I like to walk. It is essential to my mental well-being.
I happen to live in a beautiful part of the country – at the foot of the Berkshires in MA – but I’ve always walked no matter where I’ve lived. I think its essential for my mental health (and physical). Walking keeps the body engaged and lets the mind rest. There are all kinds of walking mindfulness techniques, but I just look at the trees and the sky and keep my mind quiet. I listen to my feet on the pavement and the bird-calls. If I turn all of my attention to the outside world, I find my inner world gets calm. Sometimes I walk when I’m working on a song. It’s a great way to just let the lyrics write themselves. Give your mind a problem - then go for a long walk. Get quiet first and let the answers come.
I’ve been reading a great book called, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. It’s fascinating. It’s basically chapter after chapter about all the great artists throughout history and the routines they set up for themselves in order to get their best work. One of the things I noticed again and again was the predilection for taking long walks! Creatives have used walking for centuries to work on problems and/or just give the brain a break. If it worked for Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo and Stephen King, maybe it’ll help me.