I want to take a moment to reflect on the impact my little escapes are having on my mental health. After all, that’s the purpose of this blog and the whole experiment.
My initial thoughts are these trips out into the countryside are really starting to help me. However, I do feel it’s something I need to do on a regular basis for it to have any long term effect. That’s fine with me though because I am really enjoying it so far and it is having a positive impact on my mental health.
As well as the two bigger outings I’ve already written blog posts for (the eight mile hike around Solihull and the fourteen mile cycle ride along the Grand Union Canal Towpath) I’ve also been out on shorter walks most weekends. These have just been to get out onto some public footpaths and explore the local countryside where I live. These are very close to my house and easy to squeeze into a Sunday morning before the day really starts.
Even these bite-size escapes are having a positive impact on me. Last weekend I walked into the countryside and wandered through a small local wood. To my surprise I startled two deer who bolted when I got too close. I saw them racing through the trees and out of view. They probably startled me as much as I startled them to be honest. I couldn’t believe wild deer were living in the open so close to my house (less than 3 miles away as the crow flies).
I really think there’s something therapeutic about getting outside regularly and escaping it all for an hour or so. If you’re struggling with things like I am why not give it a go yourself?
What ‘getting outside’ means to you may differ to what it means to me and the way I like to do things, and that’s ok. You might not like the idea of hiking or cycling. There are hundreds of activities you can engage in and you’re bound to like some of them.
The only thing I’d say is the aim of this is to ‘escape the routine’ and step out of your life for a short time so it has to be something you wouldn’t normally do or that is totally separate from your daily routine.
I really recommend reading Alastair Humphreys’ book Microadventures which is what inspired me to get outside in the first place. Why not give it a read? His philosophy for building adventure into day-to-day life is really inspiring.
I can’t wait to get back out there! In fact, I’m just planning a day hike of the 27 mile Arden Way in a few weeks with Wayne and Martin. This should be a good challenge given the fact we’re trying to cram the full route into a single day. I will write this up as a post when we complete it in a week or so.
If you do decide to give it a go yourself then why not post a comment below or send me a message? I’d love to hear about your experiences and meet other like-minded people.