Putting one foot in front of the other is the most powerful thing you can do. For your heart. For your mind. For your relationships. Especially, with those of your kids.
Walking. Yep. Just free, simple, pull-ya-joggers-on-and-get-outside will change your life.
I’m a mum of four kids under seven. Our house is no busier than yours. I’m like every other mum, craving a little ‘me time’. And I got it. It was 5pm, my kids weren’t eating their dinner and someone threw a basketball at someone else’s head and then everyone started crying, including me. I would’ve quite liked to have resigned but as you might imagine, there’s no HR department in my house, so I pulled on my joggers – said “See Ya!” – and went for a walk.
I walked. And walked. I felt like the Forrest Gump of Australian suburbia.
That walk restored me. My brain. My patience. My body. I quickly figured out that if a simple walk can restore me, then it can restore and replenish my relationships, especially with my kids.
“Walking side by side minimises eye contact which can make it easier for [people] to open up”, says psychologist Jo Lamble.
“The conversation can feel more casual and less intense. And then there’s the fact that any exercise is good for our mental (and physical) health. Our mood, memory, motivation and energy levels are all improved with exercise.”
I tried it with my kids.
We walked in silence. Mostly. In fact, on the first walk, the only things they DID say were:
– “I’m hot.”
– “But whhhhhhhhyyyyyy are we walking?”
– “Can I have a Bubble O Bill?”
– “Why can’t I have a Bubble O Bill?”
A couple of years in, it’s mostly silence. Lamble says that’s where the magic lies, especially once you’re dealing with adolescents.