Since starting this program, I've found that while running is definitely benefiting my physical health, it may be benefiting my mental health even more. I've begun to view my running time as a welcome distraction and escape from the trials and tribulations of day to day life. It's an opportunity to throw on my favorite playlists and totally space out for half an hour, which has been irrevocably helpful to me. But despite this I do suffer from just a bit of guilt and feelings of selfishness when I dedicate time to just myself. I know it's wrong of me, but its an almost instinctual guilt.
But today something interesting happened. Today during my run on the boring, oh so boring, treadmill at my gym I decided to switch things up and watch some television rather than playing music while I ran. All that was on the televisions in my eye line were various news stations. Regardless of political leanings or opinions etc, etc, I think we'd all agree that these days it just seems like every day we're exposed to new traumas and horrors happening in our world. As you'd imagine, this was not what I was hoping to listen to during my sacred "space-out-time".
And while wallowing in the despair of my own guilt and the troubles on the television, I was reminded of something an old therapist of mine had said to me when I was once having similar woes. She reminded me that the brain is not designed to be capable of processing human suffering in such large quantities, and it is therefore OKAY to take a break. As sympathetic and compassionate creatures we become exhausted by the constant reminders of pain in our world because its just that: Exhausting! We aren't designed to be able to mourn and grieve for all the suffering on our tv screens. And sometimes we aren't able to process everything in our own lives 24/7. And that's why it's okay to take a break. Be it from our own lives, or the perils of our world.
The reminder of the little piece of advice has made me EONS less guilty about taking time to Space Out and detach for a while. Hope it can be of use to others too <3