How running helped my mental health during lockdown 2020
April 2020: I was sitting in my apartment in St Kilda, feeling that I should have purchased a larger home with a backyard but the problem wasn’t the size of my home or lack of yard, it was my mind putting up barriers – negativity – watching the news and listening to other media outlets or people only talking a lot about COVID-19. It felt like just verbal negative vomit…
I get it. You need to be informed on what’s going on in the world especially now – especially if you have a business or small children or older parents – or family interstate or overseas – it’s important – I know – but reading or listening to the same thing over and over again was not doing my mental health any good. I knew the size of my home wasn’t the problem because I love my area and apt because I feel connected, amazing people and vibe even now...
I know people in Melbourne who have large backyards but they didn’t seem that happy either and it is quite understandable during 2020 in these unpredictable times. Everyone is wired differently and people process things differently – I get that. So, I knew it wasn’t in the home, it was my mindset.
I’m a runner but not a long-distance runner by all means. I know this may sound lame but I was watching a movie on a Saturday night called “Britney runs a marathon” based on a real-life story, which inspired me. So the next day I decided to increase my 6 km run to a 10km – I felt so good post run, it just kept on increasing my kms – every week – slowly and step by step.
I stopped watching the morning news all the time and started focusing on my online zoom fitness business and my healthy and positive energy was helping me and my business – people were joining up and one beautiful Friday afternoon – I decided to run to the Botanic Gardens near the city – it is with my zone. I couldn’t believe the freedom it gave me within…looking at the beautiful buildings and smelling the spring blossoms… I completed my initial 14km. I hadn’t run that far for 10 years.
I felt strong and energetic. And I still do!
The next week it was a beautiful Monday in Melbourne and started running to the Tan, the most popular and beautiful running track in Melbourne. I said to myself, it’s a nice day,why not run some kms and posted on my Instagram and Facebook that I just decided to run a half a marathon. If someone told me in February to run 21km in under two hours,I would have said “no way”.
To be honest, the reason why I post so many selfies or videos is to make myself accountable and as a small business owner it does help my brand. Small businesses don’t have huge funds for a marketing budget — and it’s good to practice what you preach… True?
I completed my first half marathon at age 44 – under two hours! Happy days! I still continue my half marathons every week and other smalls runs during the week and am loving it.
During this lockdown, I’ve continued to motivate and help my clients online with my Zoom fitness classes, and to be honest, it’s the same workout as it would be in the studio, but I’m saving them and myself time driving, finding a park, etc.
It’s a win-win I have two screens set up so I can see all my clients and I tailor instruct each client to suit their fitness level or injuries – even within the small group sessions.
During the lockdown I think the running also helped me open up another side of me, which my close friends, who know me well , already knew I had inside of me since childhood…
I decided to start a little comedy video show on Instagram – At first, it was a private account but I keep on receiving messages from people that the videos was the only laugh that they had that day, so I guess I got a little addicted to putting on a wig and during my runs I would smile to myself and think of a 2-minute skit for my video and post it.
Some people who may have been in a dark spot may think I am crazy or really don’t get my sense of humour and that’s cool – it’s not for everyone. I understand.
Sometimes people are afraid to open up their different sides to themselves or to others because they value too much what people think about them. They get too focused on material things and other people to make them happy. However, what 2020 has taught me is – it’s all up to you to feel good about yourself and I know health & fitness is a good way to start as well as not taking yourself too seriously… Who am I kidding – I’ve been following that way of life most of my life, having a laugh, not obsessing about the news, waking up and seeing the beautiful world as it is, if you allow your mind and eyes to see it.
P.S: Not everyone likes running or it may not be good for your knees, so try walking or bike riding instead.
See you soon – and remember to find something or a YouTube video that makes you laugh – it’s good for you!
Remember, if you would like to see some of my videos on Instagram, check out my “other side” – @Caterinafrombayside or if you would like to join my Zoom Pilates, band or Yogalates classes, go towww.vitahealthandfitness.com.
Register a class today. Only $10 per household
I also recommend the running app Runkeeper. It really helped keep me motivated and on track.
Stay healthy and fit in 2020!