I love camping. Give me a breezy evening, a campfire, my guitar, and a big tent.
It’s wonderful for my mental health.
Here are 7 reason why
- Music at a campfire connects me to the song, the people singing or listening, and to the vibrations of the notes as the guitar chords ring. The community and the vibe help my system to balance.
- The sound of nature outdoors are at the same time silent and not silent at all. While the din of the expressway and honking of car horns is gone, it is replaced beautifully with the lullaby of crickets, summer cicadas, coyotes, and other sounds of nature at night. It puts me to sleep — enabling my body and mind to refresh.
- Camp-made food tastes better. Cooking on a camp stove or over a campfire simply makes the food taste better. The delight of “Mmmmmmmmm” does my entire system good.
- The beach is magical. The sound of the waves, the massage of the sand on my feet, the warmth of the sun, and the refreshing water combine to let me breathe in a little deeper and to exhale a little longer.
- Sleeping in a tent changes the way I feel. I don’t sleep on the ground anymore. Rather, I use a tall queen size mattress that supports my body and gives it a beautiful cushion to rest. As long as rain isn’t in the forecast, I leave off the rain fly and look up at the stars as I drift off to sleep. It opens my mind to the endless possibilities the universe has.
- Getting hands in the soil — hands in the earth, helps my body release seratonin — the natural anti-depressant. (Note — do not try to get your hands on poison ivy or similar plants. Still with grass, sand, and soil for best results 🙂
- A camping trip doesn’t have to be long. Even one night outside with all the wonder camping brings helps improve my mental health. Camping is the reasonably inexpensive, life-enhancing vacation that my mind, body, and spirit crave.
It’s great for my mental health.
How about you?
Rev. Kirk Moore (he, him, his)
Kirk Moore (he, him, his) is a guitarist, vocalist, and a certified music practitioner, (CMP). He’s also the pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Downers Grove, IL and a member of the executive board of the UCC Mental health Network. Find out more about therapeutic music here.