I don’t know about you, but I tend to get really distracted by the world these days. So much shouts at us from all our devices. The constant shouting makes life get crazy. Even when I go on my computer, iPad or iPhone for a specific purpose I find myself wandering off after frivolous stuff. It all too easily grabs my attention.

Well, how do we get away from it all? It all presents itself as a trap to easy to fall into.

Escape to the Outdoors

Instead of thinking outside the box for an answer, how about thinking outside the door? Heading to the outdoors is a great way to escape.

As an outdoor lover, I’ve experienced how the outdoors makes for a great escape. But does that mean we have to go off on some big outdoor getaway? It can, but it doesn’t need to.

For the first weekend of October, my family and I planned one of those big outdoor adventures. We made reservations to stay in a cozy cabin in the Wyoming mountains. Unfortunately, as time got close, for multiple reasons, we called off our trip. We were so looking forward to getting away. But we decided not to let our planned time away be forgotten. We had four free days in our schedule and wanted to use them well.

Mingarelli kids hike

A Family Escape

Instead of using our free time going to a movie, staying home watching TV, playing video games or catching up on social media we decided to forget the screens and head outdoors. We did simple activities that kept us away from screens.

• We took a fall hike at our favorite nature preserve. The cool autumn weather and slightly turned leaves made for a great hike.
• We went to a Christmas tree forest to tag a tree. In late November we will go back to cut the tree down and take it home.
• One day it rained so we played miniature golf at an indoor pirate golf course.
• An old fort nearby had a living history display that weekend. We headed there and learned about life long before screen time.
• Finally, we built a “campfire” in our backyard fire pit and sat around the fire telling silly stories.

Each thing we did we found refreshing because we stayed disconnected from screens and connected as a family. Throughout it all our phones served one purpose. They made for great pocket cameras!

Benefits of the Escape

Beside family bonding, scientist site many benefits to getting outside. This great article from Ask the Scientist gives 10 of those benefits. I listed four of them below and added a spiritual one,

  1. Relieve stress—My family and I defiantly find this one to be true when spending time outdoors.
  2. Sharpens your focus—Being outside helps kids with ADHD and adults too. And it only takes 20 minutes a day.
  3. Aids in weight management—Most outdoor activities are just that: activities. When we are active, we burn calories.
  4. Improves your short-term memory—Studies show staying outside helps with recall.
  5. Connecting with God—When we get away from the noise that shouts at us, it opens our hearts to hear from God. The Bible gives many examples of Jesus and biblical characters getting away to the wilderness. God spoke to them in the wilderness. When we get outside, he speaks to us through His creation and the creation speaks to us about God.

How about you? How do you escape the digital world?