Simply moving helps soothe our minds and being creative adds to that, helping us feel better mentally too.
That's why as part of our Walk Once a Day this winter campaign we'll be sharing creative ideas to enrich your winter walks.
Read more about why creative walking can help your mental health from our artist in residence Alec Finlay. Thank you to Alec for sharing these ideas to make short walks this winter more meaningful.
Find the meaning behind some of the names in the places you walk to. We are more connected to our past more than we realise, and names can suggest ways we can improve our future.
We'd love to hear about the places you are walking to this winter.
Poetry Walking Sticks
Write a short line of poetry, a motto, or proverb, for your own poetry walking stick. They measure how far we need to stay apart in order to be together.
Celebrate winter by writing an “I see the sunrise” poem or note down the time the sun-rose and something about your morning, like a thought or aspiration.
Look for as many colours as you can – a rainbow, late Autumn leaves, and see if there are any placenames that refer to colours where you walk.
Write a “Let’s agree list” to start the new year and invite a friend to join in – think of what you want to do and make different.
Write an “I remember" poem to reflect on a walk you made in 2020, then add another for a walk you remember from your childhood.
Compose a motto on the benefits of walking in the winter, and add, if you feel inspired, one for the other seasons.
Monday – Sunday
Write a sentence about something you see each day on your walk inspired by the poem ‘Beachcomber’ by George Mackay Brown. Read the poem here.
Write a “For now” poem reflecting on how life is at this time, its pleasures and difficulties.
Imagine the points of a compass rose - North, East, South, West. Note what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch at each of its points. If you are inside, use the compass rose to remember four special places.
Interview with nature
Pick up a stone and look at it up close. Ask it a few questions. How old are you? What’s it like living here? What events have you seen in your life? Imagine its answers.
On your walk try to imagine the succession of plants from the first snowdrops, primroses, and wild garlic, all the way through the flowers and fruits, to end with hazelnuts or ivy. We are a part of this circle of life.
Spring is coming
Take note each day of the changes you see in the garden, from your window or on your walk. Notice the light, leaves, birds, insects, sky, sounds and your thoughts.