I had a long talk with a friend about setting boundaries; limitations that will serve as self-preservation techniques, so I’m not constantly trying to pull from an empty source, or cup, if you will. I see that structure and saying “no” to certain asks are necessary for not only my success in what I do, but also for the health of my relationships with others and with myself.
Last week, some friends and I set off on vacation to the Olympic National Forest for 5 days of hiking, swimming, cooking, playing, and just simply enjoying. No work, limited phone access, and good friends – truly, a break from life. While I took time to reset, I allowed the ideas that implementing new boundaries as I get back into ‘life’ would be just the thing I need in order to cultivate the positive change I’ve been looking for.
(Wearing prAna Cozy-Up Zip Up Jacket )
I should also add that life is good right now ⎼ really good. Everything is moving quickly and opportunities are abundant. This is all the more reason for me to set those boundaries so I don’t get lost in a whirlwind of saying “yes” to everything, but being smarter about what I say “yes” to.
I realize that life isn’t going to slow down any time soon, and I’m coming to find that’s how I like it. But I also realize that I need to implement the necessary time to slow down every morning, evening, and weekend, to fill my source of energy so I can sustain the things I say yes to.
Things like breathing, meditation, and yoga in the morning, reading and drinking tea in the evening, and fun adventures or chill-time on the weekends. I’ll also do things like turn off email notifications before dinner and until the morning as well as on the weekends, and avoid scrolling email and social first thing in the morning and after 9 pm. These are just some simple ways to “turn off” my brain from the constant “on” mode so that I can have a little more time for myself and my family and friends.
I want to thank prAna for inspiring many of these words and gifting me with quite possibly the comfiest clothes I’ve ever put on. The new Cardiff Fleece line, made from a hemp-blend, is a soft and dreamy line of sweatshirts, zip-up hoodies, sweatpants, and cozy tops. I took their new line on my latest trip and, like always, their clothes didn’t fail to provide comfort, style, and functionality in everything we did.
A Trip through the Olympic National Forest
We set off on Wednesday and took a drive up the coast of Washington before heading east into the Olympic National Forest to our AirBnB just outside of Port Angeles.
In true PNW fashion, the coast was chilly and misty, which came as a nice reprieve from the heatwave and smoke in Portland.
After a quick hike near the coast and a stroll on the chilly beaches, we made our way through the last leg of the drive, through the Olympic National Forest, and then to our house with this amazing view. You can’t tell in this photo, but once the smoke and clouds cleared, you could see the coast and British Columbia from our back porch – it was incredible!
The next morning, we set out on our first adventure ⎼ a hike up Pyramid Peak trail. This 7-mile out and back trail is described online as “difficult” by some and I will definitely agree with that. While reviews say that the elevation gain is just over 2500 feet, once you’re climbing, you realize most of the gain happens within the last 2 miles or so. Our legs were on fire!
The reviews also say that the hike is worth it once you get to the top and I agree, but the entire hike itself was worth it.
The way the climate and scenery changed over the course of 3.5 miles was incredible – from hot and dry to misty, cold, and lush with all kinds of trees and moss, it was as if we were hiking in so many different places in just one hike.
Be warned, part of the trail is washed out from an old landslide and while there is soft sand to step on and bring some stability to the crossing, the path is narrow and slightly terrifying.
We did it, though! After 3+ hours of hiking, we were tired, hungry, and sore, and headed home to make dinner and chill.
On day three, a few more friends arrived and we headed out for an adventure on Crescent Lake. Our first stop was Crescent Lake Lodge to rent kayaks for the day.
The lake, with its blue-green waters and strong current, looks like the ocean surrounded by mountains ⎼ breath-taking. It was so windy by the lodge that we actually got turned down. We sat in the lodge trying to decide our next step when we found out that the Log Cabin Resort, 20 minutes away would rent us kayaks as it was calmer on that side of the lake.
When we finally got on kayaks, it was all paddling, sipping on drinks, and exploring the big lake.
A litter more of our view and the blue waters.
The next and last day of our trip, our original plan to go hiking to the Olympic Hot Springs got squashed because of a road closure, so we headed to the coast, to Salt Creek, and we were not disappointed. Blackberry picking, tide-pool inspecting, and extraordinary coastal viewing brought our trip to a beautiful end.
Between the daily adventures, we all took some much-needed downtime. The mornings always started slowly and were filled with coffee, sitting outside, and some gentle yoga. In the evenings we turned up the music and all pitched in for big family meals: Tacos, grilled pizza, delicious salads and more filled our plates during the trip.
This trip was everything and more ⎼ rejuvenating, restful, exciting, and more. I got much-needed friend time and much-needed no-screen time. I laughed until I snorted and tears streamed down my face. I ate delicious home-cooked meals every day. I slept at least eight hours every night. Most importantly, I filled myself up, which is exactly what I came for.
prAna: Clothing for a Positive Change
I wore the Cozy-Up Sweatshirt in Equinox Blue Heather and Cozy-Up Sweatpants in Charcoal Heather almost every day of the trip. Some days, I switched the sweatshirt for the Cozy-Up Zip Up Jacket in Charcoal Heather (FYI this is the first zip-up hoodie that I actually like to wear!). Whether hiking, kayaking or hanging around the house, this outfit suited my every need: comfortable, versatile, and durable.
[Want more prAna gear in your life? Their entire fall line is drool-worthy! Use the code NRANprAna25 for 25% off when you shop at prAna.com until 12.31.18]
And it’s no wonder that I was able to wear my new prAna clothes throughout my trip. Other than the fact that every piece is so comfortable, the entire hemp line has natural odor-reducing properties, so who’s to say if I’m wearing this outfit four days in a row? Not me!
Sustainability for the win!
Every time I shop at prAna, I know I’m shopping at a company that cares about everyone and everything, from the consumers to the producers to the environment. Their new hemp line doesn’t fail to impress me with their high standards for quality and sustainability.
Some hemp facts:
- Hemp doesn’t require any chemical pesticides or fertilizers.
- This makes it’s safer for the farmers that grow it as well as the land it’s grown on.
- Hemp is a drought-resistant plant and does wonders for the soil it’s grown in.
- Farmers who grow hemp are able to plant food crops in the same field immediately after harvest—something not possible with a lot of other crops.
- Once hemp is processed into fabric, it resembles linen in a lot of ways.
- It’s lightweight and remarkably breathable.
- It washes well, and because it’s blended with other materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester, and spandex, it doesn’t wrinkle as much as linen does.
And to add to this, in 2013, prAna partnered with Canopy, an environmental non-profit, to eliminate any wood fibers from endangered, ancient forest regions in fabrics like Rayon, Modal,and Lyocell. Basically, prAna supports our outdoor adventures in more ways than one – by equipping us with the gear necessary to get out there AND by protecting the environments that we adventure in!
It’s really no wonder that prAna’s tagline this year is “Clothing for a Positive Change”. They set the bar high for clothing brand best-practices and say “no” to unfair labor, unsustainable environmental practices, and anything else that isn’t in line with their mission of sustainability.
It brings me back to my entire thought-process that you have to set boundaries and say no when asks are not sustainable for your life. Knowing you have the choice and the power over things that are not a fit for you is all you need to move in the right direction, to sustain your energy for the things you love, and to maintain who you want to be.
[Support a company that supports the environment! Use the code NRANprAna25 for 25% off when you shop at prAna.com until 12.31.18]
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by prAna. All opinions are my own. I truly appreciate all the brands that support the Sweat Pink community!