Photo: Get happy, get outside

Have you let deadlines, back-to-back meetings, illness, or injury keep you away from nature? (Credit: Brendon Purdy Photography)

Join me for our annual 30×30 Nature Challenge!

I once went 11 days straight without going outside.

The reason: we named him Wyn.

After four days of pre-labour (who knew that has humanely possible, I mean humanly possible?), hours of active labour in my birth tub (don't worry it was phthalate-free and I bought it second-hand on Craig's List), and stair climbing (among other midwifery/doula tricks to try to "spin him") — our son was delivered in hospital by emergency C-section.

Three nights in hospital later — cringing at disposable diapers and pads and yellow baby shampoo — we went home. My recovery took forever. I couldn't walk. So I didn't. For 11 days.

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It wasn't my son's fault I became cranky, irritable, sad, overwhelmed and oh so tired.

(Well... maybe the tired part. Nursing every two hours is not like studying all night for a zoology final. But it's worth it!)

Advice from my midwives and doula:

Tip 1: Send the baby out!

Just because I couldn't walk didn't mean my son shouldn't get some Vitamin "N" and fresh air. A good friend took my son in the carrier for his first walk outside! Dad did walks, too.

Tip 2: Walk in the yard

I put him in the stroller and did a 30 metre round-trip lap in our yard. Something's better than nothing!

Tip 3: Walk down the block

Talk about small steps! I shuffled slowly down a block, turned around and shuffled home.

But getting outside did its magic. I felt like a new person! And I got happy. (So did my baby.)

Is something stopping you from getting out into nature when you need it most — deadlines, back-to-back meetings, illness, or injury? Don't undervalue your need to see the sky, smell the rain, feel the sun, etc.

Find a way.

Get happier with me. Join the 30×30 Nature Challenge! Get into nature for 30 minutes for 30 days and you'll be happily hooked.

Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

April 30, 2014

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