We all know how difficult it can be to carve out time for ourselves. With the demands of work, home, family, relationships, and in my case, caregiving responsibilities, sometimes it feels like there are just not enough hours in the day. Am I right?
When the pandemic first hit in March 2020, pretty much the only thing to do (or, at least, that I felt comfortable doing) was to take walks—long walks. On some days, my walks spanned tens of thousands of steps. On other days, they were shorter but more frequent strolls throughout the day. They became not only a part of my day but rather a part of the day that I enjoyed. Then they turned into a routine.
These days, if you follow me on Instagram, you are probably accustomed to seeing my #sanitystroll. I try to take them daily and even have time blocked off on my calendar for them. I use my sanity strolls to unwind, reflect, and often to draw motivation or inspiration from nature. Aside from briefly documenting these strolls on social, I otherwise limit the time on my phone while I’m outside (as it tends to defeat the purpose of finding some zen).
Before venturing out, I like to set an intention. Sometimes my walk is all about finding calmness in a busy day. Other times, it’s about needing to clear my head after a stressful day. Then there are times when I’m trying to find focus for a task that I’ve been avoiding. Lately, my strolls have revolved around seeking clarity.
Clarity hasn’t been so easy to come by these days. Between working full-time, followed by my nightly caregiving duties, every day feels like a blur. There hasn’t been much time for me to dig deep and figure out what I want my life to look like in my new reality. But that is what I use my sanity strolls to do. There’s something about getting those endorphins up through exercise that makes it easier to think a little clearer (which is another reason I bring my phone on walks—you never know when or where a brilliant idea will strike you).
So, if you want to get started on your own version of a sanity stroll, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Set a time: Are you a morning walk person? Or would you prefer to end your day with exercise? Maybe you take a quick stroll at lunch to break up the day.
- Pick a location (or a few!): I have a variety of sanity stroll locations that range in terms of scenery and length, and also how much time I have. I love being by the water, so the beach is my ideal place for a sanity stroll. Plus, if it’s late enough in the day, I can walk and watch the sunset!
- Think of an intention: Setting an intention doesn’t need to be overly complicated. It can be as simple as, “I want to invite more peace into my day with this walk.” Or it can be just thinking about a phrase or mantra that brings you joy.
Are you ready to start strolling? Tag me in your posts at @livinginsteil and use the hashtag #sanitystroll.