This week in our writing workshop, our teacher JoJo asked us to write some advice on surviving the pandemic – this is what I wrote and I hope it will be helpful for those of you whose hearts sink as you contemplate going for The Walk.
1. There’s no shame in admitting that by now you hate the thought of the blasted walk.
2. Don’t bother with it. Stay on the sofa and watch another episode of Schitt’s Creek.
NB any TV series will do so long as there are many episodes so you don’t have to ration yourself.
NNB this is why Schitt’s Creek is good, it has six series which you don’t realise when you start – sorry.
3. When watching your TV series make sure you ignore the advice about healthy eating except for the useful bit about dark chocolate and red wine both of which apparently promote good microbes in your gut. I myself don’t like red wine but toasted cheese sandwiches work well with a bag of cheese and onion crisps.
NB save the cube of dark chocolate to have with your late night cup of tea when you watch Married At First Sight Australia (see other advice for Getting Through Boring Evenings).
4. You will probably have a bit of a mood slump after you’ve watched an episode of Shitt’s Creek and eaten your lunch.
5. Have a cup of tea and an apple.
6. Watch another episode of Shitt’s Creek.
7. Two episodes should be enough to induce that feeling of ‘I really need to get off this sofa and move.’
8. Think about going on the walk.
Think about not bothering to go for a bit.
NB It’s ok to not want to go.
9. Realise that if you don’t go now, there will still be quite a number of hours left to the day followed by the boring evening.
10. Think about going for your walk and decide to go for your walk.
11. Bear in mind that you will need to decide on your route. Remember that all routes are more or less equally boring so choose the one you least dislike the most.
12. Forgive yourself for disliking all of them.
13. Set off on your walk at a brisk pace. Try to ignore the lump in your throat – a mixture of utter loneliness and boredom. Remind yourself that it’s perfectly ok to feel those feelings as they are normal after a year of doing the same boring walk. Also remind yourself that walks as of themselves are ok but they are also boring.
14. Notice that as you walk the lump may start to recede as the walk itself takes over and you start to get distracted by the houses or other people you see or shop fronts – albeit closed up.
NB Don’t despair – they will open soon.
15. Don’t worry about the number of steps. Just keep walking till you feel like going back. You probably won’t want to go back as soon as you think as by now you’ll be enjoying the walk.