Dani Anders
UpStreet Intern

Mindfulness on a Hike

For many, this summer will be one of non-stop going to make up for the quarantined summer of 2020. Though everyone will be enjoying nice weather and outdoor activities, do we really take it all in? Recently, I took a hike in a small Pennsylvania park called Mingo Creek. I went with the intention of hiking somewhere new, but I found that this location was a great place for focusing on mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a practice that is used to take in the present emotions, situations, and physical sensations one is feeling. When thinking mindfully, an individual can be truly open to themselves and the world around them. During this hike, I took the time to take in the present and my surroundings. I recall feeling inspired and relaxed. I would stop frequently to not only catch my breath, but also observe the seemingly never ending nature in front of me. I felt so far away from my daily routine, even though I knew the tasks I had to complete were waiting for me.

Hiking and mindfulness can be a way to reflect on things outside of the regular day to day stressors we all experience. However, if hiking is not your type of outdoor activity, many parks like Mingo Creek offer paved walking paths that still give beautiful views and experiences. Being outdoors is something that many may not fully take in, especially with all of the noise life can generate. When it comes to dealing with daily stressors, please remember to be mindful of how you are feeling and take care of yourself. Take the time to breathe deeply and take in the simple things. If your schedule is hectic and you cannot make it out to a park, spend some time walking around your neighborhood or sitting outside to help generate some needed mindfulness away from the daily routine.