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5 Tips to Make Your Camping Adventure Unforgettable

5 Tips to Make Your Camping Adventure Unforgettable

Camping is an easy escape and one of the best ways to take a much-needed break from your daily life.

Camping may seem easy and fun, but it is not only Boy Scouts who know that trekking into the wilderness (or an hour from the nearest Target) requires some planning and preparation if you want the trip to be truly unforgettable.

1. Bring Extra Light

There is nothing like looking at the sky when you are far away from the artificial glow of street lamps. But, it gets very, very dark at campsites, and while this is great for stargazing, it can also be problematic if you drop your keys or need to make an unanticipated visit to the bathroom.

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Bring another lighting option (besides your cell phone flashlight) with you to the campsite. You can bring a lantern or a string of lights to hang up around your site or even in your tent. No need for electricity, you can choose from both battery-operated lighting as well as solar lighting that charges during the sunny day and keeps the essentials visible at night.

Final Tip: Test out those lights before leaving to make sure the bulbs work, and make sure they have turned off again before packing them away.

2. Walk Further

Camping is not as rustic or as isolating as it sounds. In fact, if you go to the right campsite, it can be a high-tech social event attended by families with RVs nicer than any hotel you could find.

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While those camping trips are a good time, go further by heading deeper into nature. Instead of stopping at a campsite teeming with people, try walking a few extra miles down the trail to quieter site. You might miss the laughter on sunny afternoons, but you probably will not miss the guy that slams his car door at 2:30 AM.

3. Indulge in a Good Night’s Sleep

Out of all your gear, your sleeping equipment is some of the most essential. A good sleeping bag keeps you warm even when temperatures plummet, and a solid mat means you can sleep pretty much anywhere. But, do not forget about your pillow.

At home, the state of your pillows are the difference between red eyes in the morning and greeting the day with a smile. The same is true at a campsite, and a pillow is often the last thing people think about when packing for a trip.

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Hunt out a great pillow that is suitable for a good family tent which you’ll be sleeping in while camping. There are a number of options on the market from budget pillows to high-end inflatable numbers. Choose the one that is right for you so you can greet that sunrise the way nature intended – well rested.

4. Don’t Forget Essentials

It may sound impolite, but you need toilet roll. The kind you buy depends on the rules of the site and the kind of toilet available, and it is a good idea to check before you leave.

Make your natural experience easier by making a toilet paper holder out of a coffee can. A normal plastic coffee container will do the trick. Cut a long hole in on the side to pull paper from, and maybe consider adding a handle to the top to make it easier to carry. These are both easy to make and easy to use, and they will protect this precious commodity from all kinds of disasters.

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5. Spice It Up

There’s nothing better than cooking over a campfire until you realize you are going to eat plain grilled meat for the next five days. Add flavor to your campfire meals by bringing spices with you on the road.

You do not need to lug around the commercial size tubs of cinnamon. Instead, take what you need and put them in smaller, re-sealable containers, like Tic Tac boxes, so they do not take up much space.

Whatever you use, make sure you label the boxes before you leave to prevent any culinary disasters.

Camping can be a relaxing and life-affirming experience, but remember, sleeping under stars is more fun with a good night’s sleep, delicious food, and enough light to go to the bathroom without running face first into a tree.

Featured photo credit: Roderick Eime via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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