This lockdown was always going to happen sooner or later and we all have our fingers crossed that it will slow down the spread of the Corona Virus to help save the lives of hundreds of people who live on our wee island.
In the meantime, the majority of people are at home, healthy and suddenly have a lot of time on their hands. Some of us may have gardens to get fresh air, the rest of us may be limited to the exercise time the government is allowing people outside for. No matter your current situation, it is fair to say that if you are a lover of the outdoors, your quota of outside time is being curtailed pretty significantly.
It’s worth noting that you may be able to get in the hills or rivers easily from your house but it probably isn’t a good idea. Scottish MRT are discouraging people going into the mountains whilst the Scottish Canoe Association are recommending people don’t head out onto the water (apart from a few exceptions). At BA fully back this stance. The mountains, lochs and rivers are not going anywhere and will be just as majestic when this all blows over, is it really worth the risk just now?
So what can we do to satisfy our adventurous side? We have come up with 5 ideas that may help pass the time and alleviate the yearning for the great outdoors.
When was the last time you fully relaxed? We wrote an article earlier in the year asking people to unplug from their daily lives and routines when they come on trips with us. It is fair to say that this is another, albeit slightly different, opportunity to do the same.
Take some time away from your mobile and TV. The stream of social media and news streams only add to the pressure and remind us of the isolation we are in. Looking after our mental health is every bit as important as our physical health, articles like this one from the BBC are great starting points for maintaining a good sense of perspective.
Give yourself time to appreciate the smaller things in life and enjoy them for what they are. Rediscover past hobbies, start a new one or enjoy sitting back with a cuppa. We are all different but it is important to understand how you can relax, you have plenty of time to find out.
Novels, articles, interviews, accounts, biographies. Anything and everything – reading is an escapism which can teleport you to the far off reaches of the world, teach you something completely new or inspire you to better yourself.
Novels are obviously an easy go to for a dose of adventure inspiration. Sail around the world with Robin Knox – Johnston (A Voyage for Madmen is a cracker), paddle round Scotland with Brian Wilson (Blazing Paddles is a must read) or join Joe Simpson on a crazy climbing accident and one of the best tales of survival in Touching the Void.
Read the biography of one of the toughest Brits alive (Ranulph Fiennes – Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know), learn more about one of the great Scottish pioneers (John Muir – A Passion for Nature) or for one of the most inspirational books you will ever read, follow Karen Darke’s recovery from a paralysing climbing accident to Paralympian cyclist (If you Fall).
The lockdown won’t last forever, make sure you can hit the ground running when you are set free.
It would be all too easy to spend the next 3 weeks sitting around not moving further than the fridge or to chuck another log on the wood burner. This isn’t conducive to a healthy lifestyle and is certainly not going to help your paddling when you are allowed to hit the rivers again. The following points should help keep the blood flowing (remember how good you feel after exercise!).
Stay Supple – practice yoga on a daily basis, it will help hugely with flexibility and will help you relax immeasurably. If you’re not sure where to start, YouTube has a plethora of instructors waiting to help you (check out Yoga with Adriene).
Living Room Workouts. Joe Wickes (The Body Coach YouTube channel can be found here) has been doing excellent work with his high intensity workouts and he is also doing a daily 30 minute PE workout which is suitable for all ages.
Use Your Hour – you are allowed out for an hour every day to exercise, this is your chance to escape the house and run free! Mix it up, go for runs, walks, bike rides. If you are shattered why not wander to a quiet place and simply sit in silence for a while? Forest bathing (derived from the Japanese exercise of shinrin-yoku) is a tend to help people recover from the stress of every day modern life, now may be the perfect time to give it a go.
If you have a garden then this is the perfect solution.
Cook outside as much as possible, enjoy a cuppa next to a bonfire and put the barby on with every opportunity.
At night you can’t tell if you are in the middle of the mountains, an island on the West coast of Scotland or your back garden – huddle around the warming glow and imagine you are in a far off place.
Why not go a step further and camp out under the stars?
You don’t need to go to the back of beyond to camp, even in your back garden it can be a refreshing break from routine and the norm. If you have kids I your household they will absolutely love the adventure!
The lockdown won’t last forever. With the amazing work of our NHS staff the virus will hopefully make a hasty retreat meaning life will start feeling more normal again.
As none of us can pinpoint when this may be why not write up you adventure To Do list. What trips have you always wanted to do and never got around to? Why has it not happened so far and what do you need to do to make it happen this time? Don’t be afraid to think big, check out these ideas from Wanderlust.
Plan your next routes, pour over maps so that when the time comes you can pack up your boat and head off.
For outdoor enthusiasts, the time spent indoors should serve as motivation to get out and be active, sometimes you don’t appreciate something until it is taken away.