An Alternative Route to Clearing the Mind

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Getting out into the fresh air and listening to the flowing water works wonders to ease my mind.

Living in the Reno area, the Truckee River intertwines through the different parts of town and makes up a big part of our home. Along the river is a path that runs through downtown Reno and connects a number of beautiful parks all the way from East Sparks to West Reno. The path is easily accessible from any of the parks and I love being able to get next to the river where I can walk, jog, run or bike depending on my mood.

Because we live in a mountainous desert, the amount of water flowing in the river varies considerably. Different years we have been blessed with a river that is running hard and fast, which makes for great rafting, kayaking and makes for an overall more vibrant place to live.

I discovered years ago that I tend to relax when I am around water. Simply watching the water bubble up, flow over rocks and splash onto the bank sends me into a calmer state of mind. The strong current pushes its way through tight areas and swooshes over driftwood and around rocky banks. The pockets of bubbles sometimes make the river look like patches of it are boiling, but since the majority of its water is snow melt, it is chilly to the touch even deep into the summer months. In May and June, it still takes a lot of courage to even sink your toes into the glacial river.

Dipping my toes into the cold water of the Truckee is refreshing, after the bite subsides. Dangling my feet into the rushing water also provides me with clarity. I remember one late spring visit when I was doing some soul searching, which is something I like to practice when my mind gets jumbled. On this specific day I decided I did not have enough time to drive somewhere and get a full hike in before dark, so I took an alternative route to the river. I was not having too bad of a day, I just had the urge to stretch my legs and clear my mind.

There are times when after a long week of all our efforts of trying to be as productive as possible, my husband and I will make a trip down to the river just west of town. We walk about the river’s edge, take in the sights and listen to the landscape. Thankfully, there is no room for fear and worry; they have to wait in the car.

Hubby and me on the truckee

A brief hike near a calming water source is sometimes all I need to turn around an otherwise crummy day. Recognizing that I can take a quick stroll after a long day of working, traveling to and from work, or any other stress-inducing activity allows me to see things more clearly. I can change my perspective and attack problems from different angles. This method of dealing with any life issues makes much more sense to me than stewing in my problems and letting them eat away at me.

How do you clear your mind after a long day? Share with me on Twitter @Kelliehiking


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