Throughout #RunAndTalk week we’re hearing from a number of people about how running has helped their mental health. This is Laura’s story:
Exercise became very important to me after the birth of my first child. I was diagnosed with post natal depression and found the dramatic change in lifestyle very hard.
I tried to carry on despite the lack of sleep, extreme anxiety and lack of help. I fed my son myself and he wouldn’t take a bottle so it wasn’t until he got into a more settled sleep routine that I was able to go to some exercise classes in the evening when my husband got home.
The depression took me a long time to get over and it was difficult for people to understand something they couldn’t see. Exercise made me feel like I had achieved something, it gave me other things to concentrate on while I was doing it and made me feel a bit more like me.
After the birth of my second child, I knew I had exercise to fall back on. I got into running when my daughter was about 18 months and I joined a local running club. Although I found it tough and I was very nervous before going to the club, running gave me a huge sense of achievement. Meeting all different kinds of people was great, I realised that we all had our own lives and difficulties, but all had running in common. It helps people come together and support each other.
Running has helped me achieve many challenges, overcome anxieties, helped me make friends and taken me to new places. Running and exercise help me through difficult and stressful times in my life, more than I can really put into words.