A long walk makes big differences.
With everyone locked up tight in their homes, it’s never been easier to stay inside. To go the entire day without leaving the house.
Essentially that is what I was doing. I was staying in the house most of the time. I wanted to do my part. Wanted to respect social distancing so we can all return to normal.
For the most part, it’s been fine.
The few times that I would leave the house, it would be to go to the park across the way. I wouldn’t do this every day. More like every couple of days. Walk to the park and do a couple of laps of the path.
Something weird happened though. I found myself getting anxious or being in general on edge.
Because every time I went to the park, it would be busy. So, I would do only maybe one or two laps and then come back inside. Frustrated that I was the only one wearing a mask and moving out of the way for people.
Have you had that feeling, or is it just me?
I found myself not wanting to go out because of that.
While it was OK at first, I found myself slowly degrading. Being a bit more irritable with people. I was demotivated. Didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to write anything. Events came to a head when I found myself getting mad at things I read on the internet. Fun fact: when you get angry at something you read on the internet, you are taking the first steps towards being a loser.
Basically I was cracking up.
I didn’t know what else to do so I went out for a huge, big, long walk. This wasn’t to the park. It was up the road along the motorway. If I could find a way to add to the route. I took it.
Let me tell you the difference I felt was humongous. I could not believe how much better I felt. There was nowhere near as many people about.
There’s something about walking alone in silence.
You can actually feel yourself distressing. Do you ever feel like your head is bunged up? Like it’s almost similar to having a stuffy nose, but it’s your whole head? Do you ever get that?
Taking this big long walk, it occurred to me. I need to take a long walk every day. That’s what I’ve been doing. The things that bothered me are no longer an issue. I’m writing again.
How long is a long walk?
How long is long?
At least an hour.
I don’t know what that is in miles or km.
Avoid the parks.
Don’t go to prominent places. You need to be alone.
Here’s another thing. You might find it difficult.
You can’t bring your phone with you. Don’t bring headphones and listen to music either. Like, I get it. It’s so easy to bring your phone with you. You can scroll as you walk. That doesn’t count. You have to let your mind get accustomed to silence.
Like I find it hard. I would complain about people not being able to be alone with their own thoughts. Not being prepared to embrace the silence. I’m just as guilty.
I’d look down on people for always watching TV, whereas I’d endlessly scroll Twitter. Or I would watch in-depth critiques of films I’d never watch on YouTube.
With your phone, you’re always available because of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Sometimes you need to be unreachable.
Now when I go for a long walk, I’ll leave my phone in the house.
You don’t feel tempted to look at your phone. Why, because you’ve removed the temptation altogether.
When you’re not continually bombarding your head with stimulus, something cool happens. You give your brain room to think, and it will reward you by giving you mental clarity.
A long walk is as good as deep meditation.
If you’re feeling like the walls are closing in on you. If you feel like you’re getting all cooped up, consider leaving your phone on the table. Step into the silence and go on a big long walk by yourself.