I’ve been walking a lot recently, it seems many of us have. It’s one of my lockdown habits and one that I intend to keep. Don’t get me wrong, I did walk before, but more often than not, it was solely to get me from A to B and certainly not for pleasure. These lockdown walks have been different, I even go to bed looking forward to my next walk . I stroll, I explore, I don’t have a plan and don’t feel in any great rush to get myself home and back to the computer. It’s been lovely and I am 100% sure it is doing my wellbeing the world of good.
The benefits of walking are nothing new; improved bone density, circulation, heart and lung efficiency and even weight loss (although I think my lockdown baking may prevent that one!) to name but a few.
When I begin my day with a walk I notice how much more productive with work and home life I am. My morning mood is also lighter and my head clearer. I feel as though I have achieved something even before I have officially started the day. Weirdly I feel taller too. Instead of simply pouring out of my bed and into my work space, all hunched and small and clasping of mug, my posture is improved and more purposeful. Sometimes I walk of an evening. It’s a different feeling but no less lovely. Flowers, trees, grasses, buildings and spaces all having a different light and even the air feels different, almost sleepy! I can feel my body unwinding, my mind letting go and when I finally get to bed, my sleep feels deeper and more content.
Now I know I can’t surely put all this down to a walking, or can I? I have been drinking a lot more water than I usually do (I’m notoriously poor at doing this) and my soul can’t help but be lifted by sunshine of which we have blessed with plenty. Maybe I’m eating better too. I m certainly cooking and baking even more than usual. Combined perhaps, all these things can make a difference.
Bird song too. Usually I can hear the hum and roar of traffic but with more people working from home and less traffic on the roads the predominant sound I am hearing is birdsong. Even now, as I write this in on the table in my dining room, cats draped across the furniture basking in the sunlight, my background noise is birds. Tweeting, twittering, singing and calling. I notice it on my walks too; the only real interruptions to it being perhaps a dog bark or the sound of child playing. I can’t help but feel relaxed and almost as though I am somehow on holiday in my own town.
I’m aware this is all sounding awfully idyllic and of course the COVID 19 lockdown has been anything but, but it has made me walk more, stop more, listen more and generally slow down more – The benefits of that cannot be ignored and my wellbeing is thankful for it.