The greeting card industry really wants you to buy your mom a pretty card, some flowers, and some candies this month. But the commercialization of Mother’s Day sure makes things seem a lot tidier than they often are for many of us. 

Some of us have lost moms. Some of us have mom figures in our lives instead. Some moms have lost their children. Some moms are just plain tired. What do you do to honor a day that can sometimes feel as murky as life’s own ebbs and flows? 

Well, we think it’s the perfect day to tell the moms, mom figures, and mom spirits in your life to take a hike!

But literally.

Mom figures carry a heavy load. Between keeping track of schedules, shuttling kids around, keeping houses in order, lending a listening ear, working that nine to five, and so much more, it’s easy for moms to keep pushing self-care activities further down the line. Your mom might love time spent in the outdoors and return home from trail time rejuvenated and inspired, but maybe it has also been months since she felt like she had the time to do so.

If you really want to give one of the moms in your life a gift this month, look for ways that you can support her self-care. This goes beyond telling your mom she should go enjoy a hike. It means putting the supports in place to make her feel like she actually can.

Want to tell your mom to take a hike this month for Mother’s Day? Here are a few ways you can support her in that.

1. Plan dinner.

If you want to let your mom go enjoy her day, make sure she knows all of the other bases are covered for the day. Have dinner plans ready for the evening when she’s off trail. Better yet, plan to take care of this task throughout the week leading up to her hike to help share some of that mental load that meal planning takes. This can help her spend more time prepping for her adventure.

2. Clean the house.

Similar to the above, the goal here is to take work off your mom’s plate to free up both time and mental space for self-care. If she doesn’t have to worry about her to-do list as much, the more she’ll be able to enjoy her day to herself.

3. Give her some route options.

If you’re going to tell your mom to take a hike, consider presenting her with a few trail routes you think she might enjoy. You can research which have good water features, wildflowers, or other aspects she enjoys. This helps reduce choice overload. Sometimes when we find ourselves with time for a hike, picking one from endless options can feel overwhelming and we may back out. Help take the planning stress out of your mom’s nature self-care day by paring down the options a bit.

4. Get her friends in on it.

Some moms enjoy time alone on the trail. But others may want some friends along, or maybe even your company. Based on your mom’s preferences, you can coordinate a trip with her gal pals or tag along for the day.

5. Pack her bag and trail snacks.

When you tell your mom to take a hike, you want it to be as frictionless of a choice as possible for her. Help her out by gathering any needed gear together for her into her day pack. You can also put together some tasty trail snacks for her and fill her water bottle.

6. Plan her shuttle.

If your mom has been wanting to do a section of the Appalachian Trail or another one-way stretch of trail, plan her shuttle for her. Sometimes hiking logistics can be a real drag, so offer a little kindness to your mom by taking on the role of lead logistics coordinator.

Help Mom Figures Everywhere Take a Self-Care Hike This Month—and Always

Mother’s Day is a great time to support mom figures everywhere in carving out time for self-care. It’s even better when moms who love the outdoors can take a day to do that hike they’ve been postponing. 

But we also hope that all of us everywhere remember that moms need us to bolster them year-round. Throughout the year, we hope you find ways to support your mom in the mundane day-to-day tasks that sometimes get in the way of her getting to spend more time outdoors or otherwise.

Whether you’re celebrating a mom or mom figure this year, remembering one you’ve lost, hoping to become one, or anything in between, we wish everyone a happy Mother’s Day and hope that you find ways to honor the collective mother spirit through self-care and time outside.


Header image by Ian D. Keating

May 05, 2022 — Korrin Bishop