One of the great things about living in downtown Chicago is the ability to walk or bike anywhere. The grocery store, restaurants, yoga studios, gyms, shopping, you name it. They’re all easily accessible without getting into a car. I don’t have a fitness tracker, but would love to see how my “steps-per-day” count has changed since living here.
Yet sadly, I witness an epidemic of “distracted walking” on the streets Every. Single. Day.
For a moment let’s set aside the obvious idiocy of looking down at your phone, checking Facebook or changing your music while you are crossing a street (!!!). Worse, we are continuing to feed the brain-techno addition loop and missing out on seeing a new shop around the corner, or a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, or someone you know walking right by you.
You may not be able to take time for a meditative walk (actually you can make the time, but that’s another post). But, put the phone in your pocket at least once this weekend, get outside, take a walk around your neighborhood or a park, and look around. Take the headphones out and listen to the sounds of nature, kids playing in the yard, birds singing in the trees, dogs barking. Notice the trees, the flowers, the sky, and perhaps the cars coming toward you as you cross the street.
Stop looking at your phone while you are out. Just once. It won’t kill you. But distracted walking may.