Hiding in the Woods Sounds Great: Or Does It?
It seems very nice to go hide out in the woods in a cabin with high-speed internet forever. But lonely living isn’t for everyone, and there are mental health repercussions to a completely isolated existence.
If you’re stuck on the idea of hiding away in the woods or are isolated by circumstance, make sure you are taking care of yourself. Loneliness can be deadly.
Get a Productive Hobby
Keeping your hands busy in a productive, positive way, can have a big impact on your mental health. Spending time on your cabin or focusing on the beauty around you can have a big impact on your well-being.
Working outdoors while in your island of isolation allows you to stay busy and focus on nature. One great way to work on the outside is to make your backyard semi-sustainable. Using the space wisely by planting food or designating an area of solar panels gives you time outside, a project to focus on, and a way to show your appreciation to the world around you.
If you are just letting the trees grow around you, you can work on your house. From doing little things like running a compost heap and replacing all your light bulbs, to big projects like replacing your windows, reducing your environmental impact is a great home project that you can be proud of.
If you are deciding to live in a cabin in the woods, a productive hobby that will have a positive influence on your life is to work on your home. If you focus your energy on green improvements, you can show your appreciation for the beautiful nature that you’ve chosen to live around. These improvements can also help you stay out in the forest longer — whether you’re adding wind or solar systems or digging your own well.
Can You Have a “Friend”?
Living in near isolation can be rough. But it doesn’t mean that you have to be by yourself. If you are choosing isolation, crafting an environment of support around you can be vital. Do you have someone who you can call? Do you have someone to talk to when the squirrel eating out of your bird feeder starts driving you up the wall?
Complete isolation can be dangerous. If you have no family ties and no real-life friends, consider taking part in groups that share your interests. A wood-working class can help you expand your skill set and gain friends. Even being an active member of a forum on tree health can give you some social interaction that helps prevent loneliness.
Ready for Anything?
Living in isolation can lead to some very rational concerns that may keep you awake. If the power goes out, do you have a back-up plan? Do you keep about a week’s worth of food and water in your house?
Are you ready for anything when you don’t have a neighbor to borrow a cup of sugar from?
Being prepared is a great peace of mind. Having back-up food and water in your home is always recommended in your emergency preparedness kit, but when isolated it becomes absolutely critical. Being able to eat your food is also vital — could you cook over a wood stove if it came down to it? It’s important to be able to cook if your food supplies are things like pasta and oatmeal. There’s also a lot of comfort in a cup of hot chocolate when the electricity goes out.
Besides being ready to feed yourself, being able to function in your life is important. Meeting with your doctor to explore telehealth options can make a big change if you have a long-term illness or may be unable to make it into town very often. You can also find someone to shovel out your driveway when a big blizzard hits.
Being able to function in isolation will be helpful, but it requires preparation.
Living in isolation and running away into the woods can seem very fun. But make sure you can function, that you still have a support group around you, and that you have something positive to do while out there.