Going for a walk outside!
If I wake up feeling tired, out-of-sorts, and/or anxious, my inclination is to lie in bed and do nothing.
But if I make myself get up and go for a walk, I almost always end up feeling better both physically and mentally.
I know psychological experts say that physical activity that gets both sides of your body moving can help to calm your mind, so that might be part of it.
I also know experts say that good things happen to our brains when we get outside, so I’m sure that’s part of it too. I doubt a treadmill walk would have quite the same effect on me!
I often listen to podcasts when I go for a solo walk, and I think that gets me out of my head. If I’m feeling anxious about something, I’m usually overthinking, so a podcast that helps me think about something else is helpful.
And of course, on the physical side of things, it’s no surprise that a little physical activity helps to make my body feel better. Our bodies are designed to move, and I usually feel way more awake after a walk.
kristin @ going country says
I think I’ve said this like half a dozen times already, but . . . my solo early morning walk with the dogs. It has come to symbolize luxury to me, because I can’t do it every morning thanks to school schedules and late sunrises. So when I CAN take that walk, it feels like a very relaxing day already (even though I always come home and get right to work on the many, many things that need to be done on my “days off” 🙂
Pet my dog. Studies have shown it’s good for us, but I don’t need a study to tell me that stroking her fuzzy head while she lies quietly beside me, resting her chin on my leg, is a mood lifter and stress-remover. Every dog I’ve owned has been a comfort to me in this way.
100% agree with you! And if it’s on a trail through the woods with a bunch of dogs bad mood is guaranteed to disappear!
Reading! No matter what my mood, books relax my mind. Nervous about seeing the dentist? If I read while I’m waiting, my mind is in another world and my nerves are forgotten. Sad about something? The right book will make me chuckle or even laugh out loud. (I may or may not have startled more than one person with my sudden laughter. Ha!) Lonely? I have an entire library of friends to call upon. Feeling under the weather? Books will get me through the pain/nausea/chills/whatever and the ICK time goes much faster. Can’t sleep? Books to the rescue! I will read until my eyes get heavy and Zzzzzzzz…. Books are my constant companion and when my granddaughter (age two) fell asleep “reading” a book, my heart just melted!
This just really depends. Clearing a burdensome or long-lurking item off a to-do list helps. Cleaning up some looming clutter helps. Doing some physical-but-productive thing helps. In the case of my brain turning on me thanks to being a 45yo female, evening primrose oil helps (or at minimum is a nice placebo that tricks me into thinking it helps; but whatever, I’ll take that gift).
I do like walking, but I’d rather read. I can totally check out of everything if I’m reading but usually whatever’s bugging me is still there when I check back in, so it’s not quite the go-to that it could be.
Barb F. says
Right with you on the walk. Also helps me to rake leaves, or the black walnuts. Glad to be done with those for the year. Now the leaf raking starts…
Absolutely agree, and this explains why we are kind of focused on weather! Too cold, too hot, too much precipitation can make getting outside hard or impossible. So, while it’s not as physically healthy, I do have reading and some indoor stuff I like to do, too. Other I might be extra-crabby!
Ruth T says
K D says
That’s exactly what I would have said, except I like to walk without anything in the way of sound (no music or podcasts). Movement combined with nature is wonderful.
A talk with a friend. Not chit-chat with a lot of people in a group setting, but a meaningful conversation with one nice person. Makes me feel better just thinking about some good talks I’ve shared.
Whisper of the Heart. I can’t watch that movie and not feel good. The only negative is that it makes me nostalgic for a time period I never really experienced (youth and full of dreams and potential.)
Walking, reading, petting your dogs…I am somewhat mortified to admit that what works for me is napping. I wake up with more energy and what seemed so terrible before no longer seems as bad. This is a lifelong habit—if something really terrible is being told to me, I have to watch that I don’t start nodding off.