After you become mother you actually start to understand meaning of the word "me-time". No surprise 'Mommy Me-time' is such favorite phrase among mums. But being an outdoorsy person my me-time must involve some outdoors time, somewhere close to Nature or at least man-made nature in Dubai! You can imagine how difficult it must be for me during summers, but then I still manage to escape and be with plants in my favorite nursery.
|Outdoors Me Time|
I am not a big fan of spending (or rather wasting) time at grooming saloons I prefer dirty toes in mud over perfectly pedicured ones, so that girly pamper time is not really a 'pamper time' for me, sorry ladies no offense it's just the way I am! Also how ever many Dirhams I spend in malls and how many hours I watch TV or in front of screens I can't really relax or can't feel like having that me-time. Some outside time is must! After starting my Zerowaste lifestyle attempt this year I have reduced mall trips significantly and frankly I am happier! Collecting experience is lot enriching than collecting items! Yes I might be unaware of what new stores opened in Dubai and what new brands launched in UAE, but I am very much aware of what goes inside my head and what new changes are in my surrounding. These days people talk so much about being authentic, I guess this outdoor me-time helps me to reach there, being me!
Now as weather is getting better I can go out almost any time of the day! I am super happy to share my favorite outdoors spots around Dubai to spend my me-time, If you really want to go outside but don't have company I will suggest, please don't wait just get outside and see how happy you can be with yourself!
1. Kite Beach
Since it's development in past few years, it's one of favorite beach of Dubai residents. On weekends it's difficult to find parking here but I like to go here on weekday mornings after school runs. There is great jogging track, where you can work out or just meditate on beach. I like to listen to the waves and do beach combing for unique shells and a quick clean up.
There are great cafes for a coffee or breakfast and sometimes I take my laptop with me to just write after a inspiring barefoot walk on the beach!
2. Creek Park
Though I love this place I can't go there regularly as it's far away from my place. But in case if I am at that side of the town and can spare some time I grab the opportunity to visit this lush green park. We visit there often in winter on weekends, specially after Safa park is closed for development. But creek park on weekday morning is just heaven, all for yourself! You can have long leisurely walks or sit under the shade of a tree or just lie down on grass with your favorite book!
Read this post about one of such me-time I spent in Creek park just after my son started his nursery last October!
3. Al Barsha Pond Park
This is closest park from my son's school so now don't be surprised to find me here more often than ever! Just last Thursday I was there and was totally delighted by great weather and to find my favorite cork flowers in bloom! This is also a great place to find variety of birds. I used to spend lot of mornings here when my son was younger. It has really great play areas even for younger kids. Cycle track is great too! Many mums meet up in this park so I am sure this park is generally popular among mums!
4. The Gardens
The Gardens by Nakheel is closest to my home! I have a love affair with this place since I came to Dubai 10 years back! May be because it reminds me of my lush green hometown or may be because Nakheel has planted Indian species of shrubs and trees. But it's my default me-time outdoors spot. Sometimes I ride my bike or sometimes I just go for a walk. Being one of the older community the trees are mature and fully grown here. Read an old post about this fully bloomed new ecosystem of Dubai!
|Fully grown trees at The Gardens|
5. Community parks dotted around Jumeira
Whenever I am going around the town for any work I try to squeeze some quick outdoors visit. So where ever I go I find out smaller, not so popular community parks and spend some time there. I can always write or work better when I am outdoors so I don't mind finishing my work there. I use Google maps to find a green patch or a small park nearby when I am out.
6. Dubai Garden Center
This is my favorite outdoor spot specially during hotter months simply because you can be close to lush greenery in a shaded area! I might not buy plants from this nursery every time I go there. I like the Roseleaf cafe located inside, specially it's sitting area facing plants. A leisurely stroll in this nursery can recharge me, when I can't go for longer walks in parks or on beach!
Now if you found all of this complete beyond your understanding and wondering what exactly I do in those places apart from exercise? Then let me tell you I mainly like to observe! I like to observe how great I feel when I take in fresh air, how happy I feel when I walk on grass or sand with bare feet! It's really a feast for all senses, you can see many different birds or hear them chirping! You can even observe the behaviour of different birds, they have so much character! Read this post for example about how much birds can entertain you. You can look at beautiful trees and plants. You can see how the seeds falling on ground creating new lives, how and when certain trees flower! I love to gather flowers fallen on ground and smell them to evoke memories! You can look at waves at beach and hear the sound of sea! You can find different shells and sea glass!
I love to collect natural collectibles whenever I go on such outdoor trips, which I use in my Eco-friendly DIYs or give to my son for some art and craft activities! Sometimes you can just smile at real people and start a conversation. It's much better than observing someone's life on social media platforms! I have made some nice friends on such outings and I even like to talk to staff working in parks, it's great to hear insight from them about what goes in maintenance of these year round green parks in desert! It's been years I am doing this in UAE and yes I get some strange looks from people at these outdoors spots especially when I do quick clean ups before I leave. I would like to see a day in Dubai, when someone is doing voluntary clean up, other people will join in!
I strongly feel, we need to let ourselves spare some time to see where we are living! Else we will never know what amazing things are there outdoors even in urban jungles like Dubai! Plus spending time outdoors is a big cure for many things!
Many researchers have found these benefits of spending time outdoors
1. Boost your creativity.
It's my favorite reason as if I need to get inspired to write a new post on blog, my sure-shot remedy is to get outside!
2. Improve Mental Health
3. Boost Vitamin D Intake
This one is very important in UAE! Many UAE doctors keep telling their patients that just because we don't go outdoors much many people suffer vitamin D deficiency, which affects our mood, big cause of depression and can affect growth of kids as our body can absorb calcium with vitamin D. You need to spend at least 30 minutes in son for effective vitamin D absorption.
4. Improve Concentration, Short term Memory and Eyesight.
So many important advantages, we definitely want our kids to get benefited with that don't we?
5. Stress Relief and Increase Immunity
We all need that and I have seen results so much that nothing else can replace my me-time but just some outdoor time!
In UAE we have so many options to go outdoor and enjoy nature check this list of places for your weekend plans! Be it beaches, mountains, parks or just landscaped community where you stay!
So what are you waiting for? Just go outdoors!