Lakshmipriya was born and raised in Perak, Malaysia and currently lives in London. Previously a Human Capital Consultant, she has worked in Malaysia and Dubai. She recently completed her PhD in Cognitive and Organizational Psychology in the UK. She has co-authored a book on talent management and is currently working on a paper that investigates the influence of sex differences when perceiving people. When not absorbed in academic research, Lakshmipriya enjoys Netflixing and cooking.
Walking through the lockdown: A newfound passion
Perhaps a silver lining to the lockdown for me is that I decided to take up WALKING. With no where to go due to social distancing and the fear of COVID-19, I decided that the best way to manage the isolation would be to go for walks within my local area. Although I knew that walking is a great form of exercise, I somehow never found the “time” to do it.
Starting the habit was the toughest. Getting out of the door was a nightmare. I would try to find a million excuses to not do it, but then there was nothing much to do anyway. After four weeks of pushing myself to even reach the main road, I woke up one morning and found myself looking forward to my walk. That’s when I realised that this newfound hobby is here to stay for a long time.
In hindsight, my walking routine saved my sanity. Every step I took felt like a revelation. It became a way to travel in a period where travelling was limited. It became a way to breathe fully in a time when it can feel hard to take a deep breath. Mind you, walking within my local area meant that the routes are limited. It did get a little repetitive after 4 months and a radius of 8 kilometres. On some days, it felt like “I just cannot walk the same route one more time”. But then I pushed myself to be creative and do it with a slight variation (sometimes I turned into small lanes that took me into housing areas instead of the usual park, zig zagged from one sidewalk to another in search of novelty). I also downloaded some old favourite songs that I used to listen to when I was a teenager but totally forgot about after so many years.
On every single walk, I registered something new. An eerie looking house that looked like a great location for a horror movie smack in the middle of a posh housing area, an old man sitting out on his porch no matter the time or weather, like he is waiting for someone to come home. One time I even noticed an entire building that I was sure I have never seen although I have walked the same route a thousand times.
Eight months later (and the pandemic still on full force), I moved to a new place that was 2 minutes’ walk from the famous Battersea Park that is a 200-acre Victorian park. Ahh the excitement!!! Today, I am proud to say that I walk 10,000 steps at least four times a week. Even after the lockdown was eased here in London, I’d still rather go for a walk then to the local pub. It has done wonders not just for my physical health (what with all the stress eating and bored cooking), but also for my mental health. Not everyone has the privilege to go out for walks. Not every life situation allows it. For me, it was a life saver. Every step I took reminded me that one step at a time, we will make it to the other, brighter side.