In a LDR (Long Distance Relationship)? Go on a Hike!
Now, I don’t mean “go on a hike” in a negative way, I’m referring to walking in the woods or on a trail somewhere in the outdoors. Long Distant Relationships can be tough, stressful and can cause a lot of anxiety. It is important to take time outside your LDR and accomplish something on your own, out of your normal routine. Hiking is a great way to escape, explore the outdoors and build up your self-esteem and self-confidence.
To be honest with you all, I’m not a huge fan of hiking. I spend a lot of time on the outdoors riding my horses and I would much rather find a good trail to take my horses on and let them do the walking. However, I’m trying to build up my fitness and lets just say hiking gives you a reality check on how fit you actually are! My booty is still recovering from my three and half hour hike on Sunday! When steep hills are mixed in with the trail, boy you find out quick how fit you actually are!
I have only been in a true LDR for about 3 weeks now, but the last couple months before felt like an LDR since my boyfriend was busy with school and army drill. We only spent time with each other on the weekends unless he was away at drill. Regardless, in my opinion no matter how long the LDR is, everyone can relate to the struggle and stress that it can cause.
The reality of the situation hit me this past weekend, since I’m living a 11-12 hour drive away from all my family and friends back home (read my confessions post). In the past, Memorial Day weekend has usually been spent with my family camping out on my grandparents property. It was really hard spending it alone this past weekend. I spent a lot of time out riding my horses, but it just wasn’t cutting it for me. I was seriously jonesing for the backwoods, campfires, four wheeling, and being surrounded by my “crazy” family!
So on Sunday, I decided I would go on a hike while my horses were out grazing in the pasture at the place I’m boarding them at. I went up past Mendon, UT and went on the Deep Canyon Trail in the beautiful Wellsville Mountains. I had my phone so I could jam out some music while walking. I often turned it off so I could listen to the birds chirping and the wind rustling through the trees.
I must say, the beginning of the hike started out pretty rough and the steep hills didn’t help one bit! I did not feel confident that I could hike for a few hours, and I was out of breathe, sweaty, and kept wanting to turn back around and go home. It was all mental self-doubt. Which is funny because that past week, I felt a bunch of self-doubt for why I moved down to Utah, why I’m stuck here all alone and what I’m doing with my life- all for a guy I met last year around this time.
After about 20 minutes in, the hike was getting better. I took the steep inclines slowly and paused to take a few breathes of air after finishing each one. I was working through the self doubt and my mentality was switching to a more optimistic state. I started switching my focus to outdoors and enjoying nature especially the views of the Cache Valley as I climbed higher up the trail. After climbing up each incline, I felt more and more confidence that I could do it! The trail started flattening out as I kept going which was very encouraging. I was actually having fun!
At first I set a shorter time limit of when I wanted to turn around and walk back to my pickup but as I kept going I wanted to explore more and more. I finally came to a good stopping area took a break and started walking back. All the self-doubt went away. I felt confident and at ease. It was a great feeling. The walk back was a piece of cake compared to the walk to my turn around point. The views of the valley and the trees were so rewarding. I was proud of myself when I got back to my pickup.
So why go on a hike if you are in a LDR?
Well you don’t exactly have to go on a hike- even though I highly recommend it, but do something by yourself that helps build your confidence and improves your mental state. This could be a new exercise routine, a new craft, going to a movie by yourself, or starting a new hobby/sport etc. Doing something that is out of your norm and routine is the most beneficial. It is important that you see your self-worth and that you can do things on your own, even if your significant other is away. Not only will it help you personally, but it will help your relationship with your significant other. It’s a good escape and confidence builder that will help you bring things into perspective. It will also keep those bad anxious thoughts at bay and put them at ease.
The hike helped me feel accomplished, independent and put my negative thoughts at ease. It gave me a new perspective on how to get through my LDR and reminded me that it is only temporary, a few more weeks left. It helped remind me that true love is what brought me down here to Utah and I’m not ready to let that go. Giving up is not an option, and the hike reminded me to stay strong and tackle each day individually.
“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.”
In my LDR, I’m looking forward to those beautiful destinations coming up after my boyfriend gets back from his Geology Field Camp! I can get through it and so can you!
*as a side note, I want to wish everyone a belated Happy Memorial Day! I hope you all took some time on Monday to reflect about those soldiers who never made it home to their family’s and that you thanked the Lord for those who did. I’m so grateful that my sergeant made it through two deployments. I met him a bit after his 2nd deployment, but I’m glad he made it home so we could meet each other and fall in love 🙂
Are you in an LDR? How do you cope with the distance?