Brunch, spin class, dinner with friends — when your weekends start to feel like the same old story, it could be time to change your tune. Studies have proven that intentionally doing something that takes you outside of your comfort zone can increase your self-esteem and help you feel like you can accomplish just about anything. So grab your girlfriend — or fly solo — and put your adventure legs on. It’s time to take a trip out of town.

 1. Take a Road Trip

Road trips are an incredible opportunity to explore a whole new world. While some of us immediately go to to see where the cheapest exotic getaway could be, going on a mini adventure can be a great substitute, especially if your finances are running low or if your schedule doesn’t allow for a long weekend.

2. Get Out into Nature

Studies show that taking a 90-minute walk against a backdrop of trees will lower our stress levels, reduce negativity and boost self-esteem. Imagine what an entire day — or dare I say weekend — could do? Challenge yourself to try a new sport (surfing, hiking or even taking a long run). Movement also clears the brain of stress and makes room for creative ideas. Natural sunlight and fresh air will keep you glowing all week. Your boss and future best selling novel will thank you.

3. Go Camping

If you leave all technology — yes, even your beloved phone — at home, you’ll get extra health points by doing so. Research shows that spending too much time on devices can wreck havoc on your sleep patterns. A study carried out by University of Colorado showed that spending just one week sleeping in the wilderness resets the body’s natural rhythm to align with the Earth’s clock. Having inconsistent sleep patterns (due to all the artificial light our eyes consume) can have adverse effects on our health, causing weight gain and depression. We often think that we need to live a stone’s throw from wilderness to set up a tent and call the woods our home for a day or two. Yes, it is ideal to pack a bag full of all the fun camping knick-knacks you’d ever want, but many of us don’t have access to that pristine national forest or the budget to invest in all of the latest gear. Try sleeping on a rooftop or in a friend’s backyard for a quick jolt of nature.

4. Swap Environments

If you are a city dweller, take a road trip to the country. Put your cowgirl boots on. Try line dancing. Ride a horse. Take up skiing, mountain biking or stand up paddle boarding. If camping is your go-to thing, get yourself to a place like Vegas. Find out what restaurants are serving up unique dishes and visit a brand new art exhibition.

If your weekend is a combination of new adventures and leaving your ‘hood, it will feel like you were gone for an entire week. Come Wednesday, when you’re over the florescent lights and stagnant air, close your eyes and recall just one moment of your previous adventures. Hey, it could even be that moment you had to change a flat tire. Life isn’t about the destination or the never-ending task list. It’s about the journey. Your next weekend romp awaits you!

Do you love getting out of town? Tell us your favorite place to visit and why in our comments!

(Photos via Getty)