I’m a big fan of the therapeutic walk. When things get a little too hectic, when life seems a bit overwhelming, when co-workers or family members start demanding more than you can handle, it’s time for a walk. And let’s put down the smartphone while we’re at it. Yes, it’s nice to multi-task, catch up with said family or friends and perhaps take a few photos to share on Facebook or Instagram along the way (guilty, but how often do you encounter a trio of deer just feet away?)
Anyway, I digress.. On a recent morning when I was actually away at the lake “relaxing” I woke up feeling anxious about a variety of things over which I had little or no control. Not sure why these thoughts manifested on this particular morning. Maybe it was the busy week I had catching up on several projects at work. Or maybe it was some recent decisions that were made on boards I serve on. Or maybe it was anxiety about an upcoming trip I’m going on – to a third world country? Or maybe I just have too much on my plate and need to clear it (a great topic for a future blog).
In any case, I decided to throw on some basic walking duds, put the leash on the little dog (because big boy stayed at home with the dog sitter this time) and stomp around the country roads surrounding the lake. Less than 100 yards into my walk, I encountered the three deer previously mentioned and stopped to watch them… They stopped and stared and we stopped and stared.. Eventually, I took out the banned iPhone (I carry it with me when walking in this area as its a little red-Necky and there are wildlife concerns..) Anyway, the stare off continued and I filmed until they eventually decided to prance off.. After sharing said video, I put it the phone away and continued along the road past the little church and country cemetery and up to corner ranch house where two horses and a foal were grazing in the meadow.
As this little nature sojourn progressed, my mood lifted and my anxiety and worries were starting to dissipate. Something about being in nature, combined with a little light exercise never fails to clear the mind and put things into perspective.
Even when my little dog Dash proceeded to roll on some other animals poop, I remained calm knowing that my husband would cheerfully bathe him when we returned. We walked a bit further until I noticed that fluffy was getting a little winded (his 4″ leg length is no match for me) and so we turned around and headed back to the house.
I started reflecting on what had been weighing on my mind and realized that, like many women (and men), I place too much pressure on myself to fix everything and solve every problem and volunteer for too many committees, boards or fundraisers. What good does it do to over commit if you end up exhausted, stressed and burned out?
We all need to take a little more time to stop and smell the proverbial roses. To disconnect from the pressure and “convenience” of being constantly connected and at the ready to answer calls, texts and emails 24/7. Whether it’s a relaxing walk, a nap in a hammock, a bike ride or anything else that takes your worry meter down a few notches, I encourage you to make it a regular part of your day.
When the going gets tough, I say let it go and do some walk therapy. Clear your mind, observe your surroundings undistracted by the pressures of work, home or anything else that is causing your blood pressure to head north. Make your health, mental and physical, a priority. Thirty minutes or so detached from the constant demands of our overly connected world will not result in any catastrophe but will leave you in a better place!
Here’s to a healthier and happier day courtesy of simply taking a little walk.