During the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown, which resulted in the cessation of our walks, I have had a lot of time to think about my own mental health and, in turn, the mental health of others. Being outdoors, when you can, keeping busy and keeping in contact with friends and family, are all important.
Being outdoors is good for us
There has been a lot of research, which shows that exercise, being in the outdoors with friends works wonders for our mental health.
- Improved sleep
- Improved mood
- Provides a focus in life
- A sense of achievement
- Reduces anger or frustration
- Promotes a healthy appetite and
- Reduces tension, stress and mental fatigue
Whilst gyms etc are closed there is also evidence that being in nature can help to:
- Improve your mood
- Reduce feelings of stress or anger
- Help you take time out and feel more relaxed
- Improve your physical health
- Improve your confidence and self-esteem
Whilst we have been under the Covid-19 lockdown we have encouraged our walkers to send us photographs of what they have been up to and lots of them have been out and about taking advantage of the amazing weather we have been experiencing.
My own mental health, lockdown and social distancing
I have been working full-time within the NHS and have been emotionally exhausted. This has had a detrimental effect on my mental health. I have suffered with anxiety and depression for a long time, and I find it difficult to go out on my own generally, as I much prefer the sociability of group walking.
My colleagues in the Department I work in produced some useful information, hints and tips and we produced an article to try and help you in these difficult times. You can find this at the link below.
Contact with friends and family
Another important issue for people whilst in lockdown/social distancing is contact with others. As we haven’t been allowed to get together, I have been sending regular texts. Some of our walkers have become friends outwith the group, so have been enjoying socially distance meetings with each other. This is great to see and hear.
When can we get together again?
I am sure you are as keen as I am to get out and about together again. The government has said from 1 June 2020 groups of up to 6 people can go out whilst social distancing. We will keep you up to date with when we will be starting up again. Needless to say your health and wellbeing are very important and we don’t want to risk any chance of you becoming ill.
Don’t worry we will be out as soon as we can.
Stay safe, take care and see you very soon.
Links to some useful resources:
Strolls with Poles – Nordic Walking for Fun and Fitness