Feature image taken by Kenji Tan.
In the spirit of getting out more often and taking advantage of my surroundings, I have decided to take the great opportunity of running along the Galle Face Green area just along the shoreline facing the Indian Ocean. As the morning dew sets in during the dim glow of the misty sunrise, the waves would crash along the edge of the sea wall where I’d run across the seaside road. This routine has greatly helped me with my mental health as I am able to calm my anxieties about work and school with the steady rhythm beneath my feet. As the road is about four hundred meters long, just four laps can equal a mile run. It’s always a pleasure to see the great views of the sea this place run can offer as it also acts in calming me down even during the most hectic of times in my life.
Above all, this activity required a significant amount of perseverance and commitment (LO5) as it requires me to get up much earlier than I usually do, which is already a struggle on any normal day. Hence, I have settled for going to sleep earlier than I usually do as well to make up for this sleep deficit. Furthermore, there was a lot of initiative and planning (LO3) involved in the process to ensure that I could fit everything else into my schedule. As I live quite far away from school, sometimes it can take over an hour to get to school every morning. Therefore, every morning running session must be initiated beforehand with a committed plan of going out for a set period of time.
As I mentioned before, this activity has been immensely helpful in keeping my mental health in a stable state. Even if I don’t go for a half-hour run, even a 10-minute walk outside has been shown to be advantageous for one’s health. Some of these aspects include better self-perception, self-esteem, mood, and sleep quality. In this sense, perhaps the most important thing I have taken away from this is my acquisition of strength and growth (LO1). I have learned to be more resilient with the skills I’ve learned through running and walking in the morning. In addition, I have begun to add another dimension to these sessions, the meditative aspect. While I follow the rhythm of my feet and feel the air across my face, I use my mind to notice the details of my thoughts that cross my mind. Whether they be positive feelings or negative regrets, my walking or running sessions have helped me to focus on these thoughts in a mindful and neutral manner, helping me keep myself in control more than ever.