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Small Changes to a Big Anna Falkenmire

I am THE biggest advocate for watching movies on the couch all day. I love going to my indoor gym and I regularly stare at my laptop screen for relentless hours at a time. But the days that I channel my energy into a little bit of outdoorsy-ness are the ones I feel great about – and I’m sure you feel the same.

We Newcastle dwellers are truly blessed with the amount of sun, surf and sand that is lapping at our doorstep, not to mention the glorious greenery to be explored off the edge of the coast. From stepping outside for a quick leg stretch or eating your lunch outdoors to going on a day-long adventure on a push bike or your own two feet, there are so many small and inexpensive ways to get out and feel good in our own backyard.

1 - Garden!

Nurturing even the smallest of gardens is the perfect excuse to adventure into the sunshine and care for your critters. A herb garden need not be any bigger than a pot if you don’t want it to be, it’s cheap to establish, easy to look after, and gives you plastic-free, fresh herbs at your fingertips.

Keener gardeners could plant an orchid or frangipani plant – both of which love the coastal atmosphere – and not only will it be beautiful and colourful and happy to look at, but it will provide endless flowers to tuck behind your ears or in your braids. Cute!

2 - Go to a new beach.

It’s so easy to keep going to the same old beach – it could be the closest or have the easiest parking, but that gets dull. I recently went to Redhead Beach for something different, and love putting in the extra effort to explore Susan Gilmore Beach every now and again. Take the time to rescue a stray piece of rubbish from entering the ocean to make yourself feel extra good.

3 - Try a new café.

It’s the same story – I find a coffee and cake I like, and I order it every time. Find a new one in a different area. It’s crazy how different coffee can taste! Take a keep cup and stop off on the go or use it as an excuse to study or do some work in a comfy environment away from home. With endless coffee! I often alternate cafés by going to Georgetown’s Oily George for a more industrial feel or to a beach kiosk for an atmospheric kick.

4 - Ride.

Bikes for hire or cheap purchase in Newcastle are surprisingly easy to come across and most for rent around the Nobby’s Foreshore area even have little baby engines to help a sister out. The salty breeze will work wonders. Keener riders should explore the Fernleigh Track in Adamstown, snaking through luscious forest for a shadier trip. Bikes are an incredible way to reduce your carbon footprint and feel healthy.

Putting away your gadgets and games and reading glasses for a moment each day does not only work wonders for your mental and physical health, it is a simple way to appreciate the world around you! There are so many ways to make each day a little different from the one before – and each time you make that choice you are helping the earth and yourself.


Written by Anna Falkenmire