By Jennifer Sweeting
In my last article, I talked about self-care, staying sane and doing more of what brings you joy. I shared my own passion for walking and the joy it brings me.
Since that last publication, my husband Jeremy and I have walked the ‘Cape to Cape’, a 125km trek along the South West coast of WA, spanning the length of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge.
It’s a massive endeavour and something I’ve dreamed of doing for years. I don’t know if my husband quite knew what he’d agreed to, but as always, he rose to the challenge, never complained and stood (well, walked) by my side.
We walked for six days – anywhere from 24 to 29 km – along jagged cliffs, sandy beaches, and through magical forests. Breaching whales and dolphins dancing in the waves were our daily companions with the sun on our backs as we ambled along. Nothing to do but walk.
We talked about life – our past, our present and things we hoped for in the future. We relished being in the present moment each day, surrounded by nature, knowing that it was a gift for our family to take care of our boys while we seized this opportunity.
It has been a crazy year, filled with challenges none of us could have predicted. We also learned lessons in the pandemonium, about who we are and the way we want to live. Strategies we employ to ‘stay sane’ were among those lessons.
Walking is not only my strategy for staying sane, but it is a time when I connect with nature, myself and others. It is my favourite form of fitness, though I also engage in strength training to build muscle and maintain healthy bones, which is important as we age.
As 2020 draws to a close, take some time to reflect on the year and the way you moved through it. What are your simple strategies for staying sane and healthy?
Remember the importance of physical activity in maintaining all aspects of your health – both physical and mental wellbeing. You don’t have to walk 100km to keep fit; a little bit goes a long way.
It’s the start of the ‘silly season’ and I don’t know about you, but I can feel the frenetic pace of life picking up as the holidays draw near.
Don’t forget to slow down. Enjoy this time with family and friends, but also remember to take care of yourself.
Try not to get caught up in the mayhem, and when you do, take a deep breath and find the present moment. Go for
a walk, because every step counts toward our physical and mental health.
Maybe I’ll see you out there.
Happy holidays and here’s to a safe and healthy New Year!