The sun is beating down on my shoulders, and I am sweating through my workout tank, but I am out running. Today I ran six miles, and I was very warm and tired after that. There was sweat dripping everywhere. And I could barely walk into the house.
So why did I do that? Why do I run to the point of exhaustion? There are many reasons why I run, but the main reasons might surprise you. Because I do not run for exercise (at least not as a main reason), and I do not run for a goal of running a marathon or anything like that. But there are so many other reasons that I do run. One of the reasons I am running is for stress relief, but that is not the only reason.
1. Running for Stress Relief
My job as a retail pharmacist is super stressful; my job as a mother to two school-aged boys is very stressful. Especially, with everything going on right now. I feel like I am just overwhelmed all of the time. Which means I have to have something to do to get the stress under control. That is why I run. It makes me a better pharmacist; it makes me a better mom if I have a way to get stress relief. And, for me, running is the best way I have found to get that stress out.
As you know, I get anxiety. There are many ways I have found to deal with my anxiety, and one of those ways, is running. It is calming for me. When you deal with anxiety, one of the ways to help it, is to physically change your mind and body. Which means, instead of focusing on what is making you anxious, you need to go out and do exercise. And my choice of exercise is always running. I got this idea from Rachel Hollis who has also dealt with debilitating anxiety. Go read about her personal journey here.
2. It gives me time to think
I do my best thinking when I am running. When it is just me with my feet on the pavement, I let my mind wander. And I have come up with so many great ideas while running. I completely set up my blog in my head while running. I have come up with email campaigns and ad campaigns for my oil page while running.
And I have come up with blog posts that talk about raising kids and parenting my genius kid while running. You get the idea; this is the only time I have to think uninterrupted. Without two boys or my husband or my pharmacy customers needing me. And I take advantage of it. Of course, you probably do not have a blog or an oil page, so you can think about whatever you want. Just think about all that uninterrupted time. No wonder running is for stress relief.
3. Running helps me sleep
Since I was little, I have had a horrible time getting to sleep. I just lay there as everything from the day, and everything for the future goes through my head. My youngest is like this also. I think we just can not get our minds to shut off. I have learned that if I run five or six miles, I have an easier time getting to sleep. If you are wondering how I count my miles I run. This is a watch I use.
If my body is tired, than my mind tends to be tired also (maybe it is all that thinking while running!). This is really nice, that after years of not sleeping very well, there is something I can do, to help me feel more tired. I also try to get my youngest to do some sort of exercise every day so he can sleep better at night.
I know insomnia is a problem for many people, and later I will be discussing oils that can be used to help people sleep. But, this is one of my big recommendations if you have problems sleeping. Go for a run. It does not have to be the five to six miles, especially at first. But just some exercise to make you more tired.
4. Running gives me time to listen to podcasts
I have recently discovered podcasts, and there are so many great ones out there. Blogging ones, relationship ones, ones to get you moving in your business. But I do not really have time to listen to them, I am a working mom and when I am not working, I have school-aged kids after all. But when I have running
I know they say multi-tasking does not work, but this works for me. And I think it is because one activity is for the mind and one activity is for the body. I love going out for a run and getting a podcast listened to at the same time. When I get back, I feel invigorated from the run, and from what I have learned in my podcast. I will go into the podcasts I like in a later post, but this is when I listen to them, when I run. And I just do not have any other chance.
5. Running is something I do with my kids
My husband and I both run, and now both of our boys run. I think because they have seen my husband and I do it for so long. We are all running for stress relief sometimes 🙂 My older one is on the cross country team. But he has been running with us for years. My younger one doesn’t run as much, but I do get him to come with me occasionally. As I said before, it helps him to get tired so he can sleep at night.
I love having a healthy activity that we can all participate in as a family. There are not many activities you can say that about; usually there is someone on the sidelines. But with running, we can all do it (and so can your family), no matter what age the kids are. It is something even the little kiddos can do!