Have you had an exhausting day that consisted of no naps for your toddler and/or new baby?
Are you adjusting to your new role as a work from home parent while trying to figure out a schedule that works best for your family?
Or are you trying to keep your head above water while waves seem to be crashing all around you?
Before you throw in the towel or grab that glass of wine hoping it will help you make it through the day/night, try going for a walk outside. Sometimes the most simple thing like a walk outside can be the most beneficial for your mood and energy.
Going for a walk has been my saving grace through infertility, pregnancy, postpartum, and really any stressful time in my life. It is part of my family’s routine to head out every evening (or afternoon on weekends) for a nice stroll down the sidewalks by our house, no matter the weather. Some days it’s my daughter, the dogs, and me, and other days when my husband is home in time he joins us. It gives the dogs a chance to burn off energy, my daughter to explore new sights and sounds until she falls asleep (sometimes this is the main goal of the walk), and for me to unplug and unwind. Or if my husband is with us, we take advantage of the walk to catch up on our day.
Our route generally stays the same (my dogs have it memorized and are way more behaved, which in turn decreases stress for me on walks), but how far we make it on the route varies depending on the mood. Some days we make the whole loop and it’s 60 minutes of peaceful glory. Other days, we make it 10 minutes and realize it’s just not the day for it, which is 100% ok. All that matters is we got a chance to take in some fresh air, burn off some energy, and relieve some stress with each step.
My body (and my dogs) crave walks once evening time rolls around, and I am hoping my daughter will fall into this same rhythm as she grows up. I hope she will see and feel the benefits of getting outdoors and disconnecting from all the things in life, and enjoy the easy opportunity to have conversations as a family.
So get outside walking! You might be surprised how beneficial it is, and how it may actually be the simplest and most restorative thing you do all day. Dress yourself and your kids for the weather, take it slow and easy, and see where your feet take you. Explore Rochester through sidewalks and trails. Try to not put expectations on it with distance or destination. Let going for a walk become an unforced part of your family’s routine and watch yourself (and your kids) begin to relax with each step.