I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

Walking

Back in Janu­ary 2015 when I real­ised I was ill, and con­sequently star­ted a course of anti­de­press­ants, many people encour­aged me to exer­cise. I had been a keen cyc­list and they encour­aged me to keep at it and get out on my bike as much as I could. I was told, and in fact read many times, that exer­cise was a great way of coun­ter­ing some of the symp­toms of depres­sion. My issue was that the thought of going out on my bike caused me anxi­ety and stress, both things which I was try­ing to avoid and so I dis­missed the notion as not for me. Nearly two and a half years later I’m start­ing to under­stand a little of what the mys­ter­i­ous they were talk­ing about.
About a month ago I moved into a new flat, one which I’m liv­ing in on my own, it’s great to have my own space again. As a con­sequence of that move I’ve been doing a lot more walk­ing. It’s loc­ated in such a place that I can walk to pretty much every­where I need to go on a reg­u­lar basis. I can walk to my shifts at the cof­fee house, my church, a couple of super­mar­kets, as well as the centre of town, and I’ve been doing that as much as is prac­tic­ally pos­sible. It’s become a time that I enjoy, an oppor­tun­ity to pop my head­phones in and listen to some music or catch up on a few podcasts.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve begun to notice some­thing, when I don’t get my daily walks in my mood suf­fers. The real­isa­tion has come home to roost this bank hol­i­day week­end. On Sat­urday and Monday I did­n’t really go out. I stayed home in my flat tinker­ing on my web­sites, mak­ing a few adjust­ments, watch­ing some TV shows, what most people call relax­ing. And it has been just that, but today I noticed the heav­i­ness creep­ing in, it made me real­ise what effect going out for a walk has on me.
It’s not just the small amount of exer­cise that a brisk walk provides that I’ve missed today, it’s the inten­tion­al­ity of going for a walk. Instead of the day just passing by, the act of walk­ing to work is inten­tion­al and provides an ele­ment of struc­ture to my day. I need to sched­ule in the time for my walk to work oth­er­wise I won’t get there on time let­ting people down. It helps that my walk to work is a pleas­ant one down an old rail­way line, that’s what’s in the photo at the top of this post, for a moment I can be lost in the won­der of look­ing at the trees and green­ery as I walk. It provides a chance to look at God’s cre­ation and see how the same place changes from day to day. It’s a chance to walk and listen to some new music or the latest pod­casts, in my own little world that’s out­side in the wider world. It’s a chance to pop the head­phones out and walk listen­ing to the birds and rust­ling of the trees. When the sun­’s out it’s espe­cially enjoy­able, but even on a rainy day I look for­ward to my walk to work.
Almost by acci­dent I’ve dis­covered that the act of walk­ing to work provides me with a moment of calm. In that walk there is noth­ing I can do for my design busi­ness, noth­ing I need to do for my cof­fee house shift, no tweets or Ins­tagram pho­tos to catch up on (unless I want to walk into my fel­low walk­ers or be run over by the many cyc­lists), I can just enjoy the simple act of walking.

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