I just got home from a long walk.
I hadn’t planned to go walking today, but mentally I needed it.
I’d spent so many hours writing and editing this morning that my eyes could no longer focus on the screen and my mind could no longer focus on my work. Unsuccessfully, I’d tried to force myself through the frustration towards the lull I was experiencing, but after failing to do so I realised I needed a break. With a little hesitation about leaving my jobs unfinished, I closed my computer and decided to trade the artificial light of our studio apartment, for the rare yet real sunlight breaking through the clouds of London’s winter sky.
As I stepped outside, the cold, fresh air hit my face and my mind responded immediately by lifting a layer of fog that had settled on it until then. I made my way towards Hampstead Heath, a park close to my house and one of the many parks that allow Londoners to connect with nature within a city of nine million.
As I moved closer to the Hampstead the noise of traffic faded and transitioned to silence, only broken by the joyful chirps of birds in the trees above me, and a few dogs barking in the distance. Once I got there, I walked directly up the long grass hill that led me to the highest point in the park, where I sat on a bench overlooking the city.
As I was looking at the city where my mental fog had built up this morning, I couldn't help but feel a fresh perspective both physically and symbolically. It felt as though I was looking down at where my frustration was, but felt separated from it by the distance I'd walked. From this perspective, I no longer felt connected to the frustration that just an hour prior had gripped my mind. I felt a weight lift from my shoulders and a fresh sense of calm flood over my mind and body. The tension I didn't realise I had left my body, and I relaxed.
I only got home from my walk fifteen minutes ago. The issues that were causing the frustration this morning still exist, but my mind feels more equipped to deal with them.
A walk through nature helped me recalibrate.
I wonder if some of the problems we’re facing don’t require more work, more effort or more stress, but a fresh perspective.
Maybe the problem is not the problem.
If you're struggling to solve the issue you're facing, try closing your computer, leaving the office and taking a walk.
You might just find a fresh perspective.