The world is strange right now, nothing feels normal, everything is changing, I run a very busy practice, my practice is going in new directions that I would never have thought it would which is proving quite demanding as I adjust to my new way of working.

This week, I found myself feeling stir crazy, I am working from my dining room at home and could feel my stress levels rising, I was sick of staring at my screen, I made a decision even though I had a ton of work to do, I needed to take some time out and care for my mental health.

After all I need to practise what I preach so donning my new walking boots, I set out for an hour, it was a pleasant enough day, I am lucky to live very close to a forest and so headed out that way, I was quite surprised to see how many people were walking, families, grandparents with grandchildren, couples, lone walkers like me and dog walkers.

It struck me that here we could all have some normality, no masks needed, wide paths allowed us to walk and naturally move to one side as we would have done pre Covid. It all worked beautifully well, within seconds I could feel the trees, birds, grass and wildflowers beginning to soothe my soul, my breath became deeper, slower and more relaxed.

Around me, I could see others looking relaxed, unhurried, enjoying and appreciating the surroundings, a granddad delighting his granddaughter by showing her where to put the acorns so the squirrels could enjoy them for their dinner, a couple of dog walkers laughing at the antics of their dogs as they danced around each other, sniffing, trying to make friends, a man taking photos of his girlfriend sat very artistically on a fallen log.

Gradually as I walked deeper into the forest, there was only me walking with the occasional passer-by, cordially greeted with a nod that spoke a thousand words, mostly saying thank goodness I’m out in the fresh air.

I looked at the trees, some of the larger oaks have been there for centuries, solid, dependable, immovable and in a time of uncertainty they became reassuring to me. These trees have witnessed so many traumatic events, world wars, civil wars, births, deaths, marriages, maybe tree blights and now a global pandemic that has taken everyone by surprise but still they stand, tall, proud, defiant, strong. In an ever-changing world they have become an anchor of hope, a message that states: “It’s ok, we’ve experienced worse than this, we’ll get through it and become stronger, we will survive”.

Post Covid, things will change of course they will, but is change always bad?

Not in my mind, during lockdown for example worldwide pollution fell dramatically giving mother nature chance to draw breath, there are positives to the pandemic as well as the more obvious negatives, focussing on the positives allows you to protect your mental health, the walk was free but the benefits rich and immense, I arrived home just 60 minutes later refreshed and recharged.

Never underestimate the power of Nature and fresh air to heal. Get out for a walk and appreciate all that is around you, and believe and know that one day this will pass as all things must.

15th October 2020