Politics

Remember to Take a Walk Today

It’s an anxious day. A walk will help.

A woman in the woods.
Just a short walk. Cristina Gottardi/Unsplash

All the sensible advice says we’re supposed to limit our news intake right now, that there’s nothing else we can learn, really, through the cycle of refreshing FiveThirtyEight, then Twitter, then the New York Times, Facebook, Instagram, and so on.

Today is not the day that we are going to become beacons of self-care and chill. (I can and I will read too much news!) Today is probably a day for booze or Xanax, and certainly junk food, even though there is no concoction of booze or Xanax and junk food that can make you appropriately relaxed without just getting to passed out cold (to be clear, we support spending today knocked out). Sure, you get a little window of bliss before sliding into the inevitable territory of not only anxious and scared but also stumbling/woozy/bloated. Maybe you do not care if you actively make yourself feel bad right now, honestly that makes sense.

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But what you can do is go for a walk. Just a short walk. The world won’t fall apart while you’re on a short walk. Let a walk be your small important reward for existing on this—however it goes—awful day in history. Make it the five minutes you spend not attached to your phone. Even if the walk is stressful and does not feel good, the walk still can help, by reminding you that you CAN leave things and they will not collapse. If we have learned anything during this hellacious unending pandemic, it is that taking a walk can help. And it is perfectly safe.

Don’t listen to a political podcast on the walk. Here are some alternatives: The Bachelor franchise is having a (staged?) meltdown. Decoder Ring explains how Jane Fonda became a VHS workout guru, in two parts. Did you know that Spotify has music for pets? Today is the day you find out what the algorithm thinks an energetic apathetic hamster wants to hear. It’s going to be a little harder to find time for walks, as it gets colder and darker sooner. The time change really drove that home already this week (like we needed that now). But no one is expecting you to get everything done today anyway. Go, walk. Now.

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