Everyone has their way of dealing with stress and anxiety. People bake, sleep off their worries, watch porn, OD on video games and OTT platforms. Turns out mine is to walk it off. Long walks have always been a steady and dependable companion in my quest to better my mental health. Be it depression or everyday stress, for me, walking around aimlessly in the city, or brisk walking in my society’s premise has always been a healer. With times having taken a turn for worse, I felt that familiar itch in my feet to walk it off. But, how? The outside world has been cancelled. I have not left my flat in 22 days. Not even to take a walk within our gated society. But then I realised, all isn’t lost. Why not walk within the house? If it is big enough to break our backs while sweeping and wiping it clean daily, then why not for my therapeutic walks.

No offence treadmill people, but if I ever bought one of these machines, I am pretty sure it will end up being used as a hanger to dry clothes within two months. Sounds familiar? No comments.

I have never been a treadmill person. I have tried to take my walks indoor a couple of times in the past, especially during monsoons and when the winter gets so cold that one can feel its chill in the bones. We have a gym in our society, and that would come handy during seasons inhospitable to outdoor activities. But it isn’t the same. No offence treadmill people. But if I ever bought one of these machines, I am pretty sure it will end up being used as a hanger to dry clothes within two months. Sounds familiar? No comments.

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So, eventually I ended up trading my treadmill walks with yoga or workout routines at home. But as the stress piled up amidst coronavirus lockdown, the heart began to desire the walkway, at which I would gaze lustfully every evening from my balcony. It would break my heart to see my sport shoes gather dust in the shoe cabinet. There is  something about letting your foot loose. Be it on a road unknown or on a path you know like the back of your hand. Brisk walks clear your head after a long day at work. They have also helped me pick at my plotlines while writing books. With music in my ears and my soles on fire, I have cooked up murders and sketched monstrous killers.

It could be a bit of a nuisance to anyone going about their business; watching television, cooking or reading the newspaper, to have a heavyset woman jetting around the house, grunting and panting, with her ears sealed with the earphones.

So you can understand what my walks mean to me. Which is why I resolved to not let social distancing take away this little pleasure from my daily life. It started with an awkward stroll in my flat to pass the time and give my eyes a break from my smartphone. The first walk inside the house felt more like a hurdle race for sloths. You couldn’t gain speed, the kid would end up hopping around me in ten minutes, and more than once we got too close to ending up the floor with bumps and broken bones. Then there was this hesitation of getting in the way of others in the household. It could be a bit of a nuisance to anyone going about their business; watching television, cooking or reading the newspaper, to have a heavyset woman jetting around the house, grunting and panting, with her ears sealed with the earphones.

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But in the past few days, I have learned to walk around all the obstacles in my house and not get in the way of the other housemates. I am walking in the morning, I am walking after dinner. And if it is keeping me calm, I think my loved ones are more than happy in indulging this erratic behaviour of mine.

Photo by jetshoots.com/ Unsplash

The views expressed are the author’s own.

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