Self-Care Spotlight 003

By Ashley Barnes


This week, I discovered that I had been overlooking one of the most underrated forms of self care: going on a short walk.

Getting movement is a way to regulate our nervous systems and is an especially important tool to utilize when we are parked in our office chairs all day. It is also a way to get a change of scenery and some novelty to add something new to our routines. Especially as daylight lingers longer into the evening and as the temperature starts to cool, going on walks may be a good way to exercise and take a break after a long day. If you are an early bird, the mornings are another wonderful time to get some movement in if possible! When I go on my walks, I like to incorporate mindfulness by taking note of the chirping birds, the chatter of people passing by, and the barking of dogs. Sometimes, I even come across a friendly neighborhood cat.

I like to admire the changing colors in the sky as day transitions into dusk and marvel at the planes streaking across the sky; I often wonder where they’re going. I like seeing how people decorate their yards, their balconies, or their windowsills. I pay attention to the way summer is unfolding before my eyes in the form of flowers and shady trees. I see each house as having their own personalities, making them feel as if they each have a soul. I notice these things in such a way that I don’t even realize how out of breath I am as I trudge up a hill, and when I realize this, find joy in the fact that I am getting movement that my body has craved all day. It feels good to get exercise, and though walking isn’t particularly strenuous, I am still getting my daily endorphins! I also gain a quiet moment after so much noise, so many responsibilities, to-do lists, and tasks throughout the day. This time is for me, yet it is in no way selfish.

Alone or with company, I encourage you to take a walk.