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Why Running Is Self-Care

I Started Going For a Run in the Middle of My Workday, and It's the Greatest Form of Self-Care

Mental health and wellbeing is very close to our hearts, and while we truly aim to have an always-on approach to covering all aspects of mental health, we have chosen to shine an extra bright light on #WorldMentalHealth today, and for the rest of October.

We bring you The Big Burn Out — a content series made up of honest personal essays, expert advice and practical recommendations.

A woman running outside in the  city.

I work from home a lot, and while I love the freedom it brings, it can also be challenging to be in the same environment all day, everyday. While I carefully structure my days to get my work done, there are times when I see the laundry piling up or dishes from the night before in the sink, and I start to feel overwhelmed. In those moments when my home feels like a mess and my brain is filled with deadlines and to-do lists and my phone keeps buzzing with alerts, there's only thing I want to do: turn it all off and get away. So I've started doing just that.

I lace up my running shoes, grab a water from the fridge, and head outside for a run. I bring my phone because running without music isn't fun for me, but I turn it on aeroplane mode so there are no notifications or distractions, which I've found is key to my self-care. It's just me, the Jonas Brothers, and the open road.

For me, going for a run acts as a sort of reset in the middle of the day. And without those pesky notifications or emails coming in, I can focus on just one thing. The course I take might change, but the common denominator is that I feel completely free.

The course I take might change, but the common denominator is that I feel completely free.

On days when I have a million things to do, those aeroplane-mode runs might only be 15 minutes. But those 15 minutes away from screens are just what I need. If I have more time and deadlines for projects aren't looming over my head, my runs get longer and I'm able to really clear my mind and refocus when I get back to my computer.

Now that I've started doing this, my days are even more productive, even though I'm purposefully taking a break in the middle of the day to step away from work. I feel more energized and don't need to reach for that second fourth cup of coffee to keep me going. And I don't need to spend my hard-earned money on expensive forms of self-care to feel that way — running is free. So, if you're like me and you're looking for a way to reset without mindlessly scrolling through social media, try switching your phone off and getting outside. You might be surprised at what it can do for you.

Image Source: Getty / filadendron
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