Managing Project Stress with long walks - a guide

long walk

Working on projects can lead to a busy and sometimes stressful life. It is important that you look after your mental health in any job but especially in a demanding role such as a project manager which can sometimes lead to stress. Getting the correct qualifications can also help relieve the stress of project management. Having the right tools and knowledge allows you to tackle that project with confidence. Accredited training courses such as the ever popular PRINCE2 or AgilePM can really be a great addition to your CV.

It is important for us all to find a good work life balance which can be easier said than done. Finding things you enjoy doing outside of work can really help your mental health allowing you to go into work with a clear and positive mind.

Walking can be a great stress reliever, it allows you to get exercise and explore the great outdoors. If you are distracted by a project at work or stressed about all the work ahead of you on a project, just getting outside and enjoying a long walk can take your mind off things. It allows you to observe the environment around you and enjoy nature.

Short local works are great for a quick bit of exercise and time out, before work, during your lunch break or even after work but taking a long walk in a beautiful park, forest or countryside can make a real difference to your well being and your ability to deal with the ongoing stress you might have working on that project. A walk in the British or Irish countryside enables you to get out, exercise, see the scenery and take in some much-needed fresh, country air. All of this combined release endorphins into the brain, which trigger feelings of pleasure which will benefit your well being greatly.

Here is your ultimate guide to taking long walks to relieve stress:

Before you get those walking boots on its good to consider the following factors to make the most of your time outdoors.

  • Firstly its worth doing your research on your local and surrounding areas to find what walking routes there are available. Its good to look at things like distance, attractions and type of ground there is so you can be prepared.
  • Get the right gear- whether its a long walk on a flat paved path or a hike up a rocking mountain you want to have the appropriate footwear and clothing. Being comfortable and warm or cool enough is important to get right so you can enjoy the scenery and not be distracted by the wrong choice of footwear. So whether its trainers or hiking boots you need, it is good to find out the options out there so you are ready to enjoy that walk.
  • Pair up- going for a walk on your own is definitely good to do from time to time so you can have some much needed 'me time' and time to clear your head but pairing up with someone else to go on long walks with is worthwhile. Being able to chat to someone and offload to someone is also a positive step to looking after your mental health and doing this while walking and exercising is a great benefit. It is also helpful to have another person there if your map reading skills aren't up to scratch.
  • Go prepared- if you have planned a long walk lasting a few hours, you need to bring water and food with you to keep your energy levels up. Packing a picnic is also a great option if you are planning a day out to enjoy the outdoors and hopefully the nice weather.

The benefits of taking a long walk:

There are many benefits associated with walking that can have a positive impact on your work and home life.

  • Walking can boost your mood and can relieve depression. By exercising you are releasing endorphins (the happy chemical) allowing you to achieve naturally what many prescription drugs do artificially.
  • Walking can improve mental sharpness. Several studies have suggested that walking may help improve cognitive function, this will certainly help with managing that project in work.
  • Walking can improve your relationships. Take the opportunity to invite along your partner or family member on your long walk, allows you to have that much needed alone time to chat and be away from the demands of home life and much needed time away from screens.

Introducing long walks into your life can make a real difference when it comes to your well being and ability to cope with stress on that big project at work. Going into work to tackle that project with a clear mind is the first step to the success of that project. The next thing you need to consider is whether or not you have the resources and knowledge needed to manage that project well.

Obtaining a highly desirable project management qualification can really help you understand the techniques used to manage a successful project. Courses such as the popular PRINCE2 or AgilePM certification can be a great addition to your CV as well as gaining valuable project management knowledge. Virtual PRINCE2 and AgilePM courses are a great option for you to take one of these qualifications from the comfort of your own home, allowing you to get out for that local walk during the lunch break so you can take a much needed break while reflecting on all the information given by your PRINCE2 or Agile trainer during your online training session.