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Running - It’s cheaper than therapy!


Running - It’s cheaper than therapy!


When anyone asks why I run long distances, that’s what I tell them. And as much as I do it to make people smile, it’s true. Running has become my ultimate “me time” and therapy.

I have been running since college and I use that term in the loosest sense. I don’t typically run for time or to be super fast. I do it to move my body ... and as of recently, to get me to a healthier place mentally.


I have carried some extra emotional baggage with me over the last couple years and rather than continuing to suppress it or choose negative ways to cope with it, I have worked very hard over the last two years to process it, learn from it, and move on. And I found that through running!

Here’s how to turn your run from a physical work-out to a mental and emotional work-out, too:

1. Do it first thing in the morning! And the mornings you feel like crud and you really don’t want to do it, that’s when you need to do it the most. First thing in the morning, the world is quiet, your phone isn’t blowing up yet and it makes it so that you are starting your day feeling lighter.

2. At the beginning of your run, think of anything that has caused you stress, anxiety, to be upset, etc. Congrats! You have some fuel to light your fire. Don’t try and tackle all the world’s problems at once, but choose something that is really weighing on you.

• Why is it bothering you?

• Has it happened before? Will it happen again?

• If someone else is involved, is there another side you need to consider?

• Can you fix the problem? Or is it out of your control?

3. Feeling extra overwhelmed, anxious, stressed? Find a hill. The bigger the better. Start at the bottom and push yourself to think about all the stuff that makes you uncomfortable. Force yourself to think of the stuff that hurts your heart. And run it out.


I do want to put a little note here: Use caution pushing yourself, especially if you are not used to running often. I don't need any of y'all passing out because I told you to run.

4. At the finish, and this is the part that takes practice, you have to do one of two things:

1. Pick a course of action: Address the problem, find a solution, share your feelings, communicate with a loved one, etc

2. Let it go. This may sound harsh, but some things are not worth carrying with you.


5. Stretch & Breath! Take a few minutes after your run to cool down - both physically and emotionally. When you actually take time to take some emotional hurdles, it can be slightly draining, so be gentle with yourself.


There are some days I end my run sweaty and crying. Not because my legs hurt, but because I forced myself to think about stuff that’s not fun to process. But those are also the best days. Those are the days that I feel stronger and when I feel like I can be the best version of myself.


Keep on pushing, keep running and remember: you can't fill from an empty cup!

 

Make your run more enjoyable!



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Disclaimer: Please keep in mind I am not a therapist or a coach - This is my advice based on personal experience. And I am 100% in favor of therapy. I have seen a therapist several times, and it is extremely helpful to have a neutral third-party who can help guide you through the craziness that is life. I am also of the belief that everyone should see a therapist at least once in their life. It helps you understand yourself better and show up better for yourself and others.




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