Nature has a special way of calming the mind. As I walk, I often hang on tight to my border collie’s leash and let her lead as I close my eyes and absorb the magic that the sun has to share with me.
The sound of birds in the morning is like no other sound in quieting the mind. Squirrels are quite energetic early in the day and chase each other up and down trees. I often laugh out loud watching them play.
I meet neighbors I don’t know by name but who in the morning hours smile and say: “Good morning.” I need those positive connections to other humans.
After walking daily for so many years, I often feel like mornings are my support. When I head out, I feel wrapped in a big nature hug. Afterward, I feel ready to greet the rest of my day.
Benefits of listening to your body
Many mornings I wake up and would like to stay in bed, skipping my walk. What motivates me is a border collie who tells me it is time to go, but more importantly, remembering how great I always feel once I get outside and feel the morning air on my face.
As much as I love morning walks, I have also learned that there are days when my body needs something different. A flare can often take more energy and stamina than I have to give that day. I feel disappointed on these days, but I also know that when my body talks, I need to listen.
If it tells me to rest, I take the day off from walking and pull something else from my bag of RA diversions — Netflix, reading in our backyard, or coffee with my husband. Whatever it is, I know that I need these diversions — they benefit all aspects of my RA body.
See more helpful articles:
6 Ways My Dog Helps Me Live Better With Chronic Illness
8 Baby Steps to Managing RA
Running in Baby Steps-Returning to My Athletic Self in the Arthritis 5K