If you aren’t a runner, substitute running with walking. If you are new to running remember to build up how much you run gradually. Running is a natural way to improve depressive symptoms, and to manage mood. Having a routine is essential to gain the most mental health benefits, but even just one run can act as a short term mood boost.
One way to avoid burnout with running and to enjoy it overall is to treat running as meditation time. I don't do this on every run, but often when I'm running solo or trying to get into a groove and find my flow, I do. I've highlighted two methods for tuning inward, mindfully and meditatively.
1.The breathing practice: rhythmic breathing is essential to fluid running experiences. Rhythmic breathing tells your brain and heart that everything is under control. Imagine, if you were sitting and your heart were beating as fast as it does when you run. Or imagine how it would feel if you were being chased. Your brain would interpret that fast heart beat as a moment for fight or flight. However, when the breath is controlled, despite the fast beat, your brain interprets your experience as relaxed awareness. *It is one way to train your brain to relax if you suffer from anxiety. I like to breathe in for one short count, and breathe out for 2-3 long counts. Find a rhythm that works for you, and at any point during your run return your focus to your breath, similar to how you might with a sitting meditation.
2. The second practice is about tuning into your "felt experience". I keep hearing the term "sensory running" these days. Felt experience and sensory running is essentially what this practice is. While you are running you notice how each aspect of your experience is. No judgement attached. You feel each foot fall and connect to the ground; you notice that as you leap off the sidewalk you get a little thrill; you notice that sweat is dripping into your eyes; you smell fresh cut grass... you get the idea. You just take it all in. Running is the medium for the experience of your "felt sense". To really tune in try running without music or apps blasting in your ears, maybe don't even pay attention to your watch.
Hope this is helpful to you, or maybe a little interesting. :D
Anxiety is when a person worries excessively, feels apprehensive, is restless, irritable, tense, stressed, or easily fatigued. Everyone experiences anxiety. However, if it starts to interfere with your daily life making some lifestyle changes and/or seeking therapy may be something to consider.
In the spirit of self-care I've created the first of many "challenges". You've maybe seen similar challenges floating around on pinterest, instagram, and the like. I thought I'd try my hand at it and create a challenge for people interested in reducing/managing their anxiety that already have an established running routine. Exercise has been shown to be an effective tool for managing stress and anxiety. Other effective tools are meditation, deep breathing, and relaxation trainings.
If you don't run this can easily be adjusted for walkers. Walking produces many of the same stress relieving effects as running.
I'd recommend runs/walks reflect your current practices, or build your endurance gradually.