National Walking Month covered the whole of May. If you didn’t get a chance to take part (the weather wasn’t helpful), here are some ways that walking might help with grief. You can use them anytime of the year!
Walking and Wellbeing
We’ve talked before about the benefits of spending time in nature, to help improve mental and physical wellbeing. It’s well documented.
Walking in particular can help to lower blood pressure, improve circulation and even help with decision making! Often it’s simply the time taken out of our busy lives to walk gives some space to think things through. If you walk with others, the social connections can be very supportive and valuable too.
If you walk alone, it may give you the peace and reflection that ‘normal’ life doesn’t allow.
Usually, we also opt to walk in beautiful or interesting spaces. It may be a fabulous view, history, or architecture that helps us to take some time to appreciate the surroundings. Being in nature can be an extra boost of wellbeing too.
Where to Walk
Exploring your local community is a great way to start. There may be a local walking group you could join, or some maps of the local area to help you get started.
Making a special trip to visit a place you have always wanted to see can be a longer term goal, or something to work towards when you feel more able to travel. Having some hopes for the future can also be supportive during grief, when thinking about the future is often very difficult.
Here are some ideas:
- The BBC have a lovely article to inspire us all to Get into Walking.
- The NHS have some advice for those who are new to walking for health.
- Walking Britain have some suggestions for local walks you can use to see what’s nearby.
- Go For A Walk, also have downloadable routes to suit all levels of skills and types of walkers.
Walking in Granville’s Wood
We encourage visitors to our woodland, knowing it is a place of great beauty and birdsong. Access to the woods in on foot. If anyone has mobility issues and needs vehicle access, this can be arranged in advance with our team.
We do ask that people keep their dogs on a lead, and remain respectful to other visitors by keeping out of private nooks and keeping noise to a minimum.
There are lots of wonderful noises you can hear while walking in a woodland, the swaying and creaking of the pines and the singing of the birds can be very relaxing.
National Walking Month is a reminder of how helpful the natural world can be in managing grief. It might be a catalyst for us to make small changes that benefit our physical and mental wellbeing.