Abuse victims are used to keeping to themselves. Being in the public risks answering questions, revealing wounds, exposing people who mistreated them. We don’t want to explain why we’re covered, why we never hang out, why our significant others don’t like our friends, and so on. While there’s often not a physical restraint, we can sense a “grip” on us, and we continue acting as if we can’t go too far for too long even after the imminent danger is gone.
Small Steps #6 – Go for a walk.
You don’t have to go far if you aren’t comfortable with the idea. Take a dog or offer to walk a neighbor’s dog, if you want the company. Call a friend to talk to you while you’re outside. Complete an errand if you feel you need a reason to walk. The object is to get out of the house and out of the habit of locking yourself away from everyone around you. You do not have to remain isolated and cut off from family, friends, and your community.
Walking is more than just getting from here to there:
- Allows you to meet your neighbors. In a time where we drive almost everywhere, we rarely slow down to say more than “hi” to those making eye contact with us. We might have new friends living right around the corner.
- We can “stop to smell the roses…” literally. When walking, you’re moving at a pace that allows you to note the beauty around you.
- Can improve your mood
- Helps protect your joints
- Can boost creativity
- and has many health benefits
Go ahead and get moving. Look for things you’ve never noticed. You might be pleasantly surprised.
“Depression: A Walking Prescription” – “It’s the cheapest and easiest way to get relief immediately.”
“12 Benefits of Walking.” Arthritis Foundation. https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/physical-activity/walking/12-benefits-of-walking
Rabbitt, Meghan. “10 Biggest Benefits of Walking to Improve Your Health, According to Experts.” Prevention. July 15, 2020. https://www.prevention.com/fitness/a20485587/benefits-from-walking-every-day/
“5 Surprising Benefits of Walking.” Harvard Health Publishing. October 13, 2020. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/5-surprising-benefits-of-walking.
“Walking: A Step in the Right Direction.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed June 12, 2021. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/walking-step-right-direction.