Wellbeing habits

Today is world mental health awareness day.

Last week, I had coffee with a friend. She reminded me that we all need to make time to look after our mental wellbeing, every bit as much as our physical. It’s not always easy to maintain good habits.

She’s a carer for a relative; she’s been unable to return to employment after an accident at work. She’s on universal credit. Last week’s headlines told of cuts in benefits and escalating fuel prices.

She struggles, but she doesn’t complain. She’s grateful for the support of her local foodbank. When she couldn’t leave her home, they delivered.

I asked how she was managing now. She told me that the first steps out of the door after lockdown were still hard for her. Her turn of phrase resonated with me.

‘When I run, it’s the first steps that are hardest.’ I agreed.

‘Do you still run?’ she asked.

I hesitated.

She noticed that, and persuaded me to commit to putting on my running shoes before I see her again. I thanked her for the motivation. She was pleased to be the one giving out support.

For her, I ran a slow three miles this week. It felt good.

I wonder now, how many times will I need to push myself out of the door before it once more becomes a healthy habit?