Self Care : Gratitude Walks.

•  09.May.2013

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve returned home from a trip to Europe willing myself to evoke or produce even just a small morsel of the European lifestyle into my own life. Time and time again I fall in love with the carefree and nearly unconscious city wandering of the locals in each place I visit, and how even on those not so great weather days people are out and about exploring, and getting to and from on FOOT. I too end up spending most of my days while on vacation walking endlessly, getting lost in the beauty of each twist and turn of the city. My legs aching, but always in the most accomplished of ways. I always come back to the states wishing I rode my bike more, or walked to the local farmer’s market more, or just considered on a daily basis how easy it really is to leave the house and go for a walk around my neighborhood.

In conjunction with the overwhelming desire to incorporate a daily “walking” routine into my day, I’ve also had the desire to pay more gratitude and appreciation for my life. It’s often times easiest to look at what’s not going well, or what areas of ourselves are lacking or need a lot of working on. It’s especially easy to feel this way if you spend time following other blogs, watching tv, scrolling pinterest, or even reading a great novel. It can always appear that someone else has more, is more or is becoming more than you are. But in those moments when I’m feeling “less than” or just simply having a bad day, I’m trying to remember to be grateful for what I do have.

So a concrete decision was made. EVERYDAY for the next thirty days no matter where I am in the world I will be taking a dedicated 90 minute gratitude walk. No judgement of myself or the day itself, just simply walking. And appreciating. Taking note of three things that I’m grateful for that day. So far I’ve completed 6 of my 30 walks (about to head out for my 7th) and the changes have already been impeccable and palpable. My mood is better, my body already feels more physically fit, and my mind is already more alert and focused on the positive things in my day. I’m walking about 6 miles each time I leave the house for one of my walks, and I can only imagine what it will feel like 180 miles into my walking goal.

I’ll be documenting one picture a day on instagram from each walk I take, while also taking note of a few things I most grateful for each day. I’m hopeful this new routine will last far longer than 30 days, as walking my city & taking moments to reflect and be thankful feels like the best investment I’ve made in my own self care in a REALLY long time.

I hope you’ll follow me on my walking journey or maybe even start your own. I’ll be posting pictures daily here.

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19 Comments

09.May.2013

Ooh, I love this so much. You’ve inspired me to try something like this of my own. Seriously.

Also, a question: how has this affected your work time? Are you crunched? Do you find that you’re actually more focused and productive when you sit down to work?

Keep it up yo!

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jenn

Hey gal!! Hmmm…it’s a little of both. I’m definitely feeling more crunched for time on certain days (especially travel days) but overall it’s making me be a lot more conscious of being present in what I’m doing at the moment. I’ve been looking forward to the walks daily and setting goals of how to fit them in. I’m usually picking the warmest part of the day to walk so I can enjoy the weather, so that usually means midday walks. This has been the perfect pick-me-up for those mid-afternoon slumps. By the time I get back home I’m ready to get in a few more hours of work :) Can’t wait to hear about you trying it out too!! That’s awesome!! Good luck!

09.May.2013

Amen! This is a GLORIOUS idea. Daily moments of gratitude feed the soul. I will be happily following along on your journey. :D

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09.May.2013

I love this plan of yours! I follow you here (although I believe this to be my first time commenting) and on your Instagram account and love seeing your images from these walks. I truly have to give you kudos too for making that bus look cool… I take the Sounder by GG every night and I specifically noticed it last night (and have on other days as well) and found it incredibly dodgy so I think you have an amazing eye. :)

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We are so busy in the states. Good for you! and by the way-love the bus-it reminds me of The Partridge Family :)

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09.May.2013

Love this! What a great reminder to look for things to be grateful for instead of only seeing what you don’t have.

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09.May.2013

Oh, I love this! What a brilliant idea… I can’t wait to see all the photos you take along this journey of yours each day. :) …I really should do the same, especially now that I live in the most cutest neighborhood… so much beauty outdoors, daily walks are good for the soul. :)

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10.May.2013

Jenn, this is a seriously amazing idea. I could definitely use more of ALL of this in my life, so I’m planning to start doing this too. I try to run when I can, but sometimes feel like I put too much pressure on myself when it comes to running, so I think committing to walking is great – plus the slower pace allows for looking around and enjoying our environment. I live in a suburb that isn’t extremely exciting, but I think that will force me to look for new places to discover. Thanks for sharing this!

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how lovely! these pics are beautiful & inspiring too

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10.May.2013

I love this post! Since I got a dog 2 years ago my life has really changed! I HAVE to take her out so I am outside everyday rain or shine for at least 1 hour. Now I notice the subtle changes of the seasons more and love taking photos of small treasures found along the way. I think it is so important to get out and experience the natural world, it puts all our troubles into perspective! Good luck on your journeys!

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15.May.2013

Love this idea. Since I moved to Seattle 8 weeks ago, I have been walking a few times a week, but I think I need to up it. I am feeling especially lost, and walking works wonders for clearing the mind. xo

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16.May.2013

I’ve been doing this too! Lately I’ve been feeling a little crazed by how much “screen time” is in my life. I made a decision a few weeks ago to take walks in the morning or mid-day — also because I was missing my trips to Europe, to Greece, to Japan! Now on my walks I realize that San Francisco is just as exotic and wild, and I am so, so grateful. My head feels more serene, my heart warmer, and my spirit a little more free. I love how your post describes the feelings and the decision so beautifully!

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17.May.2013

absolutely loving this idea, certainly going to join you in this.

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[...] inspired by these gratitude walks and implementing my [...]

[...] Gratitude Walks – What a wonderful ritual! I love reading about how others take care of themselves. Her routine reminds me of my morning walk and gratitude journal. [...]

19.May.2013

This is SUCH a great idea. I’ve just gotten into running this year, and have been really enjoying exploring my neighborhood, noticing little things that I miss when I’m zooming by in my car, but even those sometimes feel like a chore that I try to avoid. Letting myself stretch the distance with an added no pressure walk while I concentrate on the good in my life sounds like exactly what I need right now. Thank you for sharing this idea & your journey! :)

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07.June.2013

This is such an inspiring idea. I just happened to stumble upon your blog by accident, but I adore your genuine posts.
Asking as a wanna-be photographer, do you mind sharing what camera and lens you use? Your pictures are stunning.
Thank you!

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[...] you so much for sharing your stories with us, Jenn. We also love your idea of doing the ‘self care – gratitude walks‘. It’s a simple reminder to live the moment, and just be here and now. :)   cityone [...]