GO Week | Meet Michelle Morpeth, Outdoorsy NZ
Michelle Morpeth is a wellbeing specialist, outdoor advocate, and founder of Outdoorsy NZ – a wellbeing company (which started out as blog) dedicated to inspiring and supporting people to get outdoors and connect with the natural environment.
One of Michelle’s main priorities is rekindling the ‘outdoorsy’ fire of mums – encouraging and inspiring them to prioritise time for themselves outside.
Michelle shares her story and journey as an outdoors enthusiast.
Kia ora Michelle! Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I’m Michelle, founder of Outdoorsy NZ. We help people to fit more of the outdoors in, so that they feel energised, recharged, and firing to take on all the challenges at home and at work. We run wellbeing programmes and retreats for businesses, and also specifically for mums. It’s so easy these days to prioritise everything else except our own health and wellbeing, which is crazy!
When and where did your love for the outdoors begin?
The outdoors has always been my ‘happy place’. I think spending a lot of my childhood sailing and exploring the Hauraki Gulf and Northland coast with my family had a big influence on me.
What’s your favourite way to experience the outdoors?
My favourite way? Any way possible! By myself, with my kids, my friends, my clients, with total strangers! I love trail running outdoors, sleeping outdoors, surfing, sailing, snowboarding, hiking, doing conservation work, teaching others, cooking, and eating outdoors, swimming, kite-flying, free diving, kayaking… You name it, I’ll do it!
Can you share the story behind your wellbeing programmes/retreats?
When I started Outdoorsy, it was largely because it was the kind of thing I was looking for, but it didn’t exist. I wanted to provide a supportive community for mums who had perhaps lost their outdoorsy mojo after having kids and put it in the too hard basket. I wanted them to get their confidence back.
The community grew so quickly - there are over 8,500 active members in our Facebook group The Outdoorsy Mama! From there, our wellbeing programmes and retreats have developed for both mums and businesses needing wellbeing solutions. I think it’s widely accepted now that it’s not ‘woo woo’ to need your nature time. We teach simple, science-based wellness strategies that really make a difference.
What does accessible outdoors mean to you?
Whether it’s peaceful recalibration, or epic adventure, EVERYONE should be able to get their outdoor fix in our beautiful backyard.
Why do you think it’s important for people to spend time in the outdoors?
In this technological world, nature is restorative. Because of the way we have evolved, we’re actually wired to be outside - it’s in our DNA. So many of our bodily systems are influenced by our natural environment, whether it’s physiological (like sleep, immunity, adrenals), physical (cardiovascular, general health) or psychological (mental health and wellbeing). With the digital overload surrounding us these days, it’s even more important to counterbalance the screen time with green time. Plus - it’s FUN!
Word of advice for anyone wanting to become more outdoorsy or wanting to return to the outdoors?
Make it a priority - you won’t regret it! Just start one step at a time. Small changes really do add up - walk three times a week. Make a habit of drinking your morning coffee/tea outside. Stargaze before bed. You don’t have to be an athlete to be outdoorsy!