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Anna's November Challenge

Anna, one of the Wellbeing Advisors for Positive Minds, tells us how she is staying positive during lockdown.

Like many people, I often need to put some effort in to keeping on top of my mental health and this year that has been even more important.

Putting together a personal wellness plan or even giving ourselves a reasonable challenge to do can help us keep on top of low mood. With this in mind, I decided to use my right to exercise and try to hit at least 10k steps a day throughout November. As someone who hates gym style exercise but loves the outdoors this seemed like a good challenge for me to do.

The first few days I felt great, getting out in the fresh air and keeping up the movement gave me a clear head and my mood was very upbeat. Then came the challenges. On day 5 I had a notification I needed to quarantine for 5 days, this made things a lot more difficult, I had to think outside the box so I did a lot of housework (music made this bearable), dancing and playing ball with my toddler as much as possible. My mood dipped during this time, but I think it would've been worse had I not kept going.

By day 10 I had the all clear so continued going out for walks, there are times when I have not felt like going but I have learnt that those are always the times I will benefit from it the most. I am over halfway through now and I can confidently say it has really boosted my mood and once November is over, I will continue to walk as much as possible. 

If you are going to embark on a step challenge my tops tips are:

  1. Plan your walks to fit in nicely with your day, I found I always preferred to go early morning as it meant I started the day on a high but go with whatever fits with your life.
  2. Create a few playlists to match your mood of all your favourite songs, I found this especially important when I was stuck inside.
  3. Change your route, go places that you like, bring you peace or you have never been to before.
  4. Take time to rest your legs in a warm bath made just the way you like it.
  5. If it is bad weather, I recommend the beach to watch the waves crash, I recommend listening to Breathe by the prodigy at the same time but each to their own!

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