Walk back to nature.
We’re living in strange times. Mother and baby groups have been cancelled, and you’re not even supposed to walk to see your best friend or sister. Going for a coffee with friends feels like a dim and distant memory. With a grizzly baby, the days can feel long and worries can spiral out of control.
So what can you do to take care of yourself and your little one during these strange days?
Of course, there’s the phone and social media which are great for staying in touch. But what do you do when you’ve already called your mum, sorted the washing and watched a bit of telly with your little ones?
If we can give any advice at all it is to make the most of the great outdoors…
If you can, get out for one walk a day with your baby. Walking can be a lovely time to listen to the birds, talk to baby about the world around you and feel the wind on your face and the sun on your shoulders (OK so maybe the wind and rain lashing in your face aswell, but at least baby has a rain cover!!!).
Use it as time to relax, to unwind, to settle into a gentler world where the spring flowers are springing up. Take some deep breaths and remember how beautiful the world around you is.
If you’re getting your exercise with a toddler or older child in tow, remember that a snail can be magical with its spiral shell and shiny trail. Look out for the rainbow pictures in people’s windows, don’t step on the cracks, talk about the world around you – did you know an oak tree can live for more than a thousand years?
If your partner is working at home too, it can be a good opportunity to reconnect with the family. Make plans for holidays and what to do around the house, silly things you’ve seen online or how your colleagues are coping. Chat with older kids about what school work they’ve been doing, cover a few French words as revision, try to remember and share the names of some of the plants and trees from when you spent time with your own grandmother.
It’s good for your mind and if you’re relaxed, your family will relax around you. It can give a bit of structure to an otherwise long day, but try to choose somewhere to walk where there aren’t too many people around so you can keep your 2 metre distance. It’s great exercise to push the buggy up a steep hill and the view from the top can remind you there is still a big world out there and we will get back to normal one day soon.
If you’re struggling on bumpy ground, it’s helpful to have a pushchair with solid rubber wheels, as they can’t be punctured, and locking the front wheels can help you stick to the paths.
For those that are self-isolating, if you have a garden, get outside and do some simple fitness exercises with your pushchair. Walking lunges, squats and push and pull exercises can all be done whilst holding onto the handle-bar. There are plenty of videos on YouTube and most of them can be done indoors too if you don’t have an outdoor space.
Wherever you choose to walk or do your daily exercise, try as best as you can to enjoy these strange days which are giving many of us the gift of time with our family. There is beauty all around us, we just needed the time to notice it.