Even with a heat index in the triple digits, I knew I needed to get outdoors and clear my mind! What better way to spend a free afternoon than exercising outside with my trusty companion, Mila?

By now you probably know that I am a huge fan of hiking! It’s my favorite form of meditation. Despite the heat, I woke up early this past weekend and made the drive to Moore County to enjoy what Southern Pines had to offer. The drive alone was worth it. I love traveling out that way and listening to a relaxing podcast – it really helps get me in the right mindset.

On Saturday morning Mila and I enjoyed walking around Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve. Some of these giant, towering pines are hundreds of years old! It was quiet. It was a cool 80 degrees. And there was only one other car in the parking lot. Talk about relaxing! Mila conducted her signature move of finding a nice stick to hike with and we set off on our way! There are plenty of interconnected trails and we enjoyed getting blissfully “lost”. It’s funny how hiking by yourself helps you think of everything and nothing at the same time. I really enjoyed the peaceful loneliness with only the sounds of nature around me (and Mila’s crazy panting!)

On Sunday morning we drove back out to Moore County to enjoy Reservoir Park in Pinehurst. There’s an awesome lake great for kayaking, boating, fishing, etc. There are walking trails and picnic areas to use and enjoy as well. It was a beautiful morning and Mila enjoyed hanging by the lake. I brought along a book, found a nice bench and relaxed for about an hour. Mila refreshed in the water and made friends with nearby geese. After a little cooling off we enjoyed a nice half hour walk within the park. The perfect weekend morning.

I know sometimes life can feel overwhelming. It’s easy to feel stuck and stressed. I truly believe in outdoor therapy. Get yourself in the sunshine, even if it means waking up a little earlier than usual to beat the extreme heat! Vitamin D from the sun can be a HUGE boost for your system! Fresh air = fresh mind! Get outdoors and enjoy the beauty this world has to offer!