- It is pure alone time. It’s like an escape. No one talks to you, and you don’t have to talk to anyone!
- It is a great way of getting in the zone. It can take a while to get there, but once you get into a rhythm, you can just focus on running. Don’t be surprised if you come up with some amazing ideas or solutions during this time. It’s not just your body that has escaped from the jobs at home, your brain has too, and it absolutely thrives on that combination of release, energy flow and being in the zone. Magic happens here.
- It is a great way to clear your mind. If you have been stressed out, or trying to resolve something, then running can help you release that energy, and whatever was blocking your progress. Similar to the above point, when you get home and get back into it, you will feel like a weight off your shoulder, and have much better energy to tackle the issue.
- It is an excellent way to give yourself small challenges.
Now, some of you might say ‘who needs challenges when there are small children in the house?’, but if you have a personal goal like losing weight, then this kills two birds with one stone.
A weight loss goal is a tough challenge, and part of the problem might be that you have been in your comfort zone for too long, eating comfort food. Running is a good way to start to challenge yourself, using short term goals. Once you know how to challenge yourself running, you can apply a similar scenario for weight loss.
Here’s an example: I’m running and getting puffed out. I tell myself I’ll just run past another 5 white posts on the side of the road, and then I’ll have a walking break. I challenge myself a little, without giving in as soon as I feel tired. When I apply the similar strategy to weight loss – I try and wait another half an hour before I have a snack.
- Doing these little challenges help me in other parts of my life. By putting my head down and running to the 5th post, I have to focus and just get on with it. Likewise when I know there is work to be done and I’m procrastinating a little. I channel my running, and use it as evidence. I know I just need to put my head down, focus and just get on with it.
- If I want to, I can listen to my own music, or a podcast. (This is huge for me, as we usually only have The Wiggles or The Fairies on in the car.)
- It gets me out of my comfort zone. Walking is comfortable. You don’t sweat, there’s no puffing, and you probably don’t even need a sports bra. Running is serious and hard work, and knowing that I’m pushing myself makes me feel stronger and fitter. It helps me manage stress better, and not over-react to the little things.
- Burning energy creates energy, and like Michelle Bridges says, if you want to burn calories, you have to increase the intensity. Feeling fitter helps me have the energy I need to play with my girls, and use my creativity to keep them interested, learning and laughing.
- Running is like an escape, but when I come home it feels great, and I’m happy to see everyone again. I’ve had some me-time, I’ve had a break, and I feel refreshed. Breaking up the days with exercise really helps with the monotony of motherhood!
- When I put myself first, everyone wins. When I don’t put myself first, I end up feeling grumpy, resentful and over it.
On Sunday, I was about to head out for a run, when my daughter asked me to stay and play with her. I told her that I was going out and I would be back soon. She was upset and angry that I didn’t just drop everything for her. (She’s 6).
Anyway, I went for my run, and came back and found her playing with her sister (2), and then together we played for another hour all together, which was beautiful. I was focused, I was committed to that time, I wasn’t rushing it because I wanted to go out soon. Everyone benefited from that decision, instead of me foregoing my precious exercise, getting annoyed at myself, and cutting the play short – a much better outcome.
PS: Life Coach Aerlie Wildy recently launched Number 1 Mum, an online program to help mums put themselves first, improve their mindfulness and banish mother’s guilt forever. Visit www.number1mum.com for more details.
Her products are available online (for maximum flexibility for mums everywhere) and focus on planning, time and reducing stress. Aerlie also carefully incorporates the essential ‘slow down strategies’ and support for making me-time, taking care of yourself, and mindfulness.
Latest posts by Aerlie Wildy (see all)
- How Systems Translate into Better Work Life Balance - March 7, 2015
- Run Mum Run - October 4, 2014
- Top 5 Mindfulness Techniques for Working Parents - July 5, 2014