As I write this, we’re currently in our seventh week of lockdown and, as I’ve been on furlough ever since (and I’m a complete & utter introvert), that time seems to have absolutely flown by.
While the UK has become a little quieter and our key workers continue doing an amazing job, the rest of us have hunkered down at home.
However, we are allowed to go out for one hour of outdoor exercise a day and every time I do venture out, I’m lapping up the time that I’ve got to soak up the sun or hear the rain tapping on to my waterproof hood.
I’ve been doing workouts at home too but nothing beats the fresh air hitting your face and the sun warming your skin.
I’m lucky enough to live right next to the beach so my usual walk is along the coastline but I do sometimes just follow my feet & see where I end up.
As I walk, I’ve been listening to audiobooks or podcasts (I’ve just finished Michelle Obama’s Becoming which I’d highly recommend) and I love the time I get to spend listening to interesting stories or hilarious anecdotes.
And aside from all the things I’ve learnt from listening to memoirs and podcasts, I’ve also learnt plenty just from walking every day.
Walking makes me feel so much better
That ache in the calves after a long walk, the stretching of your toes once you peel your socks off – I love it.
I have toned up a bit while we’ve been in lockdown which has been partly due to my walks in the evenings and my Fitbit doesn’t know what’s hit it as I’m doing more steps than ever.
But more importantly, in my opinion, walking has helped me to clear my head.
I count my lucky stars every day that I have a roof over my head, food in the fridge and money to pay the bills.
But the situation we find ourselves in is horrendous, globally & nationally. The UK has one of the highest death rates in Europe & I can’t begin to imagine what those who have lost loved ones are going through, not even being allowed to say goodbye or attend their funerals.
I’ve stopped watching the news so much and found that walking, particularly by the sea, helps to just ground me a bit and feel more hopeful to an end to this.
There’s something therapeutic about nature and a comfort in the way it continues on regardless of whatever us humans have going on.
I’ve watched the trees bloom as we’ve moved from the chilliness of March into the warmth of springtime. The tide has rolled in and out, in and out…
All these things were here long before me and they’ll be here long after me and that soothes my soul a little.
I don’t need my car for every single journey
For some reason – probably laziness, convenience and for the sake of time – I seem to use my car for every little journey.
After uni, I didn’t have a car for a long time so I just used to walk or use public transport all the time. But since I got my little Corsa four years ago, I definitely get my wear out of it!
I’ve used my car twice since we went into lockdown, both times to pick up prescriptions so I’m saving on petrol for sure.
But I’ve walked to the shops, walked to my mum’s to drop off shopping, walked just for the pleasure of walking!
And yes, of course my car will be necessary for some journeys when we’re out the other side of this, but I’m going to stop rushing everywhere and take my time with a stroll instead.
There is a lot to hear when you take your headphones off
Hearing the birds sing in our quiet town was one of the highlights of lockdown life.
I even took a video to send to my mum who didn’t leave her house for weeks, as she loves to hear the birds sing.
As I’m walking, I do sometimes stop and take my headphones off for a while just to listen to what’s going on around me.
I’m one of those people who isn’t 100% comfortable with silence, partly because I can’t stand being alone with my own thoughts & also because I have permanent tinnitus brought on by chemo.
I’ll usually have something on the telly or a podcast/audiobook/the radio on so I can focus on something else.
But standing next to the sea or beside the trees, with the sea crashing or the birds singing, it’s been really lovely to stop and take a moment just to listen to the world around me.
I also think headphones shut me off from the world a bit and although I’m not keen to retire them anytime soon, I might leave them at home now and again just to feel as though I can be in the moment a little more without any distractions.
History is all around you
I follow a few different accounts on social media that document the history of my town and I’m obsessed with them. It’s amazing to see pictures of how the town used to look and the people who used to live here.
It’s made me look up more and notice the architecture (mainly Victorian) such as the houses and shops in the town.
The other day, I went to investigate an area of the beach where a bathing pool used to be as well as a cafe on stilts.
Under the seaweed, you can just about make out the steps that used to lead down to the bathing pool and if you look up, you can notice the bricked up doors or windows of the cafe built into the wall.
When they were in use, it must have been so lovely in the summer evenings.
Everywhere I go now, I keep a look out for dates on the top of houses or match up old images to the places I pass every day. It’s mad to see the difference.
I wonder what the people who lived here all those years ago would make of what the place looks like now. Everything seemed to be so grand in those days and kept so beautifully, I can’t help but think they might be a little disappointed to see some of the old buildings fallen into disrepair or pulled down completely.
However, there are a few developments on the horizon which look very exciting and bring a whole new lease of life to buildings long abandoned.
What’s kept you busy during lockdown?