A 9 letter word that you will have seen scattered across our social media posts, and printed in bold letters on our running tees. It’s one of our favourite words at TMR, because it encapsulates that delicious feeling we seek when we run.
If fact we use it so often that sometimes we forget it’s still kind of a niche term. So it took us by suprise the other day when someone asked us what we meant by “headspace”. With our #EmbraceTheSpace Christmas campaign launching next week, we thought it was about time we dedicated a blog to explaining the magic H word…
…which, actually, is not as easy as it sounds. How do you begin to explain a state of mind that everyone experiences differently?
The Oxford Dictionary Online defines headspace as “time to think clearly or to be free of pressures”, which gets the general idea across. But for our community of busy mums with so many pressures, headspace takes on a special importance.
So we called in the experts, and asked our wonderful team of volunteer Run Angels what the term headspace means to them. Nearly every Angel who replied spoke about running as a special time in the day when they are free to just be themselves.
As Claire Tiley explained, headspace is “that glorious peace you experience when you are alone with your thoughts. Nobody asking you to do anything, or interrupting you, nobody shouting “Muuuuuuuuum” at you from another room. No emails bonging on your phone, whatsapps, texts demanding your attention. Just peace and quiet and knowing that this is 100% YOUR time.”
Simply focusing on putting one foot in front of the other for an hour literally gives your mind space to think through and process buried feelings, thoughts, and emotions…or to not think at all. It is a chance rediscover yourself in the fresh air. It’s a time to really breathe.
And that’s why for many of the women in our community, running is so much more than just a way to stay fit. It’s a lifeline that gives them the focus and motivation they need to pull through challenging times. Much of the reason that 74% of runners generally say running has improved their mental health boils down to the magic H word. As our Run Angel Dahl Lee explains;
“I have ADHD and anxiety, and the only time my brain slows down and I feel like I can actually take some time for myself and not be panicky is when my arms are pumping, my feet are going and my lungs are properly working. Sometimes I have so many thoughts running through my mind and each thought is so all-encompassing… I need anything I can to give myself a bit of space… a bit of a break from myself. Physical activity is the only thing that I feel works for me. It gives me, literally, headspace. Where my brain can actually have a breather and not work hard to figure out why farts are so funny or why 1 ply toilet tissue exists.”
So we think the most precious gift you can give yourselves this Christmas is headspace. And that’s what our Christmas photo competition #EmbraceTheSpace is all about; encouraging you to get some delicious moments of calm in the form of a run during the whirlwind of Christmas.
We’ll be offering one running mum the chance to win a year’s subscription to the meditation app Headspace next week. All you have to do to enter is post a running selfie on our Facebook Wall between 25th and 31st December using #EmbraceTheSpace
So come on ladies. Strap on your trainers, leave the in-laws far behind, and #EmbraceTheSpace this Christmas.
You deserve it.