Finding your Inner Peace Outdoors — Mindful Travel as a Remedy for Work-Related Burnout
We all know the feeling of being overwhelmed at work. Between balancing multiple projects and navigating interpersonal office politics, there is often not much time to catch your breath. The reality is, people report feeling more overworked now than ever before (Indeed Study Shows That Worker Burnout Is At Frighteningly High Levels: Here Is What You Need To Do Now). With the high demand placed on workers today, burnout is all but inevitable. Many of us are stuck trying to live up to expectations that are unhealthy. Even mental health professionals, the people who are trained to deal with the effects of anxiety and stress, are reporting feelings of disillusionment related to heavy workload.
Perhaps even more troubling is a trend towards turning outdoors recreation into just another ego-driven competition. We received the message that to have a “successful” trip you need to push yourself to the point of exhaustion. Stories of adventure travel often focus heavily on numbers; how many miles, how much time, what elevation. Instead of leading people away from the despair of burnout, this philosophy reinforces many of the same patterns that cause burnout in the first place.
Asking the Right Questions
At Recal, we understand that a story is much more than the sum of its parts. The intriguing thing about a personal transformative journey is that it doesn’t have a clearly defined beginning or end, and it can’t be quantified in imperial units. Adventure begins when we forget the expectations others place on us (and those we place on ourselves) and become immersed in the experience. Mindfulness is the process of acknowledging the existence of things without passing judgement or assigning a quality. When we set out on a trip, we do so grounded in these intentions.
The aim of mindful travel isn’t to resolve the effects of burnout and stress immediately. Truthfully, there is no holistic therapy that is honest in its advertisement which claims to do that. Instead, transformational travel beckons toward an encounter with the self from a new perspective. It encourages us to ask ‘why’ we feel the need to prove ourselves worthy.
There are no Wrong Answers
One great thing about nature is that it is utterly indifferent to your projections. If you head into the backcountry and uncover a negative emotion, the world around you will continue just the same. If you do something extraordinary, nature will not notice either. This might sound terrifying at first, but what happens when you aren’t confronted with a human response to your problems is that you begin to let them go. This is where the real jewel of mindful travel is revealed—the gentleness you will undoubtedly awaken within yourself. Questions that once brought up feelings of shame and frustration begin to seem trivial. When there can be no judgement, there is no fear of giving a dissatisfactory answer.
The benefits of an intentionally designed trip centered around compassion and awareness are clear. By taking time out to reconnect with yourself you will be boosting creativity and replenishing the energy needed to deal with difficult situations when they arise (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/tao-work-understanding-entrepreneurial-burnout-how-deal-ghanimeh/)
Recalibrating to a Place of tranquility
There are many facets to the therapeutic power of the outdoors. Bilateral stimulation (the rhythmic motion of walking or rowing) helps the brain change the way it processes memories, allowing us to reconfigure the way information settles in our brain(https://tanager.org/blog/how-nature-can-heal-burnout/). The practice of breathwork has profound effects on both the mind and body, and changes our neurochemistry to reflect a more peaceful and resilient state. There are many guided practices in nature which offer the seeds of transformation to those who are seeking change.
We offer diverse trips based on the feedback we’ve received from folks on many different paths towards greater awareness. Cultivating mindfulness is deeply personal, and it doesn’t look the same for everyone. That said, it doesn’t matter whether you choose to (internal link trip A) or (internal link trip B) because we put the same care and attention into all our trips, allowing you the space required to make your journey towards enlightenment. The most important thing you do this year could be consciously deciding to change your trajectory—away from a work-related burnout and towards a meaningful connection with the earth and your own biorhythm