I don’t know what it is but there’s just something about the outdoors that completely soothes me. Whether it’s a 10 minute walk or a whole day outside exploring, there’s just something there that completely puts my mind at ease.
I live in Scotland so it can sometimes be difficult to spend time outside without being drenched by the rain. It must be one of the only places where you can experience all four seasons in half an hour. Despite the unpredictable weather, it is so beautiful. You can be in the worlds worst mood and come back completely forgetting what you were so worked up about.
I’ve not always been someone who just gets up and decides to go for a walk, to be honest, I used to think of that as pretty pointless unless I was doing it with someone. But in the last year, I’ve grown a strong desire to spend a lot of time outside.
Suffering from anxiety is an absolute nightmare when it comes to trying to slow your mind down and trying to think rationally. If I’m feeling particularly anxious and cannot pinpoint what is causing it, I simply go for a walk. And no, it doesn’t always make me feel better but how do you know it won’t unless you try it?
To some people, when in such a anxious state of mind, they could not imagine anything worse than leaving the safe confines of their home and I understand that. I too, have had those feelings. But in these situations, when I decide to go outdoors to calm myself down, I don’t think about the other people that could be walking around. I concentrate on my music and mind. (Regularly checking I’m not going to bump into anyone when carried away singing to myself.)
I understand it is difficult but if this becomes something you do often, your mind forgets about other people surrounding you. Going for a walk puts me in a zone, a place where I can unwind and simply step away from my irrational thoughts. It was when I started going for regular walks outdoors that I noticed my anxiety around people in the street was a lot more controlled. I never ever forced myself to go outside and conquer the anxiety but doing so in a manner that I enjoyed, certainly helped.
Yes I know, going for a walk is not gonna free you from all your problems and it’s not going to make them disappear. But it will let you take a step back from the situation and give your little brain a bit of a rest. I think that taking at least 10 minutes out of your day and being disconnected from the rest of the world can really help. It means you can relax. And 9 times out of 10, when I return form a walk, the things that were bothering me beforehand don’t seem as big of a deal. Yes, they still exist and I need to try and find a way of dealing with them, but taking a step back to breath can sometimes help you recharge and figure things out in your head.
“I’ve never found time spent amongst nature to be a waste of time”
I want you to try it. If you’re feeling low or feel like you have a lot on your mind, stick some shoes on, grab a set of earphones and go for a walk. Whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour, I promise you it’ll feel so good. Don’t spend the time looking through your phone or updating your social media accounts, just relax. Unwind. Sing along with the music playing and completely forget about your troubles for 10 minutes.
Take in your surroundings. Even if it is somewhere you walk everyday, by switching off, you will probably notice things that have always been there that you’ve never really considered before. The fresh air is so liberating and makes you feel much less trapped than in the four walls of your room. Just look around at all the different colours around you and the beauty of nature.
It won’t solve all your problems, I know that. And I know that it won’t work for everyone but I want to share what I do to help myself. If sharing my experiences helps at least one person, then that’s a start yes?
“Log off. Shut down. Go outdoors.”
Together, we can do this!