How Trail Running Helps My Mental Health, Job Performance, and Personal Growth
Stress is one of the most common problems in today’s workforce, and it’s something remote office employees are no stranger to. Being in different time zones, working remotely, having set hours, and being highly productive can all contribute to higher stress levels in our teams’ day-to-day lives. As someone who works remotely, I know how stressful it can be to go into an office everyday and how rewarding it can be to work remotely, as well.
However, managing stress shouldn’t be an afterthought.
Your mental health should be front and center when creating goals and planning your career.
Manage Your Stress Wisely
If you work remotely, you know that managing your stress is key to getting your work done. Finding an activity that can give you a break from staring at your computer screen without adding additional stress to your day can be difficult, but luckily there are a lot of options for remote workers.
My stress-reducer of choice is trail running.
If you’re looking for an activity that will help you relieve stress and allow you to enjoy nature on your lunch break or over the weekend, you may enjoy trail running, too.
Set Big Goals
If you’re running an office remotely, it can be difficult to exit the house and leave work behind. One way to combat that is by setting big goals for yourself outside of work, which can motivate you to work hard towards them during your 9-to-5.
Not only will running trails help keep stress levels low and promote relaxation, but it’ll also set you up for success when completing demanding tasks at work throughout your day. When the first thing you do all day is also the hardest, everything else gets easier by comparison.
I decided to set a goal of running a 50K ultra-marathon this October. Not only does it give me a goal to focus on, but it also gives me a reason to get out of the house and into nature for exercise.
Don’t Let Rain Stop You
The weather may not always be ideal for running, but don’t let that stop you from hitting your stride. While it may not be as easy to run outside when it’s rainy or cold, there are still benefits to maintaining your routine in less-than-perfect weather.
Endurance races are all about mental toughness, and running in uncomfortable weather helps you build the mental callouses needed for race day. The benefits of pushing through this apply to more than just your daily workout. We all have tasks at work that we put off as long as we can. Starting your day with the hardest thing on your to-do list makes everything feel easier by comparison.
It’s easy to get bogged down when you work remotely. It can be hard to get away from your desk, hard to leave your computer, and hard to take time for yourself. But to improve your work and mental health, it’s important to push past that. Get outside and run through the trails like you're a kid again!
Go out there and have fun, because exercise should be fun—not a chore. Make time for yourself, and enjoy what you do.