Sometimes, you just need to get outside and take a breath of fresh air.
The Mindfulness Walk at Petros Lake Park encourages parkgoers to do just that.
The 1-mile trail, which opened last year, encourages visitors to practice mindfulness—the “nonjudgmental awareness that comes from paying purposeful attention to the present moment,” according to Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery.
“So often in our daily lives, we have to multitask, which is actually just forcing our minds to switch back and forth very rapidly between different activities,” said John Aller, executive director of StarkMHAR, in a news release about the walk.
“We think we’re really good at this, but our brains can get fatigued, and we should always be looking for ways to recharge. I would encourage people to do this walk as often as they’d like as part of an overall self-care lifestyle.”
The trail is a collaboration of StarkMHAR and Stark Parks.
The walk features 10 stops, each designed to promote mental health and self care, focusing on themes such as relaxation, reflection, embracing the present moment, and focus and awareness, according to Stark Parks.
Each stop gives you three prompts and a question for reflection. For example, a stop featuring a musical instrument asks you to consider how each note makes you feel. A small labyrinth encourages you to think about something bothering you and let it go with each step.
Other stops include a zen sand garden and stacking stones.
The walk takes about an hour to complete. It’s open year-round, sunrise to sunset.
Stark Parks recommends wearing comfortable and sturdy shoes—one station does ask you to go barefoot—and dress for the weather. Make sure to come equipped with water and sunscreen and bug spray when necessary.
You can share your experience on social media using the hashtag #starkmindfulnesswalk.