Running is The Dogs when it comes to Mindfulness, IMHO
In my day job, I’ve been writing a lot about Mindfulness lately.
Now that we’re all preparing for a second, six-month lockdown – panic-booking Ocado slots, stockpiling the Cushelle before it goes back on the ration – it’s understandable that we’re also after some mental reinforcement to see us sanely through the dark days ahead.
So, having exhausted my usual array of mental sandbags on the first surge, I’ve gone back to Mindfulness after a break of almost three years.
I’ve dusted down the old Guided Meditation CD, sat in the same chair with my eyes closed and assumed the familiar pose, supposedly embodying a sense of strength and curiosity.
I spent 20 minutes noticing my breathing and the noises around me, trying to sit quietly with any troubling thoughts that popped into my head.
And it was all right. In fact, it was much the same as it was when I last gave it up: at least I was doing something to combat stress and getting a bit of restful ‘me’ time’.
But one of the thoughts that did occur to me was: “This isn’t as good as running.”
I’m depressed again, but I don’t need happy pills. I just need to run more.
I’ve been feeling depressed again recently, for the first time in a long while.
I had a knockback at work which – as is my wont – I took quite badly.
And then, there was the end of summer. After the heatwave in mid-August, there were weeks of unseasonal, autumnal storms and heavy rain. I started to sense the short dark days and the long black nights a-coming. And I didn’t like it.
Coronavirus has helped me accept that it’s fine to be like everyone else
I’ve been thinking a lot about over-indulging while we’ve been in lockdown – and I know I’m not the only one.
The other day, a friend sent a list of Coronavirus phrases trending on What’sApp, including “Covid-10” – meaning the extra 10lbs some of us have put on through comfort eating and drinking since March 23.
In the UK, alcohol sales jumped by 22 per cent in March, while the tendency to binge and put on weight – also known as “fattening the curve” – was likewise observed in countries that went into lockdown before us.
“First of all, you’ll eat,” Melandri warned. “Not just because it will be one of the few last things that you can still do… You’ll eat again. You will not sleep well… You will put on weight. You’ll look for online fitness training…You will eat again.”
I thought I’d never say this – but the Government is being quite cool…
I’M NOT A FAN of the Conservative Party. Never have been. Never will be.
I couldn’t stand Maggie and her ‘No such thing as society’ nonsense.
I hated austerity, and I’d be deliriously happy if we never, ever, ever Got Brexit Done.
The way the Johnson administration has handled the Coronavirus crisis has also been lacking in many ways (although, to be honest, I doubt that I’d do any better if I were leading the nation).
There was the early, misguided, flirtation with herd immunity before social distancing was imposed. There are still big problems with testing, and now there’s the Prime Minister’s distressing failure to heed his own advice about social distancing.
But I’m proud of one thing that the Government has done: at least they’ve tried to treat us all like adults.
Coronavirus is a bad thing – but there are upsides, particularly for quiet types
I KNOW we’re all supposed to be in this together but – on the quiet – I have been indulging in a bit of gloating lately.
That’s because the Coronavirus pandemic – though it’s tragic, frantic, dreadful and economy-wrangling – has temporarily created almost perfect laboratory conditions for introverts like me to thrive.
Just like the shy deer, birds and sea turtles who are reclaiming habitats worldwide in the absence of humans, Lockdown Britain has suddenly gifted withdrawn folk the quiet and solitude we need to thrive.
I’ve always felt guilty that I’m not a social runner – but at least going solo is perfect for escaping Covid-19
FUCK SELF-ISOLATION: that was the unspoken message in the air around London’s open spaces yesterday.
I ran through three parks as I knocked out my Sunday 10-miler, and it looked like everyone in the city was outside with me, despite the Coronavirus.
Given some half decent weather for once, Londoners were seizing the chance to stretch their legs, and for some space and fresh air.
Kids, Mums, Dads, old folks, lovers and dogs – they were all out – along with runners. Dozens and dozens of runners.
It even felt a bit Blitz-Spirit-y, being out there mingling in the face of Covid-19.
‘Bring it on!’ said the dog walker, bending to bag a turd”
Bring it on! Said the business-as-usual body language of the dog walker bending to bag a freshly minted turd. London Can Take It! said every Dad standing his ground quietly against a toddler baying for ice cream.
But in the midst of all these heroes was a coward – and that coward was me.
Because, as I dodged and weaved through the throng – woolly gloves on despite the sunshine and maintaining a safe two metres at all times – I wasn’t being brave.