Discover more from Illustrated Musings
Walking and talking
it's good for your mental health
Today is the start of ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ in the UK. If you’ve read a few of my previous posts I hope you’ve picked up that I’m passionate about inspiring hope for those affected by poor mental health. My musing this week has brought together my May theme of ‘walking’ with this ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’.
During the spring of 2021 I was doing some pretty intensive EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) work in therapy. It was tough going! I was really grateful for my friend Jennie who was there for me then. What I especially valued were our walks. Somehow while walking with my trusted friend I was able to share things that I hadn’t been able to say in any other context. It was like a weight lifted and an extra processing session. It was special to me and I caught it in a quick illustration.
The therapy world has taken up the idea of therapy whilst walking. in this short Youtube video, Annie Callingham explains Walk and Talk Therapy.
Psychotherapist William Pullen suggests a way you can gain benefits without having to pay for therapy. “Find someone you like and trust to go on an empathy walk or run with you. You decide on a set amount of time to speak (10 minutes, for example) and you talk about whatever you need to while the other person simply listens. At the end of that, they repeat back to you what they’ve heard. They don’t offer solutions, but simply allow you to feel heard. You then do the same for them. There is no pressure involved as no one is being asked to come up with answers.
I love William’s advice. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from David Ausburger.
I hope this Mental Health Awareness Week that you are heard. Why not try an empathy walk with your partner or a good friend? If you can’t manage that send me a message I’d be honoured to listen.