Step away from the stress

Tuesday, 16 June 2015


This will be short and sweet. To cut a long story short, I got so stressed while trying to carve the perfect introduction to this post that I literally had to walk away from my laptop whilst counting to ten - which is basically the most ironic thing in the world, pending post considering. But maybe that in itself serves as the so-called perfect introduction to how something free, simple and available to near-enough everybody can help to eliminate everyday stress. This little thing, lads and lasses, is walking.

Saturday was one of them classic non-starter days for me. To add to already feeling just a teensy bit hormonal - not that that's any justifiable excuse, guys - I was feeling peeved with work and the man in my life, completely worried about saving money for my end of year trip to South East Asia, super tired and a bit bogged down by muggy weather. It culminated in a roaring crescendo involving a rusty bike, a bit of a strop and a lot of tears. I'm talking like so many tears that your face swells dramatically. Yeah, I'm not painting a pretty picture here but honestly, I'm beginning to realise how much stress is affecting my life. So after we'd all calmed down a bit on Saturday evening, I was scooped up and put into my car. Belted up and radio on, we drove about 45 minutes to Dovestone Reservoir which sits on the cusp of several borders: Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and the Peak District National Park. I hadn't heard of this place before let alone ever having been, but I silently followed directions as I let my nerves calm down. We pulled up to the beauty spot's car park at 9:20pm and firstly I was amazed by how light it was outside still. Then, I was completely blown away as we walked up a couple of steps and were met with the most fantastic view that I have come across since moving to the north. Honestly, I'd put this view up there on par with wonders that I wandered to in North America.

It wasn't just the view that we'd come for though. It was a bit of a walk to shake everything off. The thing is, about walking, is that the most simple thing it gives to you is time. Time to let those crazy thoughts dissolve away into nothing, and time to collate an action plan on how you're going to make everything better. Not only that but you're so easily distracted by gorgeous views or little avenues that are just begging to be explored. Once you get going and get that endorphin-loaded boost running through your body, you'll find that you can just keep going and going and going.

Three miles and a whole hour later, we returned to the car park completely refreshed and ready for anything. It was that easy - and it goes without saying that I thoroughly recommend, if you feel down or blue or stressed or wound up, just take yourself out for a walk. It doesn't have to involve getting into a car to find somewhere far away from anything, or somewhere epic, or even that long. It could be around your neighbourhood or to just keep walking until you can't be bothered anymore, then get the bus home. You will not find the answer sat at home wallowing or indebting yourself to trawling on the internet (we've all been there). You still probably won't find any answers while out walking but trust me, you'll feel a whole lot better than if you didn't put on your shoes and just get out there.

Try it soon. Arrange some tunes, drag a friend along or go it alone. Turning miles into smiles; that's my guarantee. Ain't nothing like a little bit of self-therapy.

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