Saturday, April 25, 2020

Take a Walk

I'm writing about my five quarantine goals. I've already shared about Keep a routine and Celebrate my children. The third is Take a Walk.

This isn't a new goal, and it is one I've written about before.

1. Walking Alone

For years I wanted to walk more often, but, with young children, I didn't think I had the time. But I began taking regular walks with Ed as part of his therapy. I learned that work doesn't go anywhere when I take a walk, but I have the energy to tackle it. When Ed became too sick to walk, I began walking alone, with an audio book. My regular route, three miles around the block on our quiet roads, took me an hour. For the last year, I've tried to find time for this walk at least once or twice a week. I always find it refreshing.

I know that I feel better after a bit of exercise. But exercise for the sake of exercise can be difficult to do. For me, framing exercise as a treat and alone time, made all the difference.

After Ed died, I didn't have 5:30 to look forward to when Ed would come home from work. A walk in the afternoon couldn't replace Ed, but it could help me feel human.

My children learned to enjoy my walking time too. I rarely gave them work to do when I took a walk (besides watching the younger girls who don't need much watching.) So for them, my walks were a time to play games or read without chores or school work.

When the quarantine started and evening plans were canceled, I knew a walk would be more important. Without interaction with others, I would need an hour of quiet more often. Since we had less on our schedule, it would seem easier to find time to walk, though I didn't find it that way. My walks were made even more enjoyable by watching the world wake up with spring this past month. Listening to great audio books or podcasts helps too.

2. Walking With My Children

My walks around the block are almost always alone. Maybe I should take a child with me for some one-on-one time, but even an extrovert cherishes a bit of alone time.

On the first Sunday that we didn't have church, my children grumped. Most Sundays we fill with activities. Besides church, often Sunday afternoon and evening are spent with friends or family. All my children enjoy an active social life, maybe even more since we are homeschooled. On that first weekend when we couldn't get together with anyone, we had some bad moods.

So I told them that every Sunday afternoon, weather permitting, during the quarantine, we were going for a hike. The announcement wasn't met with excitement. But each Sunday, we've been out walking. Now that my brother is staying with us, it is easier. They don't dare complain to their uncle as they do to mom. We even started geocaching again, which maybe should be another post.

3. Walking With Others

In Pennsylvania, even with the stay-at-home order, we are allowed to leave home to exercise. I miss seeing the other ladies at church, and I've used the exercise allowance to also fill a need for socializing. I've met several times with friends to take a walk. We could keep a proper social distance while still enjoying face-to-face conversation.

I've also enjoyed meeting neighbors on my walks that I've never spoken to before. I don't think it is my imagination that people are more eager to talk this past month. One elderly man shut off his lawnmower to ask how far I was walking and where I lived. Another elderly woman was pulling out her driveway in her car. She stopped and wound down her window to chat. I think we all have a greater desire to communicate.

What about you? Have you found getting outdoors to be important for your sanity this month? In what ways are you interacting with your neighbors?


  1. Wonderful post! So glad you deliberately do this.
    I also find walks to be therapeutic. I've been slowly adding weights to a backpack that I wear on walks, trying to get in shape for hiking when the time comes.
    I also notice the changes in trees and bushes more than I used to, and like you, I talk more with people.

  2. Walking is so good for your peace of mind. I’m in the Tennessee mountains and have plenty of space between neighbors. It’s so comforting to be out walking and have a neighbor lean against their fence and inquire about my family. This time of year taking a walk and watching the earth waking up after a long winter reminds you how wonderful God’s creations are.

  3. My husband and I try to walk two or three times a week. On other days we have gardening and yard work and enjoy that as a way to get out into the fresh air.

  4. Thank you for sharing this post. I also walk along our country lanes for an hour every day, usually early evening. I take my camera and record anything new along the way. At the moment the apple and cherry blossom are out in full force. I particularly enjoy the sound of the new lambs and last week saw the first of the calves out with their mothers. So grateful for the fresh air and I walk in all weathers. Continue to enjoy your walks.

  5. My daughter and I have been walking some. The thing I find relaxing and peaceful right now is my dewberry picking. It's so quiet and relaxing and I've gotten loads of dewberries in the freezer now as well as made a dewberry cobbler. Here in the deep south they have been so plentiful and I don't think we've ever had this many before. They're just so many this year and I can't help but think since we're all having to stay inside how God is providing our needs even as we stay at home! I was using blueberries in my breakfast oatmeal each morning and now that I can't get them I have dewberries. He always provides our needs and even sometimes our desires to. :-)

  6. My street has never been busier. I always walk, daily, but I am seeing neighbours who I have never seen walking, or even seen much outside ever. Tonight I was sitting looking outside and there were people walking by every 5 minutes!! Normally I see maybe a few groups in an evening. It was a nice night. I went out later myself. But sometimes it gets hard to maintain social distancing with the amount of people out walking! Sometimes I have to turn down a different street than planned to make room.

  7. Lovely post, Gina. You have a beautiful place to walk. I have been keeping my head best while working in my garden. Having more time these past months has allowed me to do work that's been needing done for over-long, and really see the fruits of my enjoyable labour. You are right about Spring making this time so much nicer. To see the world still waking up and blossoming despite us is heartening. Enjoy, dear lady!


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