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

228 replies

JustineBMumsnet · 14/05/2020 16:04

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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!

MNHQ

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Mumsnet users share their experience of time outdoors during lockdown with Samaritans
OP posts:
HeadOfTheCongaLine · 16/05/2020 15:58

We have an energetic dog so we've been walking him every day as normal. We're very fortunate to live near a beach, our morning walk there and back is just under five miles.
This week we've ventured further out, to then walk 8-9 miles, in beautiful countryside.
I strongly believe that daily exercise in the fresh air is the best thing for mental and physical wellbeing.

GardenParties · 16/05/2020 16:07

We've been watching the local birds nesting and it's been beautifully uplifting to see nature carrying on as normal when everything else seems so strange right now. I've always valued living near green spaces but never more than now.

voyager50 · 16/05/2020 16:36

We've been making the most of the local wildlife conservation area and exploring it on our bikes and on foot - it's a lovely place that I didn't even know existed before lockdown yet it is only a 15 minute walk from home!

littlealexhorne · 16/05/2020 16:40

I've been enjoying walks with my lovely little dog even more than usual, I've become much more appreciative of that time in the fresh air and realised how much it helps me destress.

WarmCinnamonZoflora · 16/05/2020 17:29

Everyday I run for 15 minutes and take new routes through the locality. Surprisingly always find new little routes and have started to notice tiny changes in nature.

wildnightswildnights · 16/05/2020 18:04

The lockdown has finally pushed me out into the garden. We've got an awkward, North facing sloping garden with hard soil which I've turned my back on until the lockdown. I've been out so much in it recently and really started to make something of it, by putting out pot plants and digging some flowerbeds. My daughter loves following me around with her mini gardening kit and little watering can (although she waters quite a few of the plants repeatedly until they are swimming!!) I never thought I'd spend this much time in my garden and I'm so grateful for it now.

SpiritEssence · 16/05/2020 18:54

I'm a keyworker and found that I now love cycling to work. It clears my mind as i suffer from anxiety and helps me as dealing with abuse from customers on some days really takes it out of you and knowing your there helping them and putting our health at risk even more than ever. So a nice cycle really helps specially if I stop near the canal near me

dragonicicle · 16/05/2020 19:30

We've walked everyday to a nearby golf course and over the last few weeks we've seen the whole course! It's been beautiful and we've walked miles.

We've also taught DD to ride a bike and she's really enjoyed it.

CalmYoBadSelf · 16/05/2020 20:47

I've never been an outdoorsy person and have always been too busy (or found excuses that I was too busy Grin ) to spend much time outside. Since the lockdown, despite working part time from home, I have started enjoying my morning cup of tea out in the garden when the weather permits. I am lucky to live close to a beautiful beach and have started walking on my non-work days and am building up my distance.
It's been a blessing getting out as I am asthmatic so the walking, fresh air and sunshine is improving my health too which also makes me feel better

Nacreous · 16/05/2020 22:33

I have mainly been enjoying the garden rather than any major exercise, but sitting in the sun, feeling it warming my face, always lifts my spirits - no matter what else my be going on. I get a feeling of peace and calm when I shut my eyes and lift my face towards the sun.

bettertimesarecomingnow · 17/05/2020 09:36

We have been going out for beach walks, forest walks, walks around the farm etc. Sometimes the dc take a ball or scooter.

I've tried to get us out every day but it doesn't always happen. At the very least they play in the garden on bikes or scooters or mess about on the trampoline.

I've also been giving them garden chores like feeding the birds and weeding and we have tadpoles in the pond so they have been checking on them daily and feeding them spinach!

On the lovely sunny days we have had, they've taken toys into the garden and set up playmobil villages or race tracks while I've watched with a glass of wine! I've also been setting challenges like make a model garden in a box or floor is lava using a couple of mats.

I've done some diy in the garden and built pallet furniture and painted things.

ProfYaffle · 17/05/2020 12:44

We're fortunate to have a garden so I've been sitting out a lot on nice days. We've also been going for short walks into the large park in the the centre of our town and at weekends have been going for a long walk (2 hrs or so) in the fields around the edges of our town.

Since the lockdown eased we've enjoyed the small privileges of being able to sit on a bench in the park and yesterday we travelled to a nature reserve to go for our long walk. Today we're planning a picnic on a green at the edge of town (getting more daring each day!)

I've come to realise that a prolonged period of time outside is really important to my mental health. The periods of bad weather we've had when I've been unable to go out have co-incided with me feeling quite down. Getting out for a couple of hours noticeably lifts my mood.

Lokikitty · 17/05/2020 14:00

Being outdoors has been the best part of the day during lockdown. Before lockdown I never really had time to walk or relax outside. I now look forward to walking for 2-4 hours a day. I hate that I can't do more but it affects my sleep if I get overtired. The walks break up the day.
Watching the fish eating, birds flying gracefully and horses rolling about on the grass makes me smile. The sound of birds and sheep are beautiful in this difficult and trying time. The friendly neighbourhood cats make my day just that little bit more bearable. Although one passed away yesterday and that made me really sad.
I've appreciated simple joys such as feeding fish, horses and cats.
I have beautiful church gardens across the road from me that I didn't even know existed. It's a hidden gem. I sit on my picnic rug, soaking up the sun and it eases my worries and anxieties just enough to keep going for another tough day without voices, hugs, kind words and laughter.
I've planted lots of flowers and vegetables, their growth the only thing that really marks the days. I can't wait for them to flower and add some colour to my life.

Lokikitty · 17/05/2020 14:26

Miles not hours!

Asuwere · 17/05/2020 15:12

We've spent so much more time in our garden than we usually do which has been nice :)

ButterflyOfFreedom · 17/05/2020 16:59

We've all been spending much more time outdoors which I hope will continue when lockdown ends.
We're lucky we have a big garden so we've played lots in there plus have started to grow more flowers & vegetables.
We're also lucky to live near some woodland and parks so on our daily walk we've explored the area lots.
We appreciate nature & wildlife more - plus the lovely weather!

DennisTMenace · 17/05/2020 17:18

We have a garden and the weather has been good. Makes such a difference. Not a big garden, but the kids are only young. Lots of planting seeds for the veg patch.

Funsize123 · 17/05/2020 20:23

We have been shielding since the 16th March and so none of us can go for a walk or anything. This has meant we have spent a long time in the garden. My daughter has learnt to ride her bike without stabilisers (in a small garden), lots of building using scraps of wood, hours on the trampoline and dancing!

Welshmaenad · 17/05/2020 20:33

As a disabled person, trying to get outdoors during lockdown has really hammered home how little society cares about my wellbeing.

I can't walk far at all and use a mobility scooter to accompany my family on longer walks. I'm not able to do this from my door - the pavements in my rural village are too narrow, there are few dropped herbs, and it's neither safe nor legal to drive it in the road. Therefore we have been driving a short distance to a location with smooth, wide and accessible paths for me to use.

The first issue we have faced is that the location in question keeps randomly barring and unbarring the access to the disabled parking area. When queried, this is blamed on people abusing the access and I'm told that I just have to deal with the lack of access 'for the greater good'. Mentions of the Equality Act seem to fall on deaf ears.

Secondly, we were stopped by the police on our way to exercise. I was told that if I couldn't exercise from my front door, my partner ought to take the children for exercise and leave me in the house. When I pointed out that I, too, was a human being and had a right to get outside for exercise and fresh air, this seemed like a really novel ideal to them. We weren't penalised, but it just contributed to the feeling that in all this, disabled people are just a bit of a nuisance.

More positively, I have started letting the children (10 and 13) go out for walks alone in the village. They have explored areas they have never been to before because they're not accessible for me, they send me back photos of the sheep with labs they have encountered, or the ducklings on the pond, or pretty flowers they thought I would like. It has allowed them to be a little more free and independent, and discover the beauty in their doorstep in a way they might not have done were we not in lockdown.

Sleepybumble · 17/05/2020 21:24

We are incredibly lucky to live in private farmland and have fields without public access to walk around.
It has made me appreciate how lucky we are here, we've been walking everyday for an hour or so, often having a picnic at the end of the walk then walk back. I will continue to make going for a daily walk part of our day when this finishes. I have noticed it's really helped my daughter open up and chat as we've walked. She is more relaxed and has learnt so much about the countryside around us over the last 8 weeks. I have always been involved in charity work involving farm animals on the city and this has brought home to me how important this is. I am determined to be more active in protecting green spaces in our nearest city.

10milewalk · 17/05/2020 21:29

I've been busy at my allotment each day which I'm really enjoying. I love being out in the fresh air, with my hands in the soil.I find it really clears my head and it's been lovely eating some home grown food.

Now the lockdown is easing a little I expect I'll go out walking a little more, but will try and go to quiet places and avoid the crowds.

Glitterbubbles · 17/05/2020 22:35

We've been going for a walk, run or cycle every day. Mostly I've been listening to podcasts if alone whilst doing this but I've enjoyed just walking in silence some days (especially in the early morning), listening to the birds. It is cliched but I've definitely appreciated the little things outside more - the blossom on the trees, new leaves, first bumblebees, and felt there has been more time to enjoy these.

TheQueenOfTheNight · 18/05/2020 01:05

I've been walking less than usual due to the restrictions. I try to walk at quieter times, and I like to see trees and greenery (vitamin nature) so my preferred routes are the scenic ones that are generally popular. The good weather has made it easy to spend time in the garden so I've been walking less, but outside for longer than usual.

blackleggingsandatshirt · 18/05/2020 11:08

We are visiting our local donkey sanctuary, (it's on a public pathway) there are 12 donkeys there, we know all their names, and love when they run to the fence and we give them carrots. - it makes life feel a bit normal for that brief time. Smile

CraftyGardener · 18/05/2020 13:26

I'm lucky enough to have a garden. It's nothing grand, just a small fenced in 'new home' style patch but we've filled it with raised beds and a greenhouse. Every morning I stagger out in my dressing gown to water the greenhouse. By the time I go back in for a coffee I've shaken the feeling of 'here we go again, another day in the house'. Whenever I get a chance I pop out and pull a few weeds during my lunch break. Watching the seedlings grow and the tadpoles in the (tiny) pond is a lovely reminder that although we might feel that life is on pause right now it really isn't. Somehow the fact that my garden is still plodding along is reassuring.

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