Tag Archives: work

Two feet good…the joy of wandering

Every month has its designation and now that we’re in the month of May its National Walking Month. Any initiative or campaign to encourage more people to walk is a good thing in my book.

For some people walking has an image problem. Think walking, think hikers, with all the latest kit, striding off into the countryside. We shouldn’t forget that its the people that have rambled the land for generations that helped open up our green and pleasant land for everyone and the mass trespass to Kinder Scout in the Peak District ultimately led to our network of wonderful National Parks.

I like to think of walking as the stuff of life. If I don’t have a daily wander it doesn’t feel like I’ve connected with the world around me. Yes you can see it in the narrow confine of how many steps that you’ve walked today but there is something plain nice about walking the streets of the place that you work or live.

Back at the start of April I began a new job. One of the first things that I did was to work out a few walking routes of different lengths. And as part of this detective work there was the real bonus of a footpath neighbouring the railway, nearby the office, which is a nature rich urban corridor – full of wildlife. As spring arrived so did the birdsong, trees bursting into leaf and the sight of butterflies on the wing.

We should all try and get walking more. Just set off from where you live and walk. See where it takes you. I can bet that you’ll find out so much more about the place where you call home. The pace is just right too, to take things in and to notice the buildings, the green spaces and the sounds that just flash by or you miss when driving past.

Walking is also a great time to think. Try to resist the urge to plug those headphones in and just let the soundscape inspire you. You can use a walk in the morning to plan your day or in the evening to download your day.

I still love a long distance walk (I’m in the midst of trying to complete the classic Cotswold Way with friends) but a ramble through some woods with my family or the walk to the station in the morning is just as rewarding. We’re made to walk and hopefully May will tempt a few more people to see that walking in good your body, soul and mind.

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Switching off…

A few weeks ago I read a piece in the Weekend section of The Times about our addiction to smartphones and mobiles. We just can’t stop checking our phones for texts, facebook posts, emails. In our minds there is a real fear of missing out.  And this growing anxiety now has a name – nomophobia.

At the time I was staying in a bunkhouse on Glower in south Wales with my family and some friends. I’d not taken any kind of digital device with me – mobile, smartphone or tablet computer. And it was bliss.

I spent my time talking to people, reading and doing nothing in particular. I felt totally relaxed and refreshed and connected with the world around me.

My job in PR means that I’m always contactable and constantly trying to keep up with the news and spot opportunities to generate media coverage. Its so easy to get sucked in to having your phone as a kind of digital comfort blanket. I have to admit that I’m into twitter big time and love checking out websites for the latest news and features.

But we all need down time. Work today mainly involves staring at screens for hours on end and there is a real danger that we never give our minds the rest that they deserve.

So for the next two weeks when I’m holiday they’ll be no screen time. Yes I’ve scheduled a few tweets. But my tablet and smartphone will be home alone. I’ll be using my newly found digital-free time to enjoy the real worl and re-charge my batteries; not having to worry about emails or keeping in touch.

I suppose its a kind of screen time cold turkey but hopefully it will mean more balance in my life. Its so important to have moments of idleness and enjoy a less technologically dependent period of time. I’ll let you know how it went when I’m back.