A week is a long time in politics, as they say. Let’s face it, in the current climate, ten minutes is a long time in politics. But a week can also be a long time in the life of an ordinary, everyday person, too. Like me.
Looking back at my blog post last week, it seems like a lifetime ago that I felt so depressed, lethargic and utterly wretched. Yes, my get-up-and-go has returned! I’m not exactly charging around, training for a marathon, but I’m definitely on the up. And about flipping time, too.
Last Monday, just a few hours after my blog post was published, DH and I climbed into the car and set off for the Holderness coast. We didn’t go far – just a twenty-minute drive, in fact, but it made all the difference. I have to confess, I was a bit nervous about going out. It must sound really strange to some of you, but I was actually reluctant to step outside the door, and was tempted to call it off. Thank goodness I didn’t.
I’d taken my Fitbit out of its box (it’s never been used since I bought it over a year ago) and charged it up, then set myself the challenge of walking four thousand steps. Yes, I know we should all be walking ten thousand steps a day, but bearing in mind I hadn’t been out of the house for weeks and was feeling shattered just at the thought of walking to the car I thought it was more realistic.
It was very cold at the coast, and the wind was blowing hard. Luckily, I was wearing a thick jumper and a big heavy coat with a (fake) fur-trimmed hood and I was prepared for Arctic weather. Mind you, I must remember to get some gloves! We’d decided to walk along the seafront, and I must admit, I felt pretty exhausted and kept having to sit down on the benches, which were, thankfully, dotted the full length of the seafront.
As we sat there, looking out to sea, a stream of schoolchildren passed by on an excursion to the beach. They didn’t seem in the slightest bit fazed by the cold wind as they ran happily onto the sands and gathered around their teachers. Seagulls soared in the sky above us and I watched the waves rolling in, crashing on the shore. DH put some music on his phone and we sat and listened to it for a while. I could smell the sea – that distinctive, salty, fresh tang that would tell you you were at the coast even if you’d lost all your other senses. For the first time in weeks, I felt my spirits truly lifting, and found myself smiling as I sang along with some old pop tunes.
Refreshed, we got up and continued our walk, reaching the end of the seafront and taking in the view of the countryside beyond, then walking back the way we’d came and taking a stroll around the town. My Fitbit buzzed to tell me I’d reached my goal! I couldn’t believe it, and felt a real sense of accomplishment. Walking had made me feel better, even though every part of me ached and I did briefly wonder if I had time to make a will, but being outside had worked a miracle. The sea air had broken through and pierced that horrible fog of depression that I’d been mired in.
The next day, we took a walk around the local park and once again I reached my goal. For the rest of the week I’ve been forcing myself to go outside twice a day to walk until that Fitbit buzzes. I’ll be increasing my step goal bit by bit until I reach the ten thousand, but I’m taking it slowly. I’ve also been sticking to my healthy eating, which so far – touch wood – hasn’t been as difficult as I imagined it would be.
I’ve also downloaded a few books that I’ve wanted to read for a while, including two by the Dalai Lama. I’ve watched feel-good films and comedies. I’ve tackled outstanding admin tasks that I’d been putting off, which is a weight off my mind and a great aid to relaxation. I downloaded the Amazon Music app and put a whole batch of cheerful, happy music on my phone to listen to when I need my spirits lifting, plus a relaxing playlist for when I can’t sleep. And I’m writing again!
Today (Monday), all being well, we’ll be heading to the coast again. A little further afield this time, but still with the hope of fresh air, exercise, and the soothing sound of the sea. I don’t know if I’m out of the woods completely yet, but I do know I’ve taken steps towards something more positive. We shall see!
Have a great week.