When it’s a cold bleak Winters morning and it’s all you can do to drag yourself out of bed and contemplate another day, the thought of going for a run or a brisk walk is probably parked well at the back of your mind and on the most days, that’s where it stays. 

With the turbulent year of 2020 that we have all largely experienced, some of us worse than others, we have all suffered with a lack of motivation at times. Whether it’s now having to work from home feeling like we’re becoming hermits with countless hours lost of never ending zoom calls or worse still, being faced with redundancy or strained relationships, having all been cooped up too long at home, we have all in our own ways, faced the strain; and that’s without even taking the direct affects of this pandemic into account, of the loved ones lives that have been lost and the families and friends that are mourning them. 

If I’ve learnt anything through this pandemic, it’s how life can change in a blink. Sometimes you have to sit back and take stock of what we have and where we are in our lives. In times like these, we need to look at the most simple of things to help lighten our mood or make that difference between us having a good or a bad day.

Initially, it’s not easy. I say this from experience because some days when I am lacking the motivation to ‘do’ anything, it can honestly be a struggle. At the end of it all though, it is only ourselves that can change our trajectory. Yes, we all need support and encouragement but ultimately, we as individuals are the ones that can actually implement change and the lifes path that we set for ourselves. 

Regardless of what is going on in our lives, how busy we are or what the weather is doing, we can re-enlighten some sense of fulfilment by enjoying the nature around us that we so often take for granted. I have often found that on the days when I feel like hiding away and feel sullen and not quite myself, if I make myself go out for a walk or a run in the countryside, it changes my emotional state so profoundly that my day can end up on a high. What’s more, if I arrange to meet with a friend, to embark on an outdoor activity, I am more likely to stick with it and not bail on the day. 

I recently took part in Dads Unlimited ‘Pathfinders’ for separated parents. After meeting new parents in the group, we all went for a hike through the fields of Boughton Aluph and Wye. We eventually worked our way up to the Wye Crown after taking in the Farmers Market. This event was the pinnacle of my weekend. I got so much out of being outdoors, exercising and taking in the very beauty that we were surrounded by whilst being in good company. I really worked up an appetite for lunch and the activity made me feel deserving of eating a hearty meal afterwards. Just getting outside and escaping the four walls of my home was the best start to the day that I could have had. As a consequence, I was in a great frame of mind for the rest of the weekend.

If we sit idle, we become idle, we tend to feel more tired and less motivated and before we know it, not only does our physical health deteriorate but we end up going down the path of suffering from poor mental health. 

We need to be kind to ourselves and likewise, don’t give up too easily and resign ourselves to the sofa. Just that little bit of effort comes such great rewards that before you know it, you will crave for and, embracing the outdoors will be a way of life. 

If you are a separated parent and you fancy joining our relaxed ‘Pathfinders’, we hope to resume this activity as soon as lock down is lifted. For further details, please click on the link for further information.


It’s the simple things that can change our mindset.
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