Helen’s 5 ways

Helen’s 5 ways

17 April 2020

Being active, taking notice and being grateful  

Like others, still having the opportunity to be able to go for a walk as daily exercise is something that is really appreciated. The other morning being in the wonderful Burghley grounds at 8am when the light was beautiful, and the fallow deer were lying in huge numbers under the trees, had a very special magic. I always feel blessed to have Burghley Park on our doorstep as a citizen of Stamford but, in these times, I have an even more heightened sense of awareness of and gratitude for these surroundings. Friends in France are very envious: although they have the stunning Brittany beaches almost on their doorstep, they are not allowed to go out further than one kilometer from their house and only one at a time. Hopefully, we can continue to have this precious privilege for as long as possible. 

If I need to get my heart rate up a bit more than on my walks, I have also taken to use the skipping rope in the garden! Normally this is one of those grandchildren activities but I’m trying to get back to the prowess I had when younger. I am failing of course, but I am having fun failing!

Learning something new 

I decided early on in lockdown that it was necessary to choose something specific in terms of my learning and I went for chess. I only really played in my late teens (very long ago…) and never really got the hang of it. So, it is becoming a regular challenge in our house. I am still far from mastering all the tactics and strategies, but I took great pleasure last week in scoring a first victory over my husband. Then I learned something else: he is a really bad loser! That said, he has beaten me every time since but at least I am no longer such a pushover!

I am also sharing with any family or friends Carol Hines’ ideas for combining the 5 ways with young people. Click here to download Carol’s first project shared with all the local schools, which is an activity that can be enjoyed by all generations. Our Volunteer Coordinator, Pip, shared it with her parents and they came back with a picture of their efforts within just a few hours!

This was one of a series of MindSpace articles published in The Stamford Mercury during the Coronavirus lockdown.