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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

I Need A Walk

This week I have felt out of sorts and kind of not myself.

I wasn’t sure what it was. My screen time is up this week, but not much. I’ve not been great at drinking water in the daytime, but I’ve been making it up in the evenings. So what else could it be?

Well, looking back I realise that I haven’t really been outside much in January. I haven’t been walking at lunchtime and I’m just finishing my post 500k in 2019 rest, so no running either. This lack of outside time has really affected my wellbeing. I’ve felt sluggish, found it hard to concentrate, I keep having headaches and I’ve just felt ‘off’.

Being outside has always been a big part of supporting my mental wellbeing, even if I haven’t always know it. Spending most of my time inside this month isn’t a surprise; it’s been dark, cold and often wet for a while now (plus theres been some great Netflix). Thinking back I probably didn’t go out much in December either.

Walking and/ or running are great for me, there‘s time to process thoughts, I can’t look at emails or my phone in general; and I think just physically moving forward helps me to process thoughts/ feelings/ emotions. The physically moving forward thing is, I think, proven (or currently being researched) to support wellbeing in terms of emotion/ though processes. It definitely helps me.

It‘s not just the moving forward. Physically the exercise... specifically getting my body moving helps. But so does just standing or sitting outside. I guess they help in different ways. Not sure if I’m reading too much into this. But...

I think the walking/ running helps to process and or move through things. While the standing or sitting is better for reflecting and or accepting things. If that makes sense? Anyone else have the same?

I’m going to make more effort to go outside, and to have a bit of time outside too (I may need to get a coat!). I’m really pleased that over the last year I have become much more confident in talking about my own wellbeing and making changes, when needed, to support it. I think that’s going to be particularly important going into a year following 2019, and having had the amazing challenge I had last year to focus on. So here’s to maybe trying new wellbeing activities and to keeping up most of the old ones.

I‘ve started by today making time to walk along the coastal footpath on the edge of Bedhampton, stopping to take a couple of photos and just looking out at the sea. Which was so beautifully still, with the faintest of ripples. Truly a calming sight and sound.


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