With Christmas upon us, I don’t know about you but I love a Winter walk?
Having just completed Quarantine from arriving back to the UK from Italy the first thing I did was get up for sunrise (which isn’t really a huge ask at this time of year granted 😂) and head to the park just around the corner. It was cold & windy but the feeling of the actual sun on my face was really wonderful having been cooped up for 14 days.
If you’re new to the concept of mindful walking it really is so simple, it is a form of mindful movement and actually just calming the mind and taking a moment to notice the world around you, like you did when you were a small child.
This is personal preference and I’m sure a little frowned upon but I like to put a calming playlist on when I’m in a city here’s my current favourite in Spotify. But part of the practice is tuning into sounds, so I ensure its soft gentle music so I can still hear birds singing, dogs barking and people laughing.
You can make the practice as free or as ordered as you would like, you can count your steps or simply bring your awareness to your movement, then begin to work through your senses. What do you hear? What do you Smell? What do you see? What do you taste?
The key is from the moment you step outside bring the awareness to your body, how does the cold air feel entering your nose and travelling down to your lungs. How does the warm air feel as you exhale.
How does the ground feel under your feet, notice every footstep and feel the earths energy wrapping its arms around you.
Is the sun hitting your face, take a moment to stop, face it and close your eyes, like a flower does, soaking up its energy. You may not be able to help but smile, and take a deep breath here.
If its windy face into the wind and do a similar exercise, imagine the wind wrapping around you and taking with it all your worries and fear, feel them all being blown away. Take a Smile, and another deep breath.
What do you smell? Maybe if you’re in a city you smell food, car exhausts, someones perfume, how does it make you feel? If you’re in the country maybe you smell that smell of wet grass, that beautiful fresh smell after a frost?
As you continue on your walk take a moment to look to the left, to the right, up and down. We can be and feel so busy all of the time, we often miss the beautiful small things all around us. Focusing on one thing at a time is really great for our health in lowering our stress levels. Look at the world around you with fresh inquisitive eyes.
If your brain feels particular busy you can pretend you’re on a photography challenge to find and photograph the small beautiful things you find along the way, be mindful to put your phone straight back in your pocket or have it on airplane mode so you don’t become distracted. If you’re feeling creative you could take a little sketch book and sketch your favourite objects you find along your way.
I found myself meandering through the park, with no real destination in mind, I stopped to look at little bird houses in the trees, snowdrops sprouting from the ground. Dogs chasing each other, people laughing and chatting, this is when I find listening to music particularly helpful because it almost removes you from the world like you’re just looking in for a moment.
When I finished and got back to the apartment, I felt calm, rested and refreshed even though id briskly walked through the park and been battered by the wind. My mind was still and I remembered why I love this practice.
When I returned I popped some Jasmine Lavender & Cedarwood face oil on my skin, breathed in those beautiful calming essential oils and did a little gua sha mindful facial massage after my natural outdoor cryofacial (gosh it was chilly)
If you make it out with your family this Christmas for a walk and you have children make it into a game to notice 10 beautiful or unusual things and point them out. Take a moment to appreciate them, take some deep breaths and enjoy the moment.
Id love to see your pictures tag me on any you take @kyushi_skincare