The grass flickers in what’s left of the spring breeze, the summer coming in waves of heat and light, permeating cold winter bones. The city streets are lively in places, the back gardens are green and full of birds. Inside, it’s easy to get caught up in everything, the stacks of paperwork and the ticking clock, the refrigerator humming from the kitchen. It’s easy to start feeling confined and trapped when we confine and trap ourselves within these small indoor spaces. Outside, things seem a little more accessible, opportunity more within our reach. That was, at least, before last year.

In the past year, it’s not been so simple to be outside. Overhead, there’s a tension in the air, a fear of who or what you might come into contact with. This fear permeates everything, until the world feels full with anxiety, and indoors seems safe. Once we get into this mental space we confine ourselves further, keep to what’s quickly become comfortable. We avoid the things which once made us feel alive and engaged, because they now make us feel afraid.

If we can just start by going outside, just for a little while, we might slowly begin to regain that enjoyment of the outside. Inside, our headspace becomes foggy after some time, the environment seems to decay around us, but this simply furthers an unwillingness to get outside. We become caught in the trap of the ‘false safe’- that space which seems as though it protects us, when in reality it harms us.

It can still be difficult to go outside. It can be difficult to avoid the cycle of overthinking which comes with a year of unprecedented concern. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial for each of us to consider our mindset, and to consider the ways in which we can tackle fear in order to move towards something brighter. The only way to make that step back outside, is to step outside, and to keep doing that. Eventually, the grass flickers once again, the daylight uplifts us, and the outside world feels like home again.

How has your perception of ‘outside’ changed within the last year?

We each must look after ourselves and others while outside.

Featured image: Agathe Marty via Unsplash.

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