Mumsnet users share their experience of time outdoors during lockdown with Samaritans

(229 Posts)
JustineBMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 14-May-20 16:04:13

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Lockdown has meant that we’ve been spending most of our time in our homes, with precious time outdoors for exercise being treasured more than ever. This July, Samaritans are launching their second Samarathon, where you can run, jog or walk 26.2 miles in your own time and pace to help Samaritans save lives.

Now that many restrictions on exercising outdoors have been eased, they’d like to hear your experience of making the most of your time outdoors so far, and what you think that looks like in the weeks to come.

Plus, if you’d like to take part in Samarathon - alone, with a friend or with your family - click here for more information.

Ruth Sutherland, a mum of two, Samaritans listening volunteer and Samaritans CEO, says; “Now more than ever we know getting active works wonders for the whole family’s mental health. Our fitness-fundraising initiative, Samarathon, is focused on feeling good, and doing good! Why not sign up with friends, family or work mates and support each other’s progress wherever you all are?”

Perhaps you’ve been stretching out your daily exercise for as long as possible or ensuring you visit beautiful spaces that help you relax? Perhaps the routine of going for a walk before or after a day working from home helps separate work and home life? Are you looking forward to spending more time in the outdoors with your family now that the rules have been relaxed?

Whatever your experience of making use of time outdoors during lockdown and how that has made you feel, share on the thread below and you’ll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £200 voucher for the store of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!


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OP’s posts: |
BristolMum96 Fri 15-May-20 07:59:10

We have definitely started doing more walking as a family. Taking long and steady strolls through our local forest area. It's quiet and peaceful

Bimbleberries Fri 15-May-20 14:56:53

I'm trying to go for more walks, and today a cycle. I am trying to think positively about it, but I find it stressful as I worry about not being able to stay 2m apart in places, and whether that's enough. I hope that now we are allowed to meet people, I will be able to see a friend, even if it's is at a distance, because I have been alone since it started. We hope to find a nice quiet place to walk, where we can stay far enough apart and still hear each other. I have been trying to notice much more on my walks, with streams and the river in town looking much clearer than usual, and much more birdsong.

theneverendinglaundry Fri 15-May-20 15:17:44

We have made sure that we all go out for a walk together after lunch. It does us the world of good - the kids are always reluctant to leave the house but enjoy themselves when we're out, chatting and laughing!

Today we made a few sandwiches and sat in the sunshine to eat our lunch. They absolutely loved it.

torthecatlady Fri 15-May-20 15:56:21

I'm lucky enough to have a small garden and have spent lots of time in it over lockdown. If I'd have been stuck indoors, I'm not sure how I would've coped.

My husband and I have also been taking short walks around our area, again we are luck that we have specific walking areas in wooded areas and surrounded by nature.

Katesmate123 Fri 15-May-20 15:57:48

We have been spending time gardening and going for walks discovering more of the neighbourhood - so different to driving everywhere and allows me to have a good nose at everyone’s garden! Makes us feel more connected with our neighbours as we admire rainbows they have up at their windows.

starlight36 Fri 15-May-20 16:32:29

We are very lucky to have our garden for the children to charge around safely in. There has been lots of swing ball, football, gardening and general play. We've also done some schoolwork outside and lots of relaxing on our picnic rug with books.

We probably haven't spent as much time outside our house as I thought we would do. Although there are a few parks and bits of woodland near to us you have to walk through quite a lot of streets to get to them and people are a bit hit and miss about keeping their distance. My 7 year old in particular gets quite stressed about this so it spoils the enjoyment a bit of being outside.


m0jit0 Fri 15-May-20 17:33:37

Lots of time in the garden and walks in the local area

spottedbadger Fri 15-May-20 17:38:07

We have walked between 3-7 miles every day since the lockdown started. Limited opportunities to go outside mean that we go on our daily walk even when the weather isn’t great. We got to see parts of the town we never knew existed and the routine of the daily walk has been very anchoring at this time of uncertainty. We even made new friends as lots of people are (re)discovering walking and sticking to a routine, so we see same people few times a week and say hello or stop for a (socially distanced) chat smile Even if we can now drive to places, we will probably be sticking to one of our favourite new walks a lot of the time!

Isis1981uk Fri 15-May-20 18:12:13

I've found it incredibly positive and liberating - I've had quality time with my partner (who works at sea 4 months at a time) without work getting in the way and felt like we've really grown closer, wonderful unrushed time with my kids - I fully expected to hate it as I get stressed just having to amuse them at weekends - but actually they've really enjoyed it and been very receptive to my schooling. Even though I'm furloughed, I'm financially better off than usual as I don't need to spend £500 a month on after school club for both kids, and we've used the time to do all those huge DIY and gardening jobs we've wanted to do for years - completely transforming our front garden. I live far from family anyway, so I'm used to not seeing them in person, but I've got to know my neighbours far better chatting from our drives etc, and I feel relaxed and unstressed, sleeping in until my body naturally wakes me up, eating when I'm hungry, and enjoying reading and paint by numbers. Not constantly rushing between work, school and home, out the house from 8.15 to 5.45 every day and cramming homework, dinner, baths etc in, I honestly feel happier than I've ever been. But the flip side is concern about my job and it's future, and anxiety about everything going back to "normal". But overall I feel very positive about it all.

oceany Fri 15-May-20 19:06:21

I try to get to the top of a hill, the wide open view helps ckear my mind.

Daisymaybe60 Fri 15-May-20 19:26:50

I’ve done more exercise than I usually do, but mostly in front of YouTube videos, or my yogalates dvds. I’ve made sure I spend time outdoors each day, though, on warm days sitting in the garden with a book for an hour or two. I head out for a brisk walk every other day at least, but my favourite paths round here are narrow. As they’re busier than usual it can be difficult to keep a distance from others. I sometimes find myself doing circuits of our local graveyard. grin Luckily it’s a very pretty one with lots of trees, flowers and other plants, so it’s pleasant enough, as well as very peaceful.

Stargirl84 Fri 15-May-20 19:52:54

I live with my husband and two young children. We have spent as much time outside as is allowed, including: jumping on the trampoline in our garden, card games outside, painting or chalking outside, daily walk/run/bike ride (jumping in puddles if it rains!). Also eating most meals outside in the garden wherever possible.

Buttybach Fri 15-May-20 20:17:28

I had major surgery with complications 2 months ago and I have been in a lot of pain which has really affected my mood. I have been in pain for a year before that waiting for the surgery.
My husband and daughter are both love fitness so I have been a little down that I cant really join them. I absolutely love history so my husband found two bits of local history that I had no idea existed and we have been on two walks to these places. They have only been short walks but the mental wellbeing it has brought me is great.
One of them was in the fields right behind our house. It was a church that was abandoned in the reign of Queen Elizabeth the 1st.
The view across the valley from the church made me well up a bit!
Without my family being at home I may never have discovered this.

Chocolate50 Fri 15-May-20 20:33:11

Walking everyday and gardening, nearly gave my neighbour heart failure he's never seen me gardening in the 12 years I've lived here

janney3 Fri 15-May-20 22:21:21

We've walked more as a family which is lovely.
Our garden is also looking neater and more weed free than ever.

PorridgeAgainAbney Sat 16-May-20 07:15:50

Lots of walks which we've tried to make a bit more interesting to a 7 year old (who thinks the only reason to walk is to go and play football) by finding things in different colours to make collages, leaf prints and wax rubbing pictures.

We're also lucky to have a garden so we've sown lots of veg seeds and put up the bird boxes and feeders that we've had for ages but not dealt with before.

We also make sure that both me and DH have time to go for a walk by ourselves to get away from the intensity of being all together for 24 hours, 7 days, XX weeks. smile

CompleteBarstool Sat 16-May-20 10:13:24

For the first time ever I've started a vegetable garden.

I'm not a gardener by any stretch of the imagination but I'm doing OK with it. I love the fact that you get to see a little progress every day/week, that it gives me a focus and gets me outside every day to check on them, water them,thin out/re-pot etc.

Plus we'll hopefully get something in return as the summer progresses.

BurMaMa2 Sat 16-May-20 10:15:01

I've stayed in much more than usual. I'm too anxious to go out in case I break any of the rules around social distancing. I. live in a very beautiful place with quite a lot of its own land, so I've wandered around a bit. I'm a widow and live alone, except for my cat. She has been a great comfort to me, and has changed from being an aloof creature to a lap cat.

UngainlyGiraffe Sat 16-May-20 10:27:44

We spend a lot of time in the garden, but have started going for regular walks in our local woodland area. It’s great fun and we talk about everything we see along the way. My toddler has just started becoming more imaginative and likes to look for dragons with his little sword.

angorarabbit Sat 16-May-20 10:50:34

Living alone and unable to see family has been hard, but I am lucky to have access to a river within walking distance. On my daily walk I've seen the changes in landscape as spring has progressed, and documented the development of a family of ducklings via photos sent to my grandchildren.

ohdannyboy Sat 16-May-20 11:24:39

I ordered some astroturf on-line and made our front garden and driveway into a large playspace, with all of the ride on toys out, chalk board, sandpit and easels for painting - I am just so glad that the weather has been our friend in the lockdown.

ArchbishopOfBanterbury Sat 16-May-20 12:00:27

Me and my 1 year old have been walking a neighbour's dog every day through a volunteer group. The owner has COPD and is shielding. The dog gets a walk, neighbour gets an over-the-fence chat, and me and my toddler get some fresh air and excercise.

My little boy loves smiling and waving at other walkers, I think it's important to keep up his social skills. He crawls around when we get to the field, chases butterflies and picks daisies. He loves it!

MumC2141 Sat 16-May-20 13:37:40

Out in the garden mainly and short walks locally.

pushchairprincess Sat 16-May-20 13:49:20

We have made some raised beds out of some old decking, filled with compost and are growing peas, beans, carrots and potatoes - we have loved tending to them and watching them grow from little seedlings to edible treats (the potatoes were ones I found growing roots at the bottom or my vegetable drawer which we planted)

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