I’m not a big fan of January. I adore the run up to the festive period but tend to find that my mental health suffers a bit as a result of the continued shorter, darker days.
Last week was particularly bad as we’d had several gloomy, drizzly days in a row and by 5.30pm on Friday I felt totally drained.
Having been diagnosed with early menopause some 2 years ago, I’m also struggling greatly with my mood thanks to crazy fluctuations in hormone levels which can result in me feeling irritable, teary, lethargic, fuzzy-headed and inexplicably clumsy and uncoordinated.
These are all things I’ve learned to identify and cope with, but the sleep disruption that results from hormone fluctuations is the one thing I don’t deal with well.
When I’m poorly rested, my resilience plummets and whilst the odd night of poor sleep is fine, after not getting enough sleep for several consecutive nights, it really takes its toll so I knew that this weekend I needed to head outdoors for some much-needed nature therapy!
When I awoke (for the fourth time) on Saturday morning, despite my Fitbit reporting under 5 hours of sleep, I was determined to crack on with our planned walk so we got up, filled our backpacks and set off for the Peak District border, a 45 minute drive from home.
I’ve written before about walking at the Roaches and Ludd’s Church, and it’s my favourite local-ish high-level walk which I try to do at least a couple of times each year.
This time I had my fiancé for company, and it was lovely being able to share one of my favourite walks with him. We knew the best of the weather was going to be Saturday and the forecast had promised intermittent cloud with occasional sunshine. The forecast however was wrong.
It was gloomy, grey and drizzly for the entire walk, but the benefit of the poor weather meant that there were few other walkers around and there was a beautiful stillness to the air.
You know that feeling you get when you are stressed and you can feel the tension throughout your body? With every step that feeling dissipated, the cold, damp air restorative, making me feel like I could breathe again.
Despite the gloom we still managed to enjoy some decent views out over the Staffordshire Moorland and across into Cheshire and the walk really did have the intended effect, leaving me feeling more grounded, calm and refreshed.
My advice? If you’re feeling a bit down or frazzled, pull on your walking boots, head out for a good stomp and let the great outdoors work its magic!
Where to next?
- Hayfield to Kinder Downfall 14.6km Circular Peak District Walk
- 12 Brilliant Books To Inspire Your Outdoor Adventures & Enhance Your Wellbeing This Year
- A 7.2km Autumn Coastal Walk In Haverigg, Cumbria
- Walking The Blaenhafren Falls Trail at Hafren Forest, Wales
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