Anxiety, “go for a walk!” ignorance and planning!

So I deal with mental health and anxiety on a daily basis and it is never easy. I hear the phrase “go for a walk” a lot. I am here to tell you today that it really isn’t as simple as just stepping outside and walking! When dealing with anxiety there are so many factors that need to be taken into account, one said factor is the thought of even going outside! For many people who suffer with anxiety the very notion of going outside might make them physically sick and terrified, I on more than one occasion have felt this way. So to tell them to “go for a walk” is in one word, ignorant!

Sure if you can managed to get up and push past that wall that would normally stop you; great! I admire you for being able to do that because I know it isn’t easy. But there are still things you need to put into place, things that I guess can be summed up as safeguards.

Safeguards

Okay so I don’t mean you should wear protective armor! You should however wear whatever makes you feel comfortable, ever time I go outside I wear a hoddie because it makes me feel comfortable and relaxed. I wear one even if it is 27’c outside, there is no shame in doing so and as long as you are comfortable and happy that’s the main thing!

I have mentioned before in a previous post, headphones. Headphones are perfect when you do finally go for a walk. They allow you to block the outside world and give you your own personal space while walking. You can take everything in while floating away, they don’t even have to be switched on. At the end of the day you are the one in control and that’s what matters. Check out the ones below that I use, they are magnetic which means when I stop to take in the ocean view I can clip them together and not worry about losing them.

Planning is key!

So again, just standing up on a whim and going for a walk is almost impossible for someone who has mental health and anxiety. I would always recommend people plan. It might seem like a lot of hassle but it can take a little as two minutes to do. It’s simple, all you need to do is decide on how long you want to be out walking for, I would suggest around 30 minutes which is also the recommend amount of minimum exercise per day.

You should also plan your route. This can be anywhere that you like. I prefer to pick along the cliff tops as I can see the ocean and the beach. I find it calming and relaxing, I can even sit on a bench and watch people as they go by and imagine what they are thinking or what their day job is!

Remember it isn’t all doom and gloom

Now that might be difficult to think about, I know first hand that having mental health and anxiety can feel like the walls are closing in constantly. The key thing to remember is that you are not alone, there are people to talk to and get help from. Yes they may tell you to just “go for a walk” which I know helps but you need to be prepared and you need to plan. I hope that by having a read and following what I have talked about helps get you out there, discovering new places and seeing new faces!

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Louis.
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