One of my most favorite things to do when I am trying to bounce back from a rough period is to go for long walks (at least 45-60 minute walks).
Going for a walk is amazing because not only you get light exercise and spent some time outside you can also turn it into a ritual.
For example, you can set an intention before going out. If you have a problem you’re not sure how to solve, of you are experiencing a creative block, before setting out to walk you can say to yourself: “I am struggling with this and this but am I going to walk it out so when I’m back home I will have a solution for my issue”. When you return home, take a notebook and write down a list of potential solutions for your problem, or make a few sketches or journal a bit and see what happens, maybe you make a little breakthrough or indeed come up with a suitable solution to your problem.
Another thing to do before going out for a walk is to ask for a sign. For example, maybe you really want to start a new project, like launch a new Etsy shop for your creations but you are not sure if Etsy would be the right platform for selling your work. In that case you can, before going out for a walk ask your higher self, spirit guides, angels (or whomever you feel drawn to) to send you a specific sign during your walk. For example you might ask “Please show me a white cat (or a person wearing bright pink coat, or an encouraging graffiti or whatever else that resonates with your question) during my walk as a conformation and a yes sign that I should open up an Etsy store” and then open your eyes and see what happens during your walk.
If you like taking pictures, you can go for a photo walk. I love going for photo walks especially when I’m feeling down. Seeing the world through a camera lens shifts my attention away from my bad mood and helps me rediscover the beauty that’s all around us even in seemingly unattractive things.
If you are feeling very angry, you can put your headphones on, play some loud music and walk really fast until you feel lighter or just get really physically tired, hungry or thirsty :) Burn away your anger!
Another thing I am fond of doing when I need to find an alternative or original solution to a problem is to explore new paths, quite literally. I’ll intentionally go for a walk to part of my town I’ve never visited before, wander around unfamiliar neighborhoods and yes, literally take the road I’ve never taken before. By doing that I imagine new paths in my brain opening and enabling me to make new, fresh decisions. I live in a very safe area so I’m not afraid to wander around but if you live in a place with a high crime rate or something, I obviously wouldn’t advise that.
There was phase in my life when I frequently went out for an after dark, night time walk. Darkness symbolized dark, unilluminated parts of myself (a shadow if you will) and by intentionally going for long walks after dark I would symbolically express my willingness to face my own darkness, hidden parts of my self, my inner demons. Plus, I am a bit of a nocturnal animal so walking around at night is really enjoyable for me. A win-win situation on all fronts.
In Summer of 2013. I suffered from a very intense depressive episode. I didn’t know it at the time but my depression was caused solely by taking the wrong contraception pills. Hormonal imbalance totally messed me up, leaving me completely hopeless. To combat my hopelessness I would get up very early (at 3 or 4 in the morning) and go a long walk through the local woods, fields, across the river to come to a very nice spot where I could witness a beautiful sunrise over the mountain. For some reason seeing the sunrise was the only thing that gave me hope and those early morning walks pulled me through some very intense period. After I stopped taking contraceptive pills, after only a few days I was born again, back to my usual happy self and that episode really opened my eyes to damage hormonal pills can do to you (but that’s another story).
There are so many different ideas when can explore while exploring our surroundings and with little imagination we can turn our daily walks into adventures or even pilgrimages of sorts enriching our inner worlds, igniting our inspiration while nurturing our bodies with light exercise. For me, going for walks and treating them as a personal ritual has helped me greatly, either in overcoming creative blocks or as a part of my healing process or just a way of connecting to myself and my intuition on a deeper, more meaningful level and that’s something I would kindly recommend to everyone.