How to Stay Inspired During the Weekday Grind

Find time to get outside. "I'm just too busy" isn't a good enough excuse.

By: Will Hughes

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We all know the feeling. The weekend has come to an end, Monday morning is looming and quitting time on Friday seems like a lifetime away. After a few nights spent out under the stars, returning to the office is often a disheartening experience. It can be easy to get swept up in our daily routines and loose track of the adventurous spirit that encourages us to keep exploring. Although the grind of the work week can be draining, it is possible to stay inspired and keep your spirits up. Here are a few ways I try to keep myself centered:

1. Bring the Outside In

One of the biggest downers for a nature-loving business person can be the stark contrast between the corporate world and the great outdoors. Somehow cubicles and fluorescent lighting just don't quite stir the soul like a sunrise over the mountains. Sprucing up your work space with natural elements is a good way to improve your mood every time you walk into work. Be it small plants, warm lighting, or wooden furniture, simple reminders that nature is still out there can help you make that push to five o'clock. 

2. Exercise Creativity

Even if you're employed in a creative line of work, it can still be extremely refreshing to let your mind run wild every now and then. Spending time outdoors is an incredibly inspiring process, and I think we do ourselves a disservice when we don't provide an outlet for these experiences. Carving out a bit of time to write, draw or create something is a wonderful way to keep your brain engaged, active, and in tune with what nature has been teaching you.

Picnic at Banjo Hill | Photo: Nick Tort

3. Keep Your Eyes Open

While sorting through a seemingly endless number of deadlines, meetings, and projects, it's easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day routines that we establish for ourselves. Schedules are so tight that it becomes impossible to even consider having time to slip away outdoors. Something that helps the week go by is keeping my eyes open for any opportunity to mix things up. Why don't I take my lunch to the park down the street? Can I take a walk outside and make a few of these calls? How about we have our meeting outside today since the weather is so nice? Breaking up the rigidity of the daily routines is one of the best ways to fight the mid-week burnout.

4. Heed the Call

As we go about the weekly nine-to-five, it's natural for our minds to drift out into the woods, mountains, or wherever we love to explore. Daydreams of hiking, or inspiration for a brand new trip can be fairly common occurrences for outdoor-minded folk. While not all of these grand plans are always possible, sometimes we are a little too eager to let obstacles get in the way of making things happen. I often find myself dismissing an idea before I even give it a chance, for no real reason other than, "I'm just too busy." If we let something this small prevent us from chasing those sunsets, when will we ever get out there? Sometimes the most important way to keep yourself inspired is to just say yes. Don’t continuously put off that adventure you've been dreaming of for months, commit to it. Acknowledge the yearning to explore, and act on it. Heed the call. 

Cover photo: Nick Tort

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.