We have always been walkers
My wife and I have always been walkers. Living in Salt Lake, our apartment was right below a part of the city called the Avenues. A grid-like neighborhood with smaller homes and crisscross streets. The streets were all lined with sidewalks. There were crosswalks were at every intersection to encourage pedestrian traffic. As many of the residence would walk to the grocery store, or one of the many local restaurants or coffee shops the neighborhood had to offer, there were always people walking about at all times of day. Walking was always a leisure and bonding activity for us. Although we moved to Alabama last June, we kept daily walks as a part of our routine. The walks served as a time for my wife and I to spend time together talking, catching up after our days at work, and just enjoying each other’s company.
Escaping the stress presented by the doom and gloom seem to be a primary function of our walks, these days. Getting away from our phones and iPads is an important part of that escape. Those walks are also a chance for us to get out of the house. Which is something only to be done for “essential travel.” And most importantly, our daily walks keep our dog from getting too stir crazy.
Teens coping with daily stress?
A recent article printed in the Washington Post highlighted the importance of getting out of the house during these times of deliberate isolation, particularly for teens. The article, titled Teens are discovering a cure for coronavirus anxiety: Walks. No phones allowed., recognizes that “a lot of teenagers across the country,” the article highlights, are “stuck at home, deprived of school and friends, anxious about a future suddenly upended by the coronavirus pandemic.” Many young people are attempting to find a new normal. Establishing new routines. Exploring new ways to remain socially connected to their friends and family.
A mandatory slowdown can be a bit jarring for those who are used to busy schedules. Some school work has transitioned home, and is occupying time for students. But the opportunity for hour-after-hour of Netflix has never been greater. Add to that a constant connection to social media, with its benefits of helping us feel connected and its detriments of overwhelming us with a million different voices, and young people could reach the end of each day wondering where the time went.
Could going for a walk be a part of my new normal?
Take a moment and think about your “new normal.” What are some ways that you could structure your time that leave you more fulfilled at the end of each day? Maybe reading a book would give you a sense of victory every day as you move your bookmark further and further. A great way to remain connected while staying isolated might be to Facetime or Zoom your friends/grandparents. Switch up your evening of Netflix for a family board-game. It may be just the thing to help you feel a bit more connected. And maybe leaving your phone at home and taking a walk around your neighborhood is just what the Dr. ordered.
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