What to do during COVID’s time to improve your state of mind
We have to admit it - the times we are actually living are not easy for anyone. Here are some tips to help you get through it, from our ambassador Ariane.
For many this very special period of second wave of "semi-luckdown" – and throughout almost the entire year of 2020 – has inevitably led to reassessing ourselves and thinking more about what is really important in our lives. In this current situation almost all of us experience anxiety at times, uncertainty about the future and even for some the inability to project into the future at all!
How can you escape from everyday life, when travelling is almost impossible?
The simple act of going for a walk in the open air can and will help reduce this anxiety.
Walking in nature to clear your mind
On a long hike the beneficial effects can be felt throughout your entire body, from head to toe and with for some really quite quickly. At some point, you will most likely feel an improvement in your mood as well as a decrease in feelings of stress and even symptoms of depression. “When we find ourselves in a natural environment, in the open air, in the forest, we use an attention that is more involuntary, that is to say that our senses are stimulated differently through the observation of natural phenomena, explains Virginie Gargano, Assistant professor at the School of Social Work and Criminology at Laval University. We hear birdsong, the sound of a river, we look at the trees, we feel the wind. This involuntary attention naturally decreases mental fatigue, people come home feeling rested.” - La Presse.
During my trip along the Circuit de l'Abbaye, accompanied by my beautiful friend Véronique, we undoubtedly felt a sensation of letting it go and significant well-being, especially through the 3rd and 4th days. As if we had entered a meditative state. Hence the importance of allowing yourself the chance to take a longer hike.
Benefits of hiking on the mind
Relaxation: The natural orchestra found along a path or trail, such as birdsong or the sound of flowing water, have been shown to decrease stress levels.
Sociability: Hiking the trails with family or friends is a wonderful way to spend time together, make memories, and bonding while participating in enjoyable physical activity.
Vitality: Taking a walk in the woods can help increase energy levels and reduce mental fatigue.
Imagination: Hiking can stimulate creative thinking. Research shows that spending time in nature can also increase the ability to concentrate and problem-solve.
*Inspired on the Ontario Parks website.
Little gems in Quebec
We can’t hide the fact that it sounds a little more exotic to hike in heavenly places all over the world. But you should never forget to also take the time to discover your own part of the country. The current situation in 2020 has somewhat forced everything, leading many Quebecers to discover a host of splendid places in Quebec, which deserve to be better known.
In the footsteps of Santiago de Compostela
The Compostela type of Paths are currently very in vogue in Quebec: there are almost 30, all as wonderful as each other. Most follow a free planning, (make your own arrangements). But others benefit from organizations that can help you plan and book the services necessary for your trip.
The Marcher autrement website is a good reference for finding all the Paths listed: https://marcherautrement.com/
In 2019, I had the fortunate opportunity to walk the Mini-Compostela in the Heart of Mégantic for 6 days, accompanied by my friend Sarah-Émilie. To read one of my stories and for inspiration, click on the following link: https://lesvoyageusesduquebec.com/chemin-de-compostelle-au-quebec-circuit-megantic/
8 municipalities in the heart of the Mégantic region
Eastern Townships region
Support offered for accommodation booking, baggage transport, lunches, advices, etc.
Contact Chantal Ladouceur
Facebook page: @parcoursmcm
In 2021, I’m planning to walk along La Voie des pèlerins de la Vallée. I'm already febrile just thinking about it!
12 municipalities around Coaticook
Eastern Townships region
Facebook page: @lavoiedespelerinsdelavallee
In a next article, experience – through my words – my 5-day journey on the Circuit de l'Abbaye...
Hiking in nature is good for the body, mind and soul!