I love running! This morning I ran 4.5K and loved it!
Exercise is the number one thing that has made a difference in my life. I recommend working out if you have a mental illness, just remember to check with your doctor or health professional before starting anything.
I mostly run, I do swim and bike too, however I’ve found running works the best for me as a short run can change the way I think, feel and react and if I am busy I can do a short run. On regular days, and when I am not training for a race, I run anywhere between 12 and 30 minutes. 15 minutes is enough to change the way I feel, think and react, so on days when I am busy, I do a short run, even sometimes a quick and fast 12-minute run will help. If I am having a bad day, my body tells me to lay down, eat, watch tv, however I’ve trained myself to know that when I am having a bad day, I need to run. And if I am unable to run that day, I do a quick meditation or yoga in my home and then run the next day.
At first, I did not participate in races, I just ran on my own, but after my first race, I loved it! I’ve done many 5K’s, two 10Ks, two half marathons, one iron girl and one marathon. Last year I did a race in May, June, July, August, two in September, two in November and one in December. I love it. I think I love it so much because on race day there is so much positivity. Even the signs that say, “you can stop here, there’s a coffee shop down the street, we can have donuts,” have a sense of positivity and joy around them. It’s amazing. And what I love about running or walking (because most of all of the races you can walk), is that anyone can do it, it’s all inclusive and that’s why I love it.
What I’ve learned with my mental illness is that you can need to somewhat train yourself. It could take weeks, months or years to learn how to cope and manage but it can be done. I am not saying I am 100% better (trust me I have my days) however I am able manage my illness pretty well. You can teach your mind to know, that if I am having a bad day, all I need to do is go to the gym, run, swim, bike, take a cardio class, do high intensity interval training, a fast walk or a higher intensity workout, and it may just change the way you think, feel and react, and help you manage your mental illness.