At the start of the year I vowed to walk every day. It was a small change that's made a big difference.
Being outdoors is one of those things that many of us know are good for us. Like reading more, spending less time online, drinking less alcohol. But it's often one of those things that gets pushed to the sidelines when we're time pushed, when actually those are the times when we need it the most.
Spending more time outdoors has (and this is going to sound really melodramatic) improved my life in many ways.
Being outdoors, walking, with my phone tucked inside my rucksack, made me realise just how much time I spend online. How I have slipped into iPhone-dependancy over the past few years; waiting at the checkout in the supermarket? Time to dip into Twitter. Once you start to realise how much time you spend online, you then start to think about all the things that you could be doing with that time instead, and then in turn how much you have missed.
Spending time alone, in nature, without any distraction, is a really good opportunity to reflect on ones priorities, to re-assess. It's also a good chance to focus on the changes in environment around you.
Improving my eye for detail
Focusing on the changes in the environment around me closely has really helped me improve my photography. Being out in the forest in Winter far has been far removed from styling a photo full of pretty flowers and props, it challenges you to really look at your surroundings and look for the fine details. I've found myself becoming more and more in tune with subtle colour differences, the light and weather - and start to appreciate how different conditions offer different benefits and challenges.
Enhancing my relationships with my family
The realisation of how much time I was spending online, did, in turn, make me realise how that I haven't been the best role model for my children. 'Too much screen time' is something that like many parents, I try to keep at a healthy balance for my children. I'm really glad that I've had the chance to be offline, and realise just how many small moments in a day that I spend checking my iPhone - because these seemingly small moments are actually passing on a strong message to my kids. I'd like to be a better role model, so I'm making that happen.
There's so much more I could say here about the effects that walking more has had for me, but I've already said it all over here on White Peak Wellbeing, please do check it out, I found writing it very therapeutic.