Living in a small space such as Sunrise Spot can be stifling, even if there isn’t much cluttering up your space. Sawyer and I try to keep our apartment clutter-free, but with our going away party coming up on Saturday, we’re hosting quite a few people and even more objects hoping to find their new homes. Luckily, Sawyer and I have found a pretty healthy, simple way to beat the stress of being surrounded by so much stuff.
We love going for walks in the evening. Burlington has been shrouded in a wave of humidity. Sometimes we get lucky and the humidity breaks in the evening, but most evenings are just as sticky as the day that preceded it. However, cabin fever is a very real thing and Sawyer and I have to get out of the apartment – even if we’ve both been busy all day – if we want to keep our sanity.
Sawyer has been feeling particularly blue recently because of an elbow injury he suffered at work last November. He has been off and on at work since March, and it has taken quite a mental toll on him to be cooped up in less than 500 square feet. It’s been wonderful to watch him become happier and more active simply by taking walks together each evening. He has even joined the Pokemon GO community. An old college friend of mine posted on her social media site a great review of the game that said many positive things and underlined things that I have found to be true in my own experience with it: “It connects people from all walks of life and gets them outside, meeting their neighbors and enjoying the sights around them. It is said to help people with weight problems, anxiety, chronic depression, and a range of social disorders. It fosters community and unity in a world where we kill other people far too frequently.” With this wonderful affirmation and a more active significant other, I have also downloaded the new app to my phone to spend more time outside with him.
I was speaking with my friend Desiree recently, who’s boyfriend Joe has also downloaded the Pokemon GO app. She – like me – was skeptical of the new app, but I’ve shared my newfound experience with her and she seemed quite interested in the resulting togetherness that Sawyer and I have experienced. There is something unappealing (and even unsafe) about staring at the screen of your phone while out walking around town, which is why it is important that I remind people interested in trying this new community-forming app a try to always be aware of your surroundings while “searching for Pokemon.” I have witnessed a 360 degree change in Sawyer’s attitude lately; he has motivation to go on walks outside (when I’m not home asking him if he’d like to go out for a stroll around the park or through town), more energy to do more activities, and he has been emanating a happier and more positive energy, all because he gets up, gets out, and gets some exercise and fresh air.
Leave your apartment. Take a walk, even if it’s just to meander across the street to the park for a couple of minutes or down the street for an ice cream cone (we’re so lucky to have Ben & Jerry’s down the street!). Come home refreshed, exercised, happy. This is what’s important. Being cooped up at home, even if you are living in a house or condo, is never got for anyone’s mental health and can quickly drive you stir-crazy. It doesn’t have to be a voyage in search of creatures that only appear in a new, virtual augmented reality. In fact, Sawyer and I took a walk this evening after a summer rainstorm simply to go rainbow-spotting (in which we succeeded!). As long as we’re out and about, getting some exercise, enjoying the outdoors and each others’ company, it doesn’t matter what our motivation is, even if it’s something as seemingly silly as an augmented reality game on our phones (I like to look at it as a new chess-in-the-park sort of phase). We’re finding it much easier to cope with a cluttered apartment when we get out and exercise for a half hour to an hour each night before hankering down and getting some work down sorting through things and getting things set for the party.
Wish us luck!