It has been many weeks since I last wrote my blog regularly. We are now back in a light lockdown mode in Germany after a summer with the freedom to travel a little. I was lucky enough to have some weeks in the south of France. For us it is a return to a familiar place with many friends to see. It was a real delight and we discovered some new places to eat out: something we had been missing so much during lockdown. I was inspired by the number of young chefs setting up small places with great, interesting, local food and wine. When I first moved to France over 20 years ago it was hard to find vegetarian food – now it is very present on menus (not that I am completely vegetarian now but I have been).
Along with our beach-going, our gallery-visiting and reunions with friends, the gastronomic moments helped recharge our batteries. Now we have been back some months and there are more weeks to go through the winter before the daylight hours will start to increase again. I have recently run a session on staying resilient through these months for the women in the network I belong to here in Germany. I have been talking about ways of staying on track with the people around me: coaching clients, friends, family, colleagues in IWIB (International Women in Business Dusseldorf). There is a great deal of uncertainty ahead about the impact of the pandemic on our communities as the numbers of infections grow. The impact on our mental health, of this year and what is ahead, is significant.
What can we do to stay OK during this time beyond the basic rules of handwashing, mask wearing and social distancing?
Getting out in the fresh air every day for a short walk has been good for me. This autumn I have enjoyed the foraging opportunities in our local area on the edge of Düsseldorf. I have eaten field mushrooms and magnificent roasted chestnuts from my walks. I have adopted a habit of my mother’s of carrying a bag in my pocket in case I find something. I grew up with her collecting wild fruit – blackberries, apples and sloes in particular – on our walks.
Maybe your outing is in the city – find places with greenery and trees if you can.
For me it is also a time to talk (and process what is happening) to someone different as I walk with a friend, socially distancing. Some days I have ended up going out after nightfall because of other commitments – it is a different experience but helps to balance my day nonetheless. Maybe riding a bike or running is your thing. Walking in the rain brings a special pleasure. Get out every day as part of looking after yourself.
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