Lately, I’ve found myself sitting on the couch staring at my phone scrolling through every social platform just trying to amuse myself. When I’ve seen something too many times on one platform I move to another, I do this time and time again for hours a day trying to distract myself from reality. I knew I had to make a change in my life because clearly, something wasn’t making me happy.
I once read somewhere that a simple 30 minutes of outdoor activity can help with depression, physical health, and mental clarity, so I decided I’d put it to the test!
Each morning for the past month I’ve gone for a 45-minute walk with my dog, why 45 minutes you may ask? well, that’s how long it takes to walk from my house around the park and back. I also decided to keep my phone at home. I really wanted to connect with myself, I didn’t want any distractions at all.
Within the first few days, I found myself having more motivation. I was able to sit at my desk for longer when I got home and actually work without needing to look at my phone. Along with my work ethic and ability to focus more increasing, I also noticed a drastic change in my sleep patterns as well. Because I enjoyed the morning walk so much it gave me something to look forward to, I found myself waking up early each morning excited to go for a walk without the need of an alarm clock. I enjoyed the morning walks so much that I started to take walks at night as well, the nightly walks allowed me to clear my head of any stress that had gone on that day. I was able to analyze my feelings and emotions which allowed me to go to bed with a clear head.
2 weeks into doing my daily walks a situation happened that slipped me into a depression, I stopped going for walks for about 4 days. I noticed myself going right back to my old ways, staring at my phone scrolling through whatever social platform. I wasn’t able to sit at my desk, I was eating unhealthy and was having a hard time sleeping. One morning I woke up and had enough motivation to go for a morning walk, ok, more like I was forced by my dog’s overabundance of energy. Halfway through the walk, I realized what it was that was making me upset. The walk helped me analyze it and deal with it. I came back feeling 10x better and have been walking every day since.
Obviously walking is nothing new, but it works. I encourage everyone whos struggling with depression, anxiety, or simply a cloudy head to take the time out of your day to go for a walk. Remove yourself from all of the distractions in the world and get inside your own head. You’ll be surprised how much talking to yourself can help clear out the seemingly never-ending noise in your head.