The art of GETTING OUT
With weddings, hen parties and birthdays eating into her income and annual leave, Women’s Health Features Editor Nikki Osman embarked upon a year of home-grown adventures – and it’s improved her wellbeing in more ways than she can count
The rain is coming down hard now. The rolling hills of the Peak District that were visible 20 minutes ago are disappearing into a fog. And I’m laughing so hard I might wet myself. One of us is face down in the mud, the rest are bent over double. Tears fall down our soggy faces and we can’t meet each other’s eyes without triggering another stomachcramping, brain-aching wave. She tries to get up, then slips again, this time landing on her bum, and nothing has ever been as funny as this. The minibreak, much like the fall, happened by accident. I was always a greedy traveller. I wanted souks and spices; tacos and tequila; and a holiday wasn’t a holiday if it didn’t involve my passport. Walking boots and fleeces didn’t feature in my ordinary holiday wardrobe. Then again, this wasn’t an ordinary year. A new job and a new house had triggered an episode of anxiety so debilitating that I’d found myself unexpectedly on medication. And judging by the regularity with which the invitations were landing on my doorstep and in my inbox, I was destined to spend most of my weekends celebrating other people’s milestones. So when, over a bottle of wine one evening, a friend suggested we pack our bags for a few days in the Peak District to celebrate nothing but being young (ish) and alive, I was in. Three days and one epic fall later – the moral of that story, don’t try to hike in trainers – I went back to work feeling more like myself than I had done in months. I can’t be the only one who’s experienced first-hand the transformative powers of the great outdoors with good friends, but I want to know why.