26 Adventures & Me

self-care in midlife

5 Reasons to Rethink Self-Care to Include Adventure

What do you think of when you hear “self-care”?

Is self-care in your 40s or 50s the same as it was in your 20s? Let’s find unique self-care ideas for midlife.

Seriously, have you ever rolled your eyes when you heard someone mention self-care and going to get a mani/pedi? Or felt like a hot bath is just not going to cut it as a beneficial form of “self-care.” 

self-care isn't selfish

We hear that we need to take care of ourselves. As moms, we know the analogy of the oxygen mask on an airplane.  

We feel our buckets get emptier and emptier as we work to fill everyone else’s. We know we need to bring more “self-care” into our lives. 

What is self-care anyway??? 

According to Everyday Health,“Self-care is anything you do to take care of yourself so you can stay physically, mentally, and emotionally well. Its benefits are better physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being. Research suggests self-care promotes positive health outcomes, such as fostering resilience, living longer, and becoming better equipped to manage stress.” 

Ok, I think we can all agree we need more of THAT in our lives. Who doesn’t want to reduce stress and burnout, increase their immune system, increase productivity, and have higher self-esteem

But how? What can you do beyond the basics of going for a walk, meditation, reading a book, taking a bath, or getting your nails done?

Adventure! Adventure is self-care. Having an adventure mindset is self-care.

Taking the time to visit new places, trying new things, doing something out of the ordinary, embracing changes, being curious, and developing new passions are all forms of adventure… and self-care!

5 Reasons Why Adventure is Self-Care

1) Mindfulness 

We live in the present moment when we are on an adventure or having a new experience. When I took a class to learn how to blow glass and make a cup, I wasn’t thinking about my to-do list or pending divorce. I was thinking about my glass. “Wow! This is so cool.  What colors should I make it? Don’t burn yourself?”

When you are doing something for the first time, you are right then and there, not in the past or the future. You enjoy the moment

midlife self-care with play and laughter

2) Laughter

According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter induces physical changes in your body that produce short and long-term health benefits including improving your immune system, relieving pain, and increasing endorphins. 

Adventures should include laughter, even when things go wrong. Don’t take things too seriously. Enjoy any U-turns or unexpected stops. Have fun!

Plus smiling is better at preventing wrinkles.

3) Play 

Play just isn’t for kids. Adults need it too. Play is simply doing something because it is fun, not necessarily to achieve a goal. 

It’s so important that it is one of Brené Brown’s Guideposts of Wholehearted Living

The National Institute of Play states, “Each person has a unique play personality … when one remains in touch with it. … when it is actualized, it empowers and brings pleasure to life.”

Let’s go find our own unique play personality!

4) Get to know yourself

One of the key principles of 26 Adventures and Me is using adventure and an adventure mindset to rediscover yourself. Knowing yourself is key to taking good care of yourself.

Learn what forms of self-care you like and dislike. Maybe you try hot yoga just for shits and giggles… and actually like it so much it becomes your go-to stress reliever. 

You may find a new hobby or passion. Be more confident about your skills, abilities, and goals in life. 

5) Nourish your soul

Traditional and non-traditional adventures are meant to bring more joy into your life… isn’t that the entire point of self-care!

I know that when I include any form of adventure into my life, I am in a much better place mentally and emotionally. It fills my bucket better than any trip to the spa. (Although I’ll happily join you at the spa.)

The next time you make plans to give yourself some TLC, consider an adventure.

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