Beauty / Wellbeing

Add walking to your mental health toolkit

walking mental health Adrian Price Natalie Petrevski Jess PW

"By walking, I found out where I was going."

- Irving Layton, courtesy Words of Note

We're drawing in a lot right now. Information, and our minds, are running fast. But in our bodies, many of us are more sedentary than ever before. The (hopefully) tail end of coronavirus restrictions coupled with winter in Australia means we're still leaving our houses less. For those of us still working at home, with a lack of commute, it takes just a few daily steps to reach our work stations.

We know how our bodies feel when we haven't been channeling our energy into movement. But what about our minds? It's not just a metaphor that what goes in must come out. What we do physically has profound impact on our mental health. And, potentially, that's good news, if you're looking for new ways to manage stress, anxiety or burnout.

According to clinical psychologist Scott Lyons - who we spoke to on in the Connection issue on managing mental health in times of hyperconnectivity: "One of the things that is really helpful is to 'motor' ... "

"If you fill up the car, as you’re doing with people’s words and feelings, what are you going to do with all that fuel?"

"You gotta move it. You gotta drive, you’ve gotta go. And that movement could be walking. It’s an intentional practice excavating energy and moving energy through. That’s psychic, emotional energy that we’re talking about."

Psychologist and author Robert Kraft - who we also spoke to in the connection issue - agrees.

"For able-bodied people, walking is a simple activity that can help immensely and uplift the psyche."

According to the Mindshift Foundation walking can reduce stress, increase the concentrations of feel-good chemicals in our brains to alleviate anxiety, promote better sleep and improve self-worth.

It also provides opportunity to reflect, with the physical and emotional intention of moving forward. We recommend leaving your phone at home.

The key is ease and simplicity, so if walking isn't your vibe or ability - choose the low impact exercise that works best for you. And if you can do it outside, all the better.

FASHION Natalie Petrevski
MODEL Jess PW @ Vivien’s Models
HAIR Anthony Nader @ DLMAU
MAKEUP Teneille Sorgiovanni @ Work Agency using Tom Ford Beauty