An Osteopath's View

Thoughts on leading a healthier life from Helena Greenwood at Jurassic Coast Osteopathy, Weymouth, Dorset

Keeping the routine & the motivation going..

A few weeks ago, I wrote that I was enjoying my walks so much that I was thinking of adding in a 3rd walk in the week as between Monday and Friday felt too long.  Then I was up in London working for a week, so although I kept physically active by walking up & down the stairs to the 5th floor several times every day, I was away from all the beautiful sights & sounds of my seaside home - you’d think I’d be raring to get back to it on my return - I certainly thought I would be!

What I hadn’t realised is that having got out of my routine (get up around sunrise on Mondays & Fridays, go out, walk for 50 minutes including 10 minutes meditation, have breakfast & then get on with my day) is how hard it would be to get back into it, to motivate myself to get back into that routine. It took me at least another 10 days (that’s 3 walks) to get myself out of bed & get going but the minute I did, it felt amazing.  I had a wonderful time, I went places I hadn’t been on the walk before, heard the birds singing & found lots of lovely wild flowers out (all of which you can see on my Facebook, Instagram & Google pages).

One of the things that helped me find my motivation & get back into routine was having something specific to do, a ‘purpose’ for the walk other than just the walk itself.  I had to pick a car up from someone, so I arranged my walk to end at their house so I could drive back.  I had also been down to a particular beach with my husband a few days earlier but we didn’t have time to visit another area (as part of identifying good fishing spots) so I wanted to recce that.  Having specific things that I wanted/needed to do were really helpful, so if you are struggling with getting back into a routine after a break, maybe that strategy might help  you.  Perhaps combine it with meeting a friend nearby after or maybe there’s a shop you want to get to that’s on the way if you’re walking/cycling.  Next week I’ve organised my walk around low tide time on the beach so I can go foraging for seaweeds & other things (food for free being another of my interests!).

The other thing that helps me with routine is, ironically, changing things.. walking the same route every time could be a bit boring (although it isn’t so much in nature given that everything changes every day!) - but it might feel a bit the same and I like novelty.  So I am starting to vary my routes a lot more and explore different paths that I’ve never taken before so there’s almost a ‘puzzle’ element to the walk for mental stimulation (although that can be a bit risky, as you’ll find out if you read my blogs about ‘walking the labyrinth’).

Finally, although I’d like to walk more than twice a week, currently it just doesn’t fit with my working times to walk another morning on work days plus at weekends, my focus is more on shared activities at home so that’s not an option either.  However, what I have done is extended my walks - I walk for twice as long and there are now 2 steep hills in each walk, not just the 150 steps up from Church Ope beach. The possibility to pick up a walk on another day still remains, but I feel better doing more already.  So I guess my hint on that is, if you’re struggling find a way to up your activity, be open-minded & flexible about how you might to that, don’t get fixed on a single idea, think whether there are other ways that might not be so ideal but might work towards what you want to achieve.

Posted 89 weeks ago