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So miserable. Will running help?

(22 Posts)
groovergirl Mon 21-Mar-16 23:42:53

Sorry to introduce a blue note into this forum, but MNs have given me good advice in the past and I hope you athletic people can guide me now.

Please, tell me about the good things running does for mental health. Yes, I can read it in a book by some expert, but I need to hear it from real women who make it part of their lives.

I lost my darling mum to cancer in 2012, my friend to breast cancer in 2013, and in 2014 my unhappy marriage collapsed completely. I've been slapping a happy face on myself but I'm backsliding and the facts are starting to speak for themselves -- I'm drinking two or three bottles of wine a week (I used to be teetotal) and to do simple things such as tidy my office desk and send invoices on time is a real struggle. Never mind the complicated machinations of sorting out the property settlement. I can barely think straight.

I don't want to take meds. I want to pull myself out of this. Can I do it by running? I cycle and walk a lot, so am not horribly unfit. Please help me get my chin up and my feet on the oval.

thewavesofthesea Tue 22-Mar-16 06:10:37

Sorry to hear you are feeling so low.

It has really helped me. I'm off work at the moment with depression and running has given me an aim, and the endorphins really help. On a bad day it only helps for a couple of hours, but on a good day it can last all day.

I started with the Couch to 5k NHS app, which helped me build up to running 5k from doing nothing. I can now run 5k comfortably. It feels like
an achievement, which in itself helps.

glenthebattleostrich Tue 22-Mar-16 06:14:18

Running gives me head space and helps clear aggression and frustration. Just having that 30 minutes of me time 3 times a week saves my sanity.

sparechange Tue 22-Mar-16 06:27:16

It definitely won't do any harm!
I love it as time to clear my head, or to have a think. I get all my angry aggressive thoughts out while I run and come back home feeling much calmer.

The sense of achievement and satisfaction is also very motivating for me, even if it is just that I challenge myself to run to the end of this road without stopping, or run up and down this hill twice.

I also like running around the expensive roads and having a nose at the houses. I make up little back stories for some of them with terrible decor to distract myself from feeling tired, and it all helps to put a smile on my face.

Give it a go and see how you find it. As pp said, the couch to 5k app is a great starting point...

MrsMook Tue 22-Mar-16 07:06:32

I got a great sense of achievement from working through C25k, and run a few races a year for motivation. I get a good runners high after running, and find it a great escape from the mental battles of mother/ work guilt. It can be quite meditative.

BellsaRinging Tue 22-Mar-16 07:14:51

it seems to help me. It's great to have something-a physical goal-to concentrate on, rather than all the crap in my head. And when I finish a run it feels great-like a mini-achievement for the day.

cathpip Tue 22-Mar-16 07:15:02

I have always exercised but not done to much running till my dd died a couple of years ago. I know go out around 5 times a week, sometimes for only 20 mins sometimes for longer, my boys come with me in the buggy and even though they are there it's my thinking time, my me time, all dependent on how I'm feeling all depends on how fast I run, it's certainly helped my mental health.

megletthesecond Tue 22-Mar-16 07:23:57

Probably. Get some good tracks on your phone to listen to and go out on a sunny day. I swear running is the only reason that I haven't gone under all these years (7 yrs of being a lp).

billygoatscruff Tue 22-Mar-16 07:27:55

Lots of running clubs have beginner groups starting around now. These offer excellent introductions to running and is a great way to meet new friends.

Needmorewine Tue 22-Mar-16 07:32:17

Definitely OP flowers go for it

ScarlettInSpace Tue 22-Mar-16 07:35:29

Agree with all the above!

Also, as you have been affected by cancer would it give you more of a purpose if you signed up for Race for Life, something to train for?

groovergirl Tue 22-Mar-16 08:49:11

Thanks, everyone, for your rapid response. Just reading your replies makes me feel happier, and cared about. smile I shall check out that app. It sounds just what I need.

I used to run 10km a day -- 5 in the morning, 5 at night -- and dimly remember wafting on that fabulous magic carpet of endorphins! And the good nights' sleep, the well toned thighs, the feeling of being ready for whatever the day threw at me. Injury stopped me, then I became pregnant, and later a tired, housebound Stepford being screamed at by the now XH. (XH turned out to be a chubby chaser, so no wonder he yelled at me when I went for a run.)

Cathpip What an enormity to come back from. Good on you.

Sparechange I house-snoop too, and sometimes even gain ingress to houses awaiting demolition. The thrill!

Scarlett Here in Melbourne we have the Mothers' Day Classic, for breast cancer research. I'd have only six weeks to train for this year's, but I'd like to do it.

thedevilinmyshoes Tue 22-Mar-16 10:26:23

Running is the only bit of my life where I get to be the kind of human I so desperately want to be! Slow and steady, one foot in front of the other, going the distance, one step at a time.

groovergirl Mon 04-Apr-16 03:10:06

Hey all, just one more post before this becomes a zombie thread!

You are all correct. Running is the way back to health and happiness. I started running again a week ago and already feel incredible. Best of all, I have not had one alcoholic drink since then, and have had no desire to skulk off to the bottle shop to get me some savvy plonk. I don't want it. I don't need it.

This is a breakthrough. Thanks, folks. I think I'm going to come good. halo

zippyswife Mon 04-Apr-16 08:54:28

Well done groover! I'm trying to get back into running and its great to read this thread!

donajimena Mon 04-Apr-16 08:58:47

That's good to hear. I joined a dance fitness based exercise group which I do up to 5 times a week which helped me stop drinking too. I'm glad you are back into the swing of things and feeling better for it.

MrsMook Mon 04-Apr-16 17:13:48

Great news. The brilliant thing about running is that there's always another achievable goal around the corner.

stilllearnin Mon 04-Apr-16 19:22:25

I too run to keep my head ok and off tablets which have never agreed with me. devil you have it spot on. When everything is overwhelming I can at least put one foot in front of the other (altho I have recently been too in a spin for this).

Come and join us on the general running thread. We add up our miles and everyone is welcome - all abilities and any mileage (i only do 4 or 5 myself). I have had some great support on there.

groovergirl Tue 05-Apr-16 13:11:31

Thanks for your support, everyone. I am in awe at the change after just one week. It's as if the running-induced endorphins have flicked the switch, and instead of being anxious and edgy I'm calm and sleeping well. Last night on the oval I hurt my knee (old cycling injury) but I didn't go home; I slowed to a brisk stride and went on enjoying the balmy evening, the stars coming out, the music wafting from the room under the grandstand where the local brass band was rehearsing ... So nice! I did 20 laps!

It's bizarre how suddenly I was able to kick the white wine habit, too -- from two or three bottles a week for two years to none, and no desire for it. Donajimena, glad your dancing is having the same good effect on you.

Zippyswife, have you laced up and had a gallop yet?

veneeroftheweek Thu 07-Apr-16 08:33:45

That's brilliant groovergirl! My dad is terminally ill and I've found running a really good way to create a bit of headspace. I've been struggling to fit it in recently and have felt myself slipping, but after a particularly horrible day yesterday I went out and it really helped me to calm myself down. Good luck and keep it up!

KittyandTeal Thu 07-Apr-16 08:39:18

I started running specifically after loosing dd2. I have used exercise and diet as a way of controlling my bipolar. However running has given me time to clear my head, helps with my anger and the endorphins help my mood.

The improvement helps my self confidence and gives me a sense of achievement.

I started with the C25k program and now run 5k 2-3 times a week (as well as other classes)

I'm sorry for your losses and such a rubbish time 💐

GeorgeTheThird Thu 07-Apr-16 08:41:55

Came on to post that yes, it will - but I see the thread moved on from the title!

Glad you're feeling so good. I have let things slide over the last month and notice I feel less sharp, and am sleeping less well, already. Time to get back out there!

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