Watching a sunrise or sunset might not seem like self-care, and if you don’t enjoy doing it, it’s not. It also doesn’t count if you watch it just to take pictures and post on social media while you’re doing it. Leave the internet for a few minutes, step outside, and watch.
Do you hear birds? Can you identify them?
What colors are you seeing?
Is there a breeze, or is the air still?
I’ve always been a morning person. I enjoy sitting outside and watching the sun come up. It lets me start the day peacefully and the displays of color on a day with scattered clouds jump start my creativity, too! I started watching the sunrise long ago when I was a single mother with three small children. The townhouse we lived in at the time was part of a complex with a small stream behind it. My back door opened directly to the banks of the stream.
Between raising children, full-time college, and part-time work, I had few minutes to myself. So, it was worthwhile for me to get up before the kids and step outside. I would take a glass of juice and sit on a wide, flat rock. I became so familiar with that spot, I can still recall it vividly, even though we moved out of there in 1998.
Doing this, I learned that the best sunrises are when there is broken cloud cover. The sun turns the clouds from purple to orange to red and pink, and finally the skies are bright blue and the clouds drift along like sheep being herded out to pasture.
When I moved to New Mexico, I found that the mountains to the east of Albuquerque don’t exactly allow the prettiest of sunrises. They do some neat things when there are clouds breaking across the peaks like waves, but it’s not the same. I may have lost the sunrises, but what sunsets we get! I have seen more colors and longer lasting sunsets here than anywhere I’ve lived. My routine shifted from being outside before the kids woke up, to making sure I had a west-facing window or balcony so I could watch them even in the winter.
Let the world take care of itself for a few minutes. Watch your next sunrise or sunset and give yourself permission to immerse yourself in the moment.