Three Fun Dates in the Great Outdoors
If current headlines and TV programs are to be believed, it seems that modern man is suffering from a new mental malaise called ‘Nature deficit disorder’.
The term, coined by Nature writer, Richard Louv, points to our dissociation from a fundamental aspect of our health and well-being: our relationship with Nature.
Studies have shown that not only do we obtain greater benefits when we work out in the Great Outdoors; we can obtain measurable mental benefits by simply contemplating a natural scene. Time spent in the company of Mother Nature reduces stress levels and encourages us to become more environmentally aware in practical ways.
The outdoors also make a beautiful setting for a date with your spouse.
Statistics indicate that many of us spend up to 90 per cent of our time indoors; many of us even look for love online, which can further remove us from our natural instincts to head out and brave the world.
A date spent outdoors is usually fun yet affordable, bestowing you with treasured memories you’ll probably remember more than dinner at a fancy restaurant or other dates that you have not had to plan yourself.
To really wow the object of your desire, we suggest one of these three fun, Nature-inspired dates:
- A yoga retreat for couples: This date will take more than a day, but is ideal for those with a weekend to spare. Yoga retreats are usually held in scenic oases, overlooking a mountain range or with beautiful views of the sea. During a yoga retreat, you will learn to perform various asanas, or yoga poses, while you practice controlled breathing and work on mindful meditation. Not only will yoga encourage a serene vibe with your loved one, it will also lower your cortisol levels, thereby encouraging a happy, relaxed state. Interestingly, yoga is often prescribed as a panacea to spice up one’s love life, since this ancient practice encourages us to pay attention to the subtle messages our body sends us. In addition, yoga does wonders for our circulation, flexibility and strength.
- A gourmet picnic: Just the site of a wicker basket and a plaid picnic blanket conjures up images of romance, but you can take it to the next level by filling your basket with gourmet foods your spouse loves. Surprise them with homemade sushi, whip up delicious gourmet wraps and bring a selection of their favorite cheeses. Take a bottle of red wine with you, to make most of its potent antioxidant goodness but also to relax and enjoy fine company in the best of spirits. After your picnic, do fun things like trying a ‘forest bath.’ The latter, known as Shinrin-yoku in Japanese, simply involves a visit to the forest using mindfulness (or ‘being in the here and now’) to strengthen our fragile relationship with Nature. The practice has been shown in various scientific studies to have a great effect on soothing stress levels, which is why many doctors currently recommend forest visits as the ultimate antidote to the modern-day, high-stress lifestyle.
- An adventure date: Has your partner always dreamed of skydiving, abseiling or white water rafting? Would something a little gentler like a four-by-four drive with experienced guides through a lost natural paradise in your area appeal? A date which involves an entire experience rather than just a meal is bound to be remembered. Pick an adventure you think your partner would like and surprise them on the day itself; show them you know how to organize a date that is a little out of the ordinary!
Today’s post is by Spouse Dates fan Jennifer Beaton. She is a freelance writer who believes in the importance of dating your spouse.