I am not here to repeat the utter tripe that started the whole #JustGoForAWalk frenzy on twitter a little while ago (if you don’t know what happened, basically someone said to the mental health community that their depression and anxiety could be cured by ‘just going for a walk’ – make of that what you will). As an anxiety sufferer myself, I know fully well that just ‘going for a walk’ does not cure all your mental health concerns. But… whilst it won’t cure you completely, walking, exercise and getting outside into nature and the fresh air can have a huge positive impact on your mental (and physical) wellbeing. From my own experiences, I wanted to share some of the ways me and my mental health has benefitted from it.
1. Exercise: Exercise is important anyway but it can really affect mental wellbeing in a positive way. I always feel more mentally energised and less anxious after having been for a walk. A long, slow walk or a shorter, brisk walk – it doesn’t matter. Just get out there and get the blood pumping and the endorphins flowing! Listen to your own mental health: take it at your own pace and do what makes you comfortable.
2. Getting in touch with nature: I love nature – I love being in the countryside on occasion and taking short breaks in remote parts of the UK, away from my life near London. Going for a walk around a nice park or on a field is amazing because nature is a huge, wonderful thing and can often help relax you and put things into perspective. There’s so much beauty in the world… Let’s get out there and enjoy it!
3. Spending quality time with people: I go for walks with my mum and I try to do that every day as it’s a nice relaxing time to just spend with her – and the dog of course! Which brings me into my next point…
4. Meeting new people: Getting outside and going for dog walks is a great way to meet new people and other dog walkers are so damn friendly! This is great for my mental health – connecting with people who you don’t know and connecting over a shared interest. Also, who would pass on the opportunity to stroke and cuddle some seriously cute dogs?! If you’re not a dog owner (and don’t fancy putting a lead on your cat), joining a walking or running group could be a great alternative.
5. It gets you out of your own head: Being outside, exercising and embracing the fresh air and the nature can help massively in getting you out of your own head which is incredibly hard to do when, like me, you suffer from anxiety (and other mental conditions). We’re always so caught up with what our brain is telling us, even if it’s completely irrational. Being outside in nature can help me switch off. Exercising can help me focus on something physical – rather than something mental.
This post is in collaboration with Fenetic Wellbeing – a mobility company which provides the necessary healthcare and mobility for each person’s individual needs. Fenetic strive to ensure that everyone of all ages, backgrounds and whatever personal care they may need can get outside, be active and embrace the outdoors. I’m teaming up with Fenetic Wellbeing to promote their #WalkForWellbeing campaign and am focusing on mental health and the benefits that being active and getting outside can have on mental health conditions. Whatever your struggle, whatever your fight, we all deserve the best possible wellbeing.
Along with this post, I’m giving one reader the chance to enhance their walking activities this winter and win a ‘Winter Walking Kit’ which includes; gloves and hand-warmers (to keep you toasty!), an umbrella (just in case), a snack bar (in case you get peckish), a thermos (if you fancy a brew on the go) and a bag to keep it all in. Whatever the weather, we should all be able to get outside comfortably. To win, just click HERE to take you to the Rafflcopter giveaway
Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with Fenetic Wellbeing. All thoughts and opinions are my own but this post may be in return for compensation and/or products.