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Social media is ablaze of late with 30 days of happiness, or 5 days of gratitude, or similar challenges we post to our circles in the hopes they will help keep us accountable for our forward momentum and results. I love these (love less the calling out of others in what gets dangerously near to a chain letter, participation coercion, no-way-out dynamic).

Here’s one (no pressure or guilt trips) I just learned of, though folks have been taking it on for a while. Rewild Your Life asks each of us to spend at least 30 minutes outside in nature for 30 days. We know it is good for us whether a strenuous hike, a session of surfing, gardening, a walk on a path, or eating lunch on a park bench. At least once over the next month of time, find a new place nearby you haven’t yet explored. Go check it out.

Non-processed air and natural sunlight (or rain or fog or clouds) better our mood, increase motivation, lower stress and anxiety, and profoundly affect our feeling of connectedness. I would add taking each of these opportunities to look for ways to connect with another while you’re at it. On the way to or from our slice of green for the day, make eye contact, smile, genuinely ask how someone’s day is going, hold a door, let that other car merge, tell the telemarketer no thank you in a calm way, leave a larger tip than you might, look up from your phone, ask someone to join you for your 30 minutes of rewilding…

If you do the official Rewild Your Life challenge, there are support systems, guidelines and suggestions, a social media community, even prizes from some cool sponsors.

Go on. Rewild. Thank the day for being there. Thank nature for welcoming you.

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About The Author

Andrew Mersmann's picture

Andrew is the author of Frommer's global guide to volunteer vacations, "500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference" (Gold Medal Winner from Society of American Travel Writers: Best Guide Book 2010). He spent more than a decade on the editorial team of PASSPORT Magazine. He has volunteered and led teams on service projects around the world, and is honored to be on the boards of directors for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (AARBF.org) and Mentor Artists Playwrights Project (mentorartists.org). Mersmann has been a featured speaker, interview guest, or moderator on several travel talks, from the New York Times Travel Show, Smithsonian Associates, and the 92nd Street Y-TriBeCa to Oprah and Friends, Animal House, and The Focus Group on satellite radio as well as on NY1 television. Past participant at the Clinton Global Initiative and judge for Condé Nast World Changers Conference, he blogs about volunteering and service travel at www.ChangeByDoing.com. As part of the evox television team, he is dedicated to audience engagement, so if you're not engaged, he needs to be thumped on the head (gently)...or at least told (nicely). Twitter: /ChangeByDoing

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