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Take a Walk: Make It Part of Your Divorce/Post Divorce Strategy.

It is important to be clear minded and grounded as you deal with divorce related matters.  A simple way to help yourself get there is developing the habit of taking a walk every day.  Ideally, you have thirty minutes a day for your walk. However, twenty minutes and even ten minutes can be very helpful.

Walking helps reduce anxiety. Walking in the woods or in some other natural setting helps reduce it even more.  Part of this is that moving large muscles in a somewhat unpredictable way (playing basketball, dancing and even walking along a varied terrain) helps us release tension more effectively .

The other part is that being in nature stimulates our senses.  By focusing on and becoming aware of what we are sensing, we ground ourselves. Simply put, this means, we get out of our heads as we calm our bodies.  While taking a walk, we can deliberately and one at a time, check each of our senses: feeling, smelling, tasting, touching, hearing and seeing.  Doing this, we take our minds off of whatever thoughts preoccupy us.  As we repeat this checking of our senses, we become more mindful, aware and relaxed. We may even find peaceful moments. It’s the perfect activity for women needing a break from the stresses of divorce and its aftermath.

Here’s what it might be like:

Imagine following a path entering the woods.  You feel a light breeze on your face.  The air is cool and crisp. You smell the scent of pine. You can almost taste it.  You breathe in deeply.  As you exhale, you feel yourself begin to relax.  You feel the ground beneath your feet, take the next step and then the next and the next… Your mind begins to open, clearing out some chatter.  You hear birds singing, chirping and flitting about. You may see them move in the trees.  There’s a crack of a twig and maybe it is a deer or maybe it’s just you. Your pace is steady.  You breathe in and out.  You check your senses.  You breathe.  You breathe in love and breathe out gratitude.  Your mind is clear.

Action step:  Find a place in nature to take your walks.  Make sure it is easily accessible. It is important to be able to get there any time.  Try taking a walk there and see how it feels.  If you are comfortable and drawn to being there, make a commitment to go there at least three times a week to take a walk.  Practice tuning in to your senses to ground yourself.  You may be surprised to discover that after your walks, you feel a little more adept at navigating your way through your divorce/post-divorce issues.

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