Walking as therapy
I first heard about walking from my friend. He went to the mountains almost every weekend, either with a dog, a friend, a family member, but most often by himself. I thought he was weird, but today, also due to the on-going lockdowns and my strong determination to become more mindful, I learnt to appreciate walking and learnt what it can do for your body and mind.
Regular readers of the blog might remember my recent protest against spending too much time in the mountains. Well? I take it all back. Probably, you are rarely grateful for what you have right in front of you. And thus, I can only now fully appreciate every moment I get to spend outdoors and even oftentimes catch myself longing for more.
I love putting on my hiking shoes and getting lost in the valleys, absorbed by the views, inhaling the crisp air. I struggle to embrace this beauty whilst I am on my skies, thus I appreciate the slower pace so much more. And besides, walking multiplies as a great therapy too, which is nothing new. For example, Marketa from Terapie v lese talks about the positive impact of spending time in nature in her post for Femme Palette, but I guess you struggle to believe that until you try.
In the past, I had been the prototype of a city gal. Working in the City (bank quarter in London), living in the center, spending half an hour or more getting ready before stepping out of the house. Looking back, my then normal life seems a little strange to me now, but I guess things change. People change. And so, here I am now, living on the edge of a relatively small city, being able to put on my shoes and go for a walk in the middle of the day to the wild nature. And who says you shouldn't do the same?
As you start inhaling the crisp air, your cheeks turn red, and your fingertips begin to shiver, you start feeling the transformation.
I thank the pandemic but also my friend for helping me find the power of nature, particularly walking in it. When you walk for five minutes or so, you feel nothing. But slowly, as you start inhaling the crisp air, your cheeks turn red, and your fingertips begin to shiver, you start feeling the transformation. It’s not sudden, it’s slow, successive, and truly transformative.
As you walk through a field, climb up a hill, absorb the views, enjoy the crackling branches defending your feet, your mindset begins to shift. You stop thinking about the daily responsibilities of life. Your never-ending to-do list somewhat fades away and you start focusing on the deeper meaning of life. You suddenly start feeling more alive, more of yourself.
Walking in nature, from my experience, can release all tension in your body and help you become more aware of yourself and your surroundings. It is like yoga, with the difference being in the form. Instead of on your mat, you find yourself unrestricted by any place or space in time. You can do exactly what you want and at the exact time. It is your invite to be spontaneous, to have some fun, and foremost to be free!
Walking in nature can release all tension in your body and help you become more aware of yourself and your surroundings.
Nature is life-changing. Thanks to COVID-19, we get to spend more time outside than we ever did before, and that’s a good thing (despite there being many negative consequences as well, of course). I thank the world for making us improvise, for exploring the transformative power of our surroundings, and for making us spend more time outdoors. Despite my occasional complaints, I couldn’t be more grateful for having the opportunity to spend as much time as I can outside.
Don’t hesitate. Put on your hiking shoes whenever you can and either plug in a podcast, some relaxing music, or unplug altogether to fully absorb the beauty, the scents, and the sounds of your natural surroundings. And if you need some assistance, I recommend walking therapy with Marketa here. Have fun, reflect, and enjoy your walk!