I started running about 18 months ago now. It serves a few purposes for myself:
- Regular exercise (maybe obvious)
- Managing stress
- Managing depressive episodes
- Getting time in green spaces/outside
Recently I did a talk on positive psychology as part of my career development and during the research I found some great tips on becoming more positive.
One of the most important things for mental health and well being is to get regular exercise. This does not mean that you need to become a marathon runner, athlete or so to get the benefits. Even just a 20-30 minute walk can have enormous positive effects for yourself.
I certainly am not a marathon runner, but I love going for a run and stretching afterwards. This can be after 15 minutes of running or even up to an hour (I am yet to run longer).
One thing I really struggled with when I first started to run was feeling inadequate. I was slow (still am), needed lots of breaks (still do if I run longer than 15 minutes) and thought everyone was judging me.
Now think though, when you see runners, do you judge them for running, then walking, being slow, fast or so? You may not even notice them because if we like it or not we are all more self absorbed than we would like to admin. 🙂
So I would say just go out and go for a lovely walk or run. Whatever you feel up to that day.
And if you want to make it even more fun, why not sew some of your own running gear for it? Fehrtrade has some great patterns.
My parents live in Suffolk and near them is a little countryside area called the Trimley Nature Reserve and Trimley Marshes.
This morning it was beautiful but cold. Nevertheless I laced up my running shoes and gave it my best shot. I have been struggling with a chest infection for 4 weeks now, but it is finally getting better.
It did get muddy and slippery but I did my fastest 3km yet and then slowed down but managed to run the furthest I have in many weeks in one go which felt great. I certainly feel like I earned the 2 biscuits I just ate. 😛
Question: How do you exercise? Or how do you manage your stress levels?