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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!


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Mumsnet users share their experience of time outdoors during lockdown with Samaritans
OP posts:
Catiopea · 07/08/2020 08:23

Close to home in the garden mostly. Last year because of a trauma I went swimming in the sea every week, sometimes every day, and it was glorious with no one at all except me in the water, often not even anyone on the beach or just the odd dog walker.

This year I have tried but its always busy and frankly I’m too scared, not because of covid but because of the creepy disgusting men photographing complete strangers a only the female ones of course Hmm

So this year I concentrated on my garden and am growing vegetables which have the added benefit of reducing food costs even a tiny bit.

Getting stuck in digging, strimming, weeding etc is good productive physical work and watching things grow from seemingly nothing is mentally bolstering.

Our local WA centre made a garden last year for the same reason I am guessing - watching life take root in even the most inhospitable places is a reminder of hope for the exhausted and beaten down soul.

Before when I was totally housebound by fear just planting some seeds in a pot and seeing how, with even the smallest amount of positive attention, it grew and flourished, was a literal life saver for me.

angiem32 · 07/08/2020 20:20

I've made the most of being outside and have been having a leisurely walk of atleast an hour a day (weather dependant) which I've found has been fantastic for my mental wellbeing - we have 'met up' with others for socially distanced walks and picnics to be able to see each other and still keep safe which has been fantastic

SmileyShazza · 10/08/2020 20:39

We started by doing the Joe Wicks workouts as I was determined that our children would get some exercise during the lockdown period, I did it too and it was also a good way for me to get my body moving - it also worked wonders for my mental health.

When the kids started getting a bit bored with Joe Wicks we started doing Just Dance songs via You Tube which they sometimes do at their after school clubs. It's amazing how much those can get your body moving!

I've also been taking a daily walk as I find I need some time away from the busy hustle bustle of the house and everyone in it. Even since lockdown has been eased I've continued with this and actually love my daily walks now. I have also started doing a daily HIIT and weights workout using an app developed by a fitness person I found on Instagram. The best thing that has come from lockdown is my new found enjoymement of exercising.

Hollieh89 · 04/09/2020 00:05

we have enjoyed walking and biking in quiet woodland areas where we live. Its been great for us as a family and has helped my mental health

Quietvoiceplease · 04/09/2020 16:30

For a long while we went out very little as I was shielding. However, in recent months we have made the most of the summer weather and gone out for walks to our local countryside and also regularly going out after work for half an hour for a walk and to pick blackberries.
I've also restarted running - slowly, but am sticking with it. The most beneficial thing has been making time to have some fresh air and just 'be' in nature. It is just so calming: to notice the seasons, and the sounds. Children are brilliant at noticing the small details: the insects, the puddles, the birds. Adults need to learn from them I think. I feel like I breathe more deeply when I am surrounded by trees and after very stressful days at work, it is such a tonic.

MuddlingThrough1724 · 04/09/2020 17:46

We used to be very fairweather when it came to outdoor activities. If it was raining we would stay home or go somewhere indoors. Lockdown changed all of that and we've really grown to enjoy being outside - both in our own garden, but also lots of parks, gardens, national trust properties etc. We've also realised that actually poor weather isn't something to hide from, and a cold and damp day can be just as enjoyable, of not moreso than a warm and dry day. Wellies and waterproofs are now a staple in our house, which would have been a hilarious idea even 6 months ago.

Mayflower400 · 05/09/2020 16:10

Getting out and about made a huge difference to how we were feeling and reduced arguments. We discovered lots of hidden local gems.

lolly2011 · 07/09/2020 18:17

We have been going on local walks, but spent most of our time in the garden.

SpongeBobJudgeyPants · 07/09/2020 18:21

Fortunately for us we have an allotment. It was an absolute lifesaver, particularly early lock down when you could do very little. It's easy to get outdoor excercise whilst weeding, etc, whilst not really feeling like you are doing it, which is good (for me). Makes me feel much more chilled and calm.

BikeRunSki · 07/09/2020 18:25

One of my favourite memories of lockdown was very early on, before the clocks went forward at the end of March. DS(11) and I went for a walk one evening as it was getting dark. By the time we got to the top of the hill behind our village it was totally dark, and all the stars were coming out. It was a really cold, clear night we could see everything. We just stood on the hill star gazing for an hour.

Sleepybumble · 09/09/2020 10:14

We were so lucky to have spent lockdown in the countryside. Plenty of local walks. We made the effort to get out everyday. Mum reminded me there no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing (or something like that anyway!)
We also spent lots of time in the garden ordering stuff we needed for the garden online made life so much easier.

Nquartz · 15/09/2020 14:45

We are still walking most days, week days we walk a mile home from school while the weather is still so lovely, and at weekends we like to do a 3or 4 mile walk like we did in lock down but now we incorporate lunch at a local tea shop or independent pub, nice food & supporting local businesses.

fishnships · 15/09/2020 20:46

More exercise generally as being furloughed we have all been able to go dog walking. Thanks to a brilliant new bike lane near us we have also been cycling safely, away from traffic - it's worked wonders for my fitness and general well being and actually managed to get kids away from their screens.

vickyors · 15/09/2020 21:02

I have been trying to walk a lot more, and breathe. With the kids, I got out each day, I would try and show them the little things around them- branches of trees, amazing roots and things. It helped ground us when days were tough.

And we then went and spent a lot of time in the garden of granny and grandpa when we were allowed. Jumpers, blankets.. we would stay until the sun went down just to see them. It was hard, though, too. No hugs hurt a bit. My youngest daughter struggled with no cuddles from them.

ThighthighOfthigh · 15/09/2020 23:45

We had a wonderful time turning some of our garden into a vegetable plot

InsertSassyUsernameHere · 16/09/2020 01:03

We discovered a safe cycle route to the beach an hour away not long after lock down, and went every day it was warm and dry enough.

HumphreyGoodmanswife · 19/09/2020 20:58

We're an outdoorsy family so early lockdown was very hard to get through. Since then we've camped lots, from weekends away in National Parks around the UK to nights under the stars on a mat in the back garden.
Hikes up mountains, swimming in lakes, walking behind waterfalls, long bike rides in the countryside /bike trails, runs as a family, long walks along the beach, canoeing, gorge walking, tree climbing, abseiling, adventuring, gardening, growing fruit & veg, stargazing at night, cricket etc, campfires, garden games, long walks in the rain.
We love the outdoors, rain or shine. Love the fresh air. DCs are a little older now, teen and pre-teen yet still spend hours watching bugs, looking in the pond, birdwatching, going on night walks with a torch.
For us nothing comes close to the freedom of the outdoors,sunshine or rain on your face. Lockdown was my worst nightmare.

tobypercy · 19/09/2020 22:00

There are a couple of paths through countryside near where I live. We've always walked up there occasionally but in lockdown they were the busiest place around! Not busy enough to be risky - it was great to see people discovering the outdoor spaces close to them instead of driving to the more managed and commercial spaces which they usually visit.

Snog · 19/09/2020 23:02

I've been trying to walk in nature every day as it really boosts my mental health. Forest bathing I think it's called and I believe that the air is supposed to be healthier close to trees.
I love to look and see what wild animals I can spot each time.

YesIDoLoveCrisps · 20/09/2020 09:06

We were mindful of looking after our mental health and a daily walk was a good way to do this, the weather was mostly sunny which helped. We could get some exercise and we could wave over to people but keep a safe distance.

duggerlugs · 20/09/2020 09:32

This year we have introduced a walk after evening meal each day. Bird watching and bug hunts. We have created a wildlife garden and then introduced a rose garden to encourage wildlife.

greengreengrass14 · 20/09/2020 18:53

Short distances I have managed at times I have felt unable to venture far. We do not have a garden but the beach is not far away.

Kweenxo · 20/09/2020 22:21

I've been getting my daily walks in and taking in the sunshine. I love nature so I always try to walk in the park or where there's beautiful scenery. It's a shame that people haven't been following the guidelines and that it's going to be restricted again.

KandJblog · 22/09/2020 12:02

I take my son out twice a day to enjoy nature, we absolutely love the outdoors and always find new ways to keep him entertained outside, whether it's leaf collecting, conker collecting, bug hunting or den building there's never a dull moment!

joggingrunning · 27/09/2020 12:32

We go to the local park and play football as a family sometimes. This has certainly helped to lift the family's morale and mood despite the current situation. It has also helped the children to appreciate nature more too. Daffodil Flowers

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