It’s an experiance that I come to look forward to every year.

The woods are thick, the wind is fickle, and yes, even the squirrels seem to be against me! There is one squirrel, in particular, that I swear has a personal vendetta. It’s as if he’s broadcasting my location to the entire forest in real-time, chattering away like he’s got a hot mic at a press conference. But amidst all these challenges, including my noisy little nemesis, I find a unique form of meditation. It’s not easy; it typically takes three days for my mind to finally quiet down. Three full days of careful steps, keen observation, and deep breaths of crisp mountain air. And then, almost like clockwork, I reach a state of silence and focus that’s almost zen-like.

This isn’t just about feeling better; it’s about performing better too. That newfound focus and clarity don’t just disappear when I leave the woods; they come back with me, fueling my creativity and problem-solving skills in ways I couldn’t even imagine. It’s holistic health at its finest—good for the mind, body, and soul.

So, as we continue to navigate the digital landscape together, let’s also make a pact to take some time off and get some nature in our system. Whether it’s a walk in the park, a weekend camping trip, or just sitting in your backyard, your mind will thank you. And hey, a healthy mind is a creative mind, right?

So, how do you find your own ‘reset button’? Is it a hidden hiking trail, a secret recipe you cook when you’re stressed, or maybe a playlist that takes you to another world? I’m genuinely curious to know what unique or quirky ways you’ve found to achieve that much-needed mental clarity.