One of my main pieces of advice when asked for fitness tips can be applied in other situations as well. I say, “You just have to force yourself to do it. Go through the motions. Get up, get yourself dressed, and just get out the door. Don’t stop. Don’t think too much about it.” This is the same strategy I use for writing. Just do it. Don’t judge it. Don’t let the perfectionism and fear of failure seep in. Just get it out and onto the page, even if it’s just for a few minutes that day.
It dawned on me today that the same goes for enjoying the park that I am beyond fortunate to live across from. Not a day goes by that I don’t acknowledge and appreciate how grateful and lucky I am to live where I do. It’s a true gift resulting from a textbook example of right place, right time, and the people in your life that you connect with along the way.
Some days, I don’t feel like leaving the apartment. Some days, that’s okay because it’s a form of self-care and feels needed and restorative. But some days, it’s the depression and/or anxiety talking. And I really have to push myself to want to do anything, which can be hard for me to accept and further complicates matters for a girl who’s usually extremely (self) motivated.
If I just get out – get dressed, pack a blanket, lather on SPF, throw on a hat, grab a beverage and snack, and walk out of my door…it’s beautiful outside. I am instantly transformed, mood lighter. I breathe in the sounds and smells of nature, my body is overcome with peace and calm, and I am swept up in feelings of gratitude. I can’t help but smile and my typical NYC fast pace slows, my patience grows.
It’s not always easy. Sometimes it’s a struggle. But if we can just get ourselves there, it can make a real difference. This time, this chapter, with Central Park in my life, is a special and cathartic one. The park can’t fix everything but it can sure make any day a better one. Find your walk in the park.