Isn’t it funny that it’s an enforced lockdown of over 2 months that has made me realise I’ve created a blog to document all hidden gems known to me, yet I’m sat right on top of one and it remains undocumented. My travel bug has been humming away, begging to be given some sort of outlet, and I think I might have just found it right on my doorstep. I guess it’s natural that when we’re dreaming of getting out into the big wide world, we sometimes forget what is already right in front of us.
Walking & why you should…
I guess this is first and foremost a few reasons why I think walking is absolutely essential to mental health, given that it’s mental health awareness week. And second, an appreciation post in pictures of where I have the luxury of living.
A little disclaimer before I begin; I’m not talking about going on a daily hike with a steep incline for anyone who wants to tune out around about now. Not that I don’t love those, but I appreciate that might not float everyone else’s boat. Instead this is a why getting outdoors in general will make you feel good kind of thing.
A bit of fresh air – Perspective
Finding some quiet in amongst the madness is what walking is all about.
I think it’s safe to say that lockdown has done this for us all in some way. Picking up a book, a little bit of gardening, maybe even starting a blog after years of trying to find the time! So why not keep going with this incentive when normal life resumes and get walking?
When we all go back to work, and you can’t find the time or mental capacity to read the next few chapters in your book, go for a walk. Just a 20 minute stroll. Get out, get some fresh air. I guarantee, any of the things eating you up will feel just that much smaller and more manageable.
Beauty – Getting back to nature…
This is my time of the day to unwind, and let off some steam. I’m not trying to say your problems will magically disintegrate. However, I will say a rant whilst you’re walking and seeing things other than the same four walls of your workplace or house will do bits for your perspective. Chances are, once you’ve got those things off your chest, you’ll speak to whoever you’re with about everything and anything else.
Conversation flows for me and Harry when we’re outside. Childhood memories of body boarding at the beach, building mountain bike jumps in the woods, and a few ideas of places we’d like to visit in the future. A geography lecture or two will always be chucked in by Harry for good measure. A degree in Geography is handy for great conversation whilst walking, if nothing else!
Get your sweat on…
Breathe it all in! This is my version of meditation I guess. My mind is never more focused on the present than when I’m outdoors and getting a bit of exercise.
Not only will you feel great, getting those endorphins released, but the fitter you get, the longer your walks will be! It’s a win, win cycle. There’s nothing more refreshing than going on a walk at the end of the day. Dusk is usually prime time for me. It’s golden hour so everything always has that extra glow.
By the time I’m back and showered, I sleep like a baby and feel ready to conquer whatever tomorrow has in store.
My FitBit also loves me for it. It’s much more satisfying having it cheering you on than buzzing to tell you off for not moving enough in the last hour. Just a little added bonus.
Why is walking an absolute god-send for my mental health?
I think walking has the power to transport you. Between reminiscing over good times gone and imagining memories yet to be made, it isn’t hard to see why I always come back from a walk with a feeling of today’s stresses not being temporary, and knowing it is quite possible to find beauty in amongst it all. From a good old chin wag, to marvelling at your surroundings.