There are so many people that have discovered running or the PE with Joe workouts to keep them through the last few months. For me the thing that has got me through is even easier – walking.
Simply walking out of the front door and taking the same route around the village as often as I can has been enough for my mental health. I don’t need equipment, sometimes I don’t even need my headphones to keep me going. I am fortunate that I don’t live by myself, however I miss alone time, especially during lockdown. The walk gives me that. I have space to breathe, to think, to reflect. Most of the time, when I see the tree or the house I saw yesterday is still standing it gives me a sense of grounding.
It’s been great that the online world has opened up communication between families and friends in the same town or across the country. However we need to remind ourselves that the outside world on our doorsteps is still there. I used to walk during the week to get to work or to meet friends and I would reserve leisurely walks for weekends and holidays. My daily 45 minute walk could be done in 30 minutes but the reason it’s longer is because I take my time. I know I have carved out my day to allow for time outside before I start or end my day.
A beautiful by product of going on the same route every day is noticing nature. The flowers change, the leaves turn, the light twinkles. On my walks, I’ve found elderflowers which I brought home to make cordial, blackberries to make jam and apples to make a crumble. Without lockdown I wouldn’t have paid much attention to my surroundings. I wouldn’t have seen the butterflies, the birds or the squirrels. I’ve loved slowing down and centring myself as a reminder that the world keeps spinning and the seasons still change no matter what is out there.
It’s provided me comfort, joy and peace. I hope when we are out of this, I continue to put one foot in front of the other because, after all, isn’t that what life is about?
Anika Ved, Events Professional