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​Making the best of Spring during Covid-19

By Kate Bendix 6 months ago 1806 Views

Making the best of Spring during Covid-19

I don’t know about you but I’m bored witless. No one has been in my house since lockdown, if you don’t count the gas-man who came fix a leak. While I feel exceptionally lucky that I don’t have to home school a five year old, or have a partner I’m beginning to ponder on as to the future of our relationship re biscuit theft and some questionable habits, I do have a dog to look after.

And it’s spring for crying out loud! Now is the time we should be out in the bluebell woods, up hills and down dales. But we’re stuck looking at the four walls wondering what’s to become of us.

Try these tips and tweaks I’m making the most of right now.

Make the most of your daily exercise ration.

We need to make the most out of this precious time outside. When you’ve fallen off the snack wagon as spectacularly as I have, it’s imperative to get the heart rate up. I live in a large town and do a lot of pavement walking but I also seek out my green town spaces. Try these, for the exercise and mental health care you need now more than ever.

Places to seek out:

  • Tucked away small parks.
    Find your town on Google maps and have a good scout about for little pots of ground you’ve never been to before. There’s one about a 10min walk from my place (20mins with Nikita) that’s sensational. It’s small but perfectly formed with a couple of large oaks you can get right under and hug (go on, no one’s looking), and a copse of trees housing winding paths, bluebells, and woodpeckers. Surrounded by uber-posh houses and hardly anyone knows about it. Seek one out you definitely have one.
  • The countryside, seaside and rivers
    If you have these on your doorstep and they’re walk-able then fill your boots. Go early or late, especially if it’s the weekend. Take a short break and just breathe in the view, the smells of flowers and trees, the wildlife, or crashing waves. Your sanity will thank you for it.
  • The beach
    If you have a beach with a decent enough low tide then that’s the place for you! I’m really enjoying it right now as it’s only dog walkers out and about and we’re all behaving.

Places to avoid.

  • Well known dog walking haunts
    If you can, find new spots to walk,large parks are liable to be busier all day especially now more of us are working from home. And not everyone’s practicing social distancing. Equally, if you’ve got to untangle a couple of dogs (putting it kindly) social distancing will go out the window.

  • Promenades and narrow places
    I live by the sea and I’ve given up going for a walk along the prom. It’s a real shame but it gets packed with walkers, cyclists and runners. Narrow paths make it difficult to keep your distance and not everyone complies anyway (don’t get me started).

Things to do, while the dog sniffs.

These days I can often be spotted hugging a tree (don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it. Cynics.) Or touching a new leaf, I kid you not, this is so mindful I relax immediately. If I’m pavement walking I brush my hand through a rosemary or lavender bush and inhale the aroma. I may be carted off to the big house, but hey, these are trying times.

Letting your dog set the pace and stopping for a good sniff wears them out mentally. A fifteen minute sniff-a-thon is as good as an hours exercise.

Take your dog on errands.

Double down on trips to the pharmacy and take the dog along for the ride. It’s a trip out and relieves the boredom.

Practice your recall.

Now’s the time to spruce up your rusty recall skills, especially beneficial in these times of social distancing. Mine is touch and go so we’re doing a bit every day. You need a high value treat as a reward and some self respect so you don’t fall at the first hurdle. Beef jerky is our treat du jour. They’re not greasy, don’t stink and Nikita comes back for them.

On a lighter note I love how British we’re being about all this. I apologise every time I walk into the road to give someone the pavement and follow that up with “I’m not avoiding you personally, of course.” We’re so British. I love it.

Posted in: General Advice
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