Running and mental health – My experience with anxiety

Mental health has been a big topic recently (should be all the time) so I thought I’d add my ‘experiences’ of it into the mix.

I personally experience social anxiety. Unless I’m with someone I’m really close to, I get really anxious in any type of social situation and it’s less than ideal. Last weekend is an example of this. I went to a Parkrun meet-up with people from Instagram and in the weeks (yes weeks) leading up to it I was so nervous. All sorts of things were going through my mind.. will I do something embarrassing? Will I say something stupid? Will I fit in?

Thankfully, the meet-up went well and I’m so glad I actually went because it’s a step in the right direction. A lot of that is down to the people and how nice they all are, so shoutout to the @run_spire gang.

It’s weird because around family and close friends I feel like I’m confident and will happily make a fool of myself. Yet certain situations or even certain people, can make me crumble.

Running has been a way for me to focus on something else and is now a way for me to overcome my anxiety. I’d recommend for anyone in a similar situation to get involved in the running community. 99% of runners are really nice people and let’s be honest, we could all talk to each other about running for days on end.

Things like Instagram meet ups are a really good way to break the barrier between your phone screen and the person on the other side of it. Also, if you’re like me, it’s a good way to get yourself out there, which is really important.

Instagram does have it’s toxic side though and I can admit, I fall into it’s trap. You can find yourself comparing yourself to others, worrying about likes and just getting yourself down. Make sure you’re not getting dragged into the dark side of Instagram because it’s not a nice place to be. Don’t worry if a post gets half the likes of one you put up the day before. Don’t look at someone else’s PB and wonder why you aren’t running that fast. There are so many other examples and I’m probably guilty of all of them.

I’m also finding that helping others is a really good way to just feel better in general. I’m going to do a whole post on it but I’m currently training a few people and I look forward to every session. It’s just another way to keep busy and make a difference to someone else at the same time.

I’m rambling now but real talk, if anyone needs someone to talk to, reach out to me. I’m at a point where I don’t care if people get freaked out when I say I have anxiety. It’s part of who I am now and it’s part of my journey.

Thanks for reading, my dm’s are always open. Peace.

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