Self-Care: Running Miles for Better Mental Health
This post is sponsored by CVS & ALL opinions are my own!
I just got inside from my morning run. Before I left, I wasn’t feeling very motivated, and I was hoping a quick three-miles around the neighborhood could turn that around. The first mile was a bit rocky, and my mindset was three seconds away from slowing down and walking back to the house. I quickly talked myself out of that mindset, and eventually started thinking about other things on the run. I started thinking about what direction I wanted to take my videos, what I wanted to accomplish around the house today, and what information I could share in this blog post. Even though my run started rocky, it quickly turned into my therapy session. After hitting three-miles, I felt a sense of accomplishment and confidence in myself.
I felt rejuvenated, my blood was flowing, and my ideas felt clearer as to what I wanted to do. The calmer state of mind made it easier for me to be in the moment. Even though running for medals and a fitter body is great, running for my mental health is even better, and it’s the reason why I lace up my shoes each week. I’ve made it a part of my self-care routine because self-care is more than just bubble baths and face masks. It’s an important part of proactive health care.
CVS Pharmacy knows that each lifestyle requires a different self-care routine, and they are taking self-care to another level by launching hundreds of unique and exciting products this year to help its customers make self-care moments more convenient. You’ll be able to shop CVS Pharmacy for your self-care essentials across all categories focused on physical, mental, emotional, and social health! We sometimes forget that self-care fits more categories than the beauty department.
I’m excited to partner up with CVS Pharmacy again to talk a bit about my self-care routine, and why I started running for my mental health.
Even if I only go one mile, I still feel better than how I felt while sitting on the couch.
WHY I CAME BACK FROM MY RUNNING HIATUS
I’m about to get a little personal here. I’ve always struggled with body image issues since I was a little girl. Like most people, I have stages of my life where I feel great about myself, and then stages where I find myself struggling again. During those times of struggle, it all goes back to me, not making time for self-care. I used to go to doctors and demand answers, but then I decided to do something different. About a year ago, I hit a pretty lousy point in my mental health. I was starting to lose a bit of my identity and felt as if I was struggling a bit with my appearance. To be honest, your late twenties can be a strange time. Everyone your age is doing different things, and the comparison game can kick in. Instead of turning to another doctor about my body, I decided to start seeing a therapist. Maybe my body image was more than just gaining a few pounds; it was something more profound. Seeing a therapist was one of the best decisions I ever made. She reminded me that I wasn’t taking the time to do the things that I loved, the things that made me, well me.
She asked me, “What are some things you enjoy doing by yourself that you don’t do anymore?”
I replied, “I used to love painting, photography that wouldn’t end up on the blog, and running.”
She asked me why I stopped doing those things.
My answers were “painting took up too much time, I felt guilty about taking photos that didn’t end up on the blog, and I stopped running because I hated the pressure of racing, or the fear of getting injured.”
She sent me home with an assignment to do all three of those things throughout the week and to come back and let her know which one I wanted to start incorporating into my weekly routine to get back on track of feeling my best again. She wanted me to have an outlet that I could turn to when I was feeling stressed or down about myself.
The first thing I did was paint a canvas with flowers. I enjoyed it, but it took me hours, and I was over it in the first thirty minutes. Turns out, I’m way too impatient to paint anything. The photography part was fun, but it didn’t feel like a break from what I do for the blog every day. Running, now that gave me an adrenaline rush, confidence, endorphins, and a reminder as to why I started running years ago. It was also something I could do as soon as I walked out the door. It was convenient, and it was fulfilling.
When I returned to her office the following week, she noticed the excitement in my voice when I talked about running. When I left her office, I felt motivated to start my journey back to running every other day. I wanted to use that time to focus on me and how I’m feeling at that moment. It’s easy to distract yourself from your thoughts, but running is a good way to let your mind go.
THINGS STARTED TO CHANGE
After running, or getting out for long walks for several months, I noticed a significant change in my moods. I started to feel secure and confident about where I stood in the world. I wasn’t feeling down about the pace of my life or exploring the need to fulfill it with items or trips across the country. I was becoming content, and it was all because I was taking the time to add self-care to my daily-routine. For me, running is now a part of my self-care routine. Talking to a therapist is also a part of my self-care routine. Even if you don’t feel as if you’re struggling with anything, it’s nice to talk to someone about your life. They may pull things out of you that you never realized you were battling.
For me, running has helped me accept my life at the stage it’s currently in. It’s made me realize that I’m strong no matter what I look like, or what I’m faced with. I was looking for way too much acceptance in other people when the only person that needs to accept me is ME. Running has helped me build confidence and contentment for where I’m at in this very moment.
If I’m going to continue to run for my mental health, I have to take all the steps in making sure I have all the essentials to do so! I’m so lucky to live less than five-minutes away from CVS Pharmacy! It’s the best convenient destination to find a ton of self-care and proactive wellness solutions to help me stay on top of my best self-care game.
I love stopping into CVS to grab snack bars to take with me to have after a run. These Pressed by KIND bars are my favorite! I love that they have no added sugars and give my body the natural carbohydrates it needs to replenish muscles after a workout. They are also great for the summer months because they don’t have any ingredients that’ll melt all over the place. There are so many snack bars from popular brands at CVS, and I’m always discovering new ones I’ve never tried before.
Remember when I said one of my fears was to get injured? Well, I’ve been taking so many precautions to keep me from being injured. I’ve slowed my pace, been more intuitive with my body, stretched more, used muscle rubs spray, get regular massages, and wrap my knees with Kinesiology athletic tape. CVS has the best products for anyone with an active lifestyle! Plus, CVS Health brands are much more affordable. CVS Pharmacy is a great place to stop for all your gym-bag essentials.
The products that cater to holistic wellness are endless. You’ll be able to find essentials for vitamins/supplements, fitness, nutrition, sleep, mood/energy support, and skincare! I live for their Olly melatonin gummies and night and the biotin gummies in the morning. I have to hide them now because everyone in the house loves them.
I know this sounds funny, but since my brother is in the Air Force and works long draining ours, he considers his video game hour his self-care. I mean, each to their own, right? Self-care for my boyfriend is spending time at the gym each night, and then sitting down to play the piano for an hour or two before bed. CVS knows that self-care can look different to all people, but it’s important to incorporate it into our daily routines, regardless of age, gender or income.
Another great snack bar they carry are the MADE GOOD chocolate banana granola bars. These are perfect for anyone with a peanut allergy, and school safe just in case you forgot your snacks while you’re on the way to school! I love these bars for travel days when I’m on the plane and need something to hold me over.
I think you’ll also love this Oak and Reed Stainless steel white marble water bottle! It’s the perfect size for a bag, and it keeps your water ice cold! It’s a great reusable bottle for travel, the gym, or to drink throughout the day. Hydration is vital for keeping up with my running goals and keeping my body healthy. I don’t drink enough water but keeping the water bottle filled up near me helps a lot. I had so many compliments on this water bottle at the gym a few nights ago, and people were surprised when I said I got it at CVS! I’m telling you, people, CVS is crushing it lately! If you haven’t stopped in for a while, you’re in for a real treat.
Adding tea to your self-care routine is a game-changer. I love having tea during a hot bath with essential oils, late at night while I watch a movie, or during my afternoon slump hour. The Be Well Teas at CVS will forever be my favorite. You don’t need to add any sweetener to your cup because the flavor is outstanding! In the afternoons, I’ve been trying my hardest to cut out my coffee and stick to tea instead. Get Focused tea for energy has made that pretty easy. It has hints of blueberries, my favorite, for the flavor! I can’t wait to try their Get Relaxed tea next. Let me know if you’ve tried that one out! Tea is so calming, which is the point of self-care!
I battle with endometriosis, so when I stop into CVS for medicine or bath salts, I always pick up a new tea to try! Plus, I bought my heating pad for cramps there last time, and it pretty much saved me a night of sleep! I’ll forever be grateful.
You all know I love making healthy snack balls to keep in the house for the morning before a run. It gives me the right amount of energy without all the extra density in my stomach. These energy balls help me from experiencing the annoying side stitch. I made these three-ingredient balls from products at CVS Pharmacy. I mixed a large scoop of peanut butter, 1/4 cup of oats, one scoop of Navitas Organics Focus Daily Superfood Boost, and rolled them into balls. Navitas Organics are one of my favorite brands at CVS Pharmacy. I love their matcha powder, goji berries, and turmeric powder as well! CVS is truly the perfect one-stop-shop! Oh, and you MUST try these energy balls out!
Smoothie bowls are a big part of my post-run routine! I have been adding the Green Superfood from Amazing Grass to my smoothie bowls for the past year, and I was so excited to see CVS carrying it.
Here’s what I put in my smoothie bowl: 1 cup of almond milk, 1/2 cup of ice, 1 banana, one scoop of protein powder, 1 scoop of Green Superfood from Amazing Grass, and two cups of spinach. I love topping the smoothie bowls with granola, chia seeds, fresh fruit, and coconut. The Made Good bars tasted great on top. I love the added crunch.
I talked about the Tested to be Trusted campaign that kicked off in mid-May! If you missed that post, then you’re probably wondering what that is. The Tested to be Trusted program created by CVS Pharmacy, requires third-party testing of ALL vitamins and supplements sold in-store and online to confirm the accuracy of the dietary ingredients listed on the supplement facts panel and to confirm products are free from certain additives and ingredients! CVS Pharmacy is the first and only national retailer to implement a program that requires this caliber of standards for vitamins and supplements, and it’s why I feel so confident about being a CVS Pharmacy customer, and it’s why I LOVE SUPPORTING this great company. The trust they build with customers is impressive, and I love all of the hard work they put into changing for the better.
I mentioned that running had changed my mental health. I’d love to hear what you do for self-care, and what has kept you on a healthy path the past year! I’d love to have an open discussion with you all about it. xo
Questions for you!
- What do you do for YOUR mental health?
- What does self-care mean to you?
- Do you have any favorite CVS products you can’t live without?
ps: don’t forget to check the previous post to see if you won the CVS self-care package giveaway!