A few months ago I wrote a ‘mini course’ on how to reduce your anxiety and help your mental health.
It’s free, and you can sign up here if you’re interested.
Basically every day for five days you will receive an email with a daily challenge.
By the end of five days you will have five tips to reduce anxiety – none of them cost money, and all of them can help you get through the day.
The one I’ve been using most often is tip #2 – going for a daily walk.
I absolutely need this.
Outdoors and fresh air is obviously the best way, your body needs this; your lungs need this.
I’m asthmatic so going outside isn’t always easy. Regardless, I do make sure to get my steps in, one way or the other.
Often times, it’s on my treadmill. When I first started walking on my treadmill, I was probably about 40 pounds overweight, so no, I was not about to jog.
I walked every day for about a month, increasing the length of time I was on the treadmill but never increasing the speed or intensity.
Then one day I decided to jog. I was more comfortable on the treadmill, so I changed the settings from manual to interval training.
This means that after warming up, I’d run for a minute, and then walk for a minute, alternating that way until my five minute cool down.
I never run for more than a minute. Like it or not, I still have asthma, and I still need my inhalers.
But this walk/run is critical to my every day routine.
It’s a chance for me to clear my head.
Help Your Mental Health, One Small Step at a Time
There are times when I find myself thinking about my work day, in frustration, the things that have happened, the way things are, and the way I wish they were.
Those thoughts distract me from the length of time I have left on the treadmill, but I can only think them for so long, before my frustration leads me to push harder physically.
Then I start thinking about my body, and how hard I’m fighting to get it to a condition I want it in – and nothing else matters.
Without any willpower at all, I accidentally clear my head of all those frustrating thoughts.
Walking is critical. If you can’t run, start with walking.
Walking is just as good for your mind as running. When you’re ready, if you’re ready, start running.
This is super critical for reducing anxiety, but it’s also important for your physical health and can help your mental health, too.
For those with chronic pain, walking might not be an option either. Physical movement still is. Find an option that works for you, like chair yoga.
Start somewhere. Start small.
Taking the steps to improve your physical health will lead to improving your mental health.
Take the challenge to reduce your anxiety. There are four other tips, and not all of them are physical.
Let me know how this goes for you and what your favourite tip is – I look forward to your comments and emails!