Computers, tablets, multiple cell phones. Like so many Americans I am constantly surrounded by technology. Work demands it.
Off days are never truly off days. The weather never sleeps.
New computer model data flows in multiple times a day. Viewer reports and questions stream in constantly on social media.
For me, getting away from that is top of mind when it comes to self-care.
There are a couple ways I do that, none of them fancy, and all of them involving nature.
For starters, I love taking a walk through the woods. I live very near the Stony Brook Reservation, and I’ll regularly pick a trail to follow on a nice day. I really like just being in a spot where it’s quiet. I enjoy poking around on the forest floor, or walking along a small stream, taking note of what’s blooming and which critters are running around.
It helps me keep things in check, preventing me from getting too carried away with what’s going on in a virtual world of Twitter or Instagram.
And I think it actually makes me a better meteorologist. Looking at what’s happening in a pond, or with leaves on a tree, can sometimes reveal just as much as a computer model.
Any day that’s sunny or dry is a day to walk in the woods. Perhaps a rare, sunny February day that’s 50 degrees. A spring day as the ice starts to melt on the ponds, and flowers pop for the first time of the season. Summer hikes offer cooling shade and a flurry of activity from insects of all kinds. And of course fall brings the splendor of foliage, one of my favorite times to be around nature.
When I’m not in Boston, I very often find myself in Hingham. And if that’s the case I substitute a walk in the woods for a paddle around the Harbor.
Kayaking is another great way to get away from the virtual pulls of daily life, either heading to one of the Boston Harbor Islands to explore or just floating around listening to the gentle lapping of the waves.
Then, of course, there are the occasions in the year where I get to combine my love of nature with my other love of travel.
When I go away I try to keep my phone on airplane mode as much as possible, taking in the sights and sounds of a new place without the bothers of home.
In each of these cases, be it walking in the woods, paddling in the Harbor, or traveling with no cell service, I end up refreshed.
The stress of keeping up with notifications, or being on-call constantly, melts away.
Being connected all the time is bad for your brain, I’m convinced of it. And these moments to stop and (sometimes literally) smell the roses, is all the self-care I need to feel refreshed.
Michael Page, Meteorologist
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