“We have no evidence as yet about mind or the power to think; it seems to be a widely different kind of soul, differing as what is eternal from what is perishable; it alone is capable of existence in isolation from all other psychic powers.” Aristotle
So here we are two weeks into self isolation! By now I am sure some of you are totally over it, I know I am! This doesn’t make us bad people. I feel like if we complain we are automatically judged. It is perfectly fine to be sad for yourself and the life you had just a few weeks ago and still understand the problem in full. Of course I am sad to be inside however I fully understand that this is a serious issue and staying in is the best course of action. Doesn’t mean I don’t wish I was outside every minute of every day. However I am all about turning a negative into a positive and looking for the silver lining. Staying in doesn’t mean giving up the outdoor life, just means we have to look at it a little different and get a whole lot creative!!
GET OUTSIDE (ONCE A DAY)
But stay local, if you need your car than its not local! This is the best news for outdoor lovers, unless you’re unwell and are self isolating, the current government advice is that you can still go outside, as long as you stay two metres away from other people. But please stay local and don’t take the piss, we are allowed out once a day for daily exercise and as a long distance hiker I want to walk miles and miles but I don’t. I limit my time outdoors to a max of 2 hours. Remember the longer you are out the more at risk you are and the more people you could put at risk. If you are planning on riding a bike please where a helmet, the number of riders I have seen without a helmet is utterly ridiculous. Remember the NHS is stretched to its limits right now, don’t risk taking up a bed because you decided to do something silly! If we all follow the rules we should be able to keep the previous time we do get outside. Personally I have been using my outdoor time to walk, I pop my headphones in and just march along, clearing my mind and stretching my legs. Walking allows me to go to my happy place. I stay local and I am not lucky to live anywhere scenic, in fact I live in a industrial town but I make the most of it.
DON’T MISS YOUR DAILY EXERCISE
Exercise is key to keeping a routine and looking after your mental health. It is also a great starting point for adding structure to your life at this uncertain time. Now thanks to social media you may start to feel bad that you aren’t working towards a six pack but the truth is very few of us actually will come out of this with one. The level of exercise you do will probably depend on how active you were beforehand, if you weren’t a gym bunny before don’t feel bad that you aren’t doing a daily hiit class, squating while you cook or having a hardcore weights session. Start small try and mimic what you did before. For example if you did a yoga class on a Monday at your gym at 8pm. Then do one at home on Monday at 8pm using Youtube. I enjoy climbing mountains on Sundays so I have been climbing my stairs on a Sunday. The one form of exercise I would suggest for everyone is a good stretch in the morning, chances are you are sitting down a lot more now then you used to. Stretching it out first thing in the morning will stop problems occuring in a few weeks. Also if you wake up one morning and don’t want to workout, don’t feel like you have to. Remember right now looking after your mental health is extremely important, this is a new experience for most of us and we literally don’t know what we will go through until we go through it.
TEST YOUR GREEN FINGERS
Bring the outside in! During my weekly shop I popped a few packets of seeds into my basket to plant myself a kitchen garden. I used old pots I already had, bringing some green inside or spending some time in your garden (if you are lucky enough to have one) is a perfect way to feel like one with nature again but this time you get to spend the time to watch it grow.
HELP THE ENVIRONMENT
Litter picking isn’t just for the beach! Everyday during my one daily exercise I litter pick as I go and am utterly shocked about the amount of rubbish there is just lay around and I would say 90% of what I pick up is either plastic bottles or empty cans. So if you decide to go for a walk take some gloves and a plastic bag and give it ago!
START A TRAVEL BLOG / JOURNAL
Use this time to do something creative or just get your thoughts out on paper. My blog is a way for me to get all my thoughts out and have a way on looking back at all the wonderful adventures I have been on. I also keep a journal for all the things I’m not ready to share. Writing it all done is way for me to get my feelings out and work through whatever issues I’m having as well as a way for me to look back at all the things I’m grateful for!! So why not give it a go, you will be amazed by how much your life is filled with love and adventures.
GET YOU KIT OUT!
Now is the perfect time to sort your kit out! Re-waterproof your boots and clothing, pop your tent up and repair any broken poles or holes. If you are anything like me you have kit that needs seeing to but never had the time because you were too busy using it!! Get that kit ready for your next adventure that way there is no time wasted when it’s time to get out again!!
PLAN YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE
We might not know when but we know we will be out again! Use this time to get planning so when it’s time to go you are ready!! I’m currently planning the West Highland Way, I’m excited and the planning of it is giving me hope for being back outdoors!!
GET YOUR OUTDOOR FIX ONLINE!
You can travel anywhere in the world thanks to the internet. Whether it’s watching adventure documentaries, catching up on you favourite adventure social media accounts or reading a ebook. There is a world of free adventures to have online.
ADAPT YOUR HOBBIES TO YOUR ENVIRONMENT
I love hiking and wild swimming normally these two things would require the outdoors but with a little creative magic I can do them at home. Whether it’s hiking up my stairs or having a wild swim in my bathtub I am able to feel connected to my normal life. Where there is a will there is a way. I have seen some great posts on social media such a climbers who have added holds to outdoor walls, wild swimmers dipping in local lakes and runners completing marathons in their gardens. Not to mention the chap in Italy who ran a marathon on his 6ft baloney! As long as you have a little imagination you can still have epic adventures without leaving your house.
EAT LIKE YOUR STILL ALLOWED OUT!
Anyone already lost count of how many biscuits they have eaten? Is the alcohol starting a little earlier everyday? The first week in isolation and I had eaten triple of what I would normally eat of course it was all out of boredom. At the start of week two I decided to take control because honestly I would be rolling out the door by the end of this. I have upped my fruit and vegetable intake and switched most of meat and dairy to vegan options. Yesterday I started a food diary to keep a closer look at what I’m eating mainly because I was taking 30 trips to the fridge a day!! For me I want to make sure I am staying as healthy as possible during this time to ensure I am still healthy when I can go out hiking again. I am also fully aware that it doesn’t take me long to gain weight, for me this is a positive step. Not to mention switching from junk food to greens is a great boost for my immune system.