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My Cure for Most Things

June 11, 2009

walking life

I was reading a blog last week and the writer asked her audience what we all do to keep the emotions healthy and strong. I started to think about this and I thought of yoga and my journal writing, but then I realized the number one thing that helps me is walking. I suffer from anxiety (cough) AT TIMES, and sometimes I am so UPTIGHT I can’t settle down to do yoga or writing just isn’t UNLOCKING me. It’s like watching The Mummy try to do yoga or write in his journal–a lot of JERKY, UNBENDING gestures mixed with wordless GRRRRRS of frustration. If I have any moment of clarity (sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t) I drop it and go for an hour or so walk. I literally feel like my brain POPS its latch by the end and there is more room to breathe and my body is way more relaxed.

I do other things to help the old brain get back on its ledge. If I was the kind of person to admit these things, and I am not saying I am, but if I was, I’d also say occasional AFFIRMATIONS help. Not that I need to know that I am safe and I can have what I want and that there is room for me in the world or anything. No, I don’t need to SAY those things to myself or even WRITE them down a few times. If I did, I’d MAYBE share that, but that’s ONLY if I was that kind of person who did affirmations on sometimes a DAILY BASIS, but since I’m not, I’ll just say that I HEAR it works for A LOT of people and maybe even RECOMMEND IT.

But back to walking. Walking works the best.

I am lucky that I live in one of the most walkable cities in the world. Before I got pregnant (BP), I would get off at the first subway stop in Manhattan and walk the 53 blocks to my job. It takes only 15 minutes more than the subway and I felt SO GOOD both mentally and physically by the time I got there. I have missed this ritual so much in the last nearly 2 months since I have been back. It not only makes the commute better, but since my anxiety level has been so high it would have CHILLED ME OUT.

My energy is slowly slowly coming back and as a result I’ve been able to return to some of my weekly walking that I enjoyed before pregnancy set in and made me a NARCALEPTIC LAZY BONES. Last night I walked the 53 blocks to the subway from work. I listened to music on my ipod and felt something snap open and undo the old, ratty bandages that have kept me loping along with my arms outstretched as if to ward off something or just feel my way. I felt the old mummified parts in me loosen their grip and when no one was looking I said some affirming things to myself in my head, not to be confused with AFFIRMATIONS, and by the time I was home I felt that I was safe, that I could have what I wanted, and that yes, there is a place for me in this world.

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