Getting into running for my mental health…
Previously I had a negative association with running because I thought it was tough, tedious, and just uninspiring. However about 6-8 years ago I was going through a difficult period and after work I was always wanting to get out of the house to do something so I could mentally re-focus. I tried long walks and cycling, but they weren’t working for me and for whatever reason my next decision was to go for a run. I didn’t go far, 5km at most perhaps but after that 25-minute period I felt better in myself. I was happier and generally just in a better place. From that day my relationship with running changed.
The freedom running gives me…
Because of my busy and unpredictable work schedule running works perfectly for me as I can dictate when, how far and where I go running. This was important for me as I am on the only person who can control my decisions, emotions and actions.
Running is my main release as firstly, you can go running anywhere and some of the places I have been fortunate to run around have been incredible. Sometimes I find in those places I have been able to fully switch off. During my other runs I have found that running also gives me the opportunity to learn and stimulate my mind and I do that by listening to a podcast or music. Most importantly though, it gives me the opportunity to get fit and to re-focus my thoughts and mind.
Focusing my efforts…
As weeks and months past, I thought it was key to have a purpose to all the running I was doing. I have always believed that it’s important and healthy to set goals outside of my work life because it gives me something to focus on and to work towards. To give me that purpose, I enter myself into running competitions whether that be a 5k, 10k, half-marathon or a marathon. The best thing about competing in these events is that it gives me an opportunity to reward myself for all my hard work.
We all have difficult times and through running I have found my main form of release.
Our Guest Blogger:
Huge thanks to our guest blogger Andy Howe for writing about his past and present relationship with running and how it benefits his mental health.
Dorset Mind offers group support that can also help with your wellbeing. The group offers peer support and helps to reduce stigma by normalizing conversations about mental health. You can also check out further support for stress and mental health here.