mental health

9 tips to help you have a mentally healthy holiday season

December has always been a stressful month for me. And not because of busy parking lots, crowded malls and draining bank accounts (well, that’s always stressful no matter the time of year) — but because of all the family get-togethers where delicious seasonal food would be served, all the Christmas activities that filled my calendar that would take away from gym or run time, and all the tempting treats that were brought into the office at work.

Yes, all of those wonderful seasonal things that most people love about this time of year would stress me out. And I feel sad that it has been like that for so long for me — how many Christmas activities and family events I was never fully present for or experiencing because I was so worried about how many miles I needed to run to burn off X amount of calories to “be healthy”. Ugh. (more…)

Take back your time: How busyness is the greatest distraction from living

“I don’t want to get to the end of myYou know when you read something that slaps you in the face then makes you question everything you’re doing?

I read inspiring quotes and little nuggets of wisdom every day in my travels across the internet and on social media, but this article that I came across earlier this week flipped some kind of internal switch and inflicted the following emotions when I read it, in no particular order: sorrow, despair, excitement, ambition, happiness and anxiety.

By now we’re all familiar with the problem of busyness, not being present for day-to-day life and multi-tasking. Not only does it leave us stressed, tired and unhappy, but also distracts us from living our real lives. Lives in which we only have a short time to experience. According to the author of the article, Maria Popova, we have “a refusal to recognize that ‘busy is a decision’ and that presence is infinitely more rewarding than productivity.” She goes on the explain that she’s concerned “being productive is the surest way to lull ourselves into a trance of passivity and busyness the greatest distraction from living, as we coast through our lives day after day, showing up for our obligations but being absent from our selves, mistaking the doing for the being.”

I agree. (more…)

{Friday Favourites} The best reads of the week about health, fitness and mental wellbeing

Life In LeggingsHappy Friday, friends! How was your week? What do you have planned for the weekend?

It’s been a very tough week for me and I’m glad it’s over. I may divulge next week, but for now I’ll just leave it at that.

Training for the Finlayson Arm 25K has been going well. This weekend Debbie and I are heading out to run this route: A 17km point-to-point from Mt. Work to Mt. Finlayson. Last year it took us about 3:30 hours to complete, so we plan to head out early in the day to beat the heat. It’s been abnormally hot and humid here in Victoria lately; you can’t do anything outside without getting tacky with sweat within 5 minutes. If it wasn’t for the numerous forest fires burning in BC right now and blocking out the sun, it probably would be even hotter. (more…)

Forever alone: Why I don’t want to join your running group

wildflowerquteSometimes I feel a sense of longing when I see a big group of runners or cyclists out for their long Sunday run or ride, chatting away about their families, race goals and interests. What a great way to pass the time, I think, to socialize and get your long training run done at the same time.

But I will never join a running group. At least not regularly. I prefer to run and workout alone. (more…)

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