How exercise can help you manage stress and improve productivity

As a Project Manager at Ocasta I feel that for me, exercise plays a big part in helping me to manage everyday tasks, deal with stressful situations and be more productive and efficient. Initially, I started running as I wanted to improve my fitness but what I didn’t realise was all the other amazing unexpected benefits that came with it.

What are the benefits for me?

Productivity  

I’m so much more productive at work and during my everyday life if I have been for a run. It gives me momentum for the day and I am able to get through my ‘to do’ list much faster.

Positive mindset 

If I don’t feel like going for a run I always say to myself ‘you’ll never regret going for a run but you will regret not going’. I always feel great after a run and in a positive frame of mind which sets the tone for the rest of the day.

(Running helped me train to climb up Ben Nevis)

Mental de-cluttering 

When you are running you only have to focus on where you are running and your breathing, so it gives your mind valuable time to roam and wander, thinking about ideas you wouldn’t usually find the time to do. It also helps me to focus my mind and to prioritise what is important. I have rarely had a day after I have been for a run where I feel overwhelmed and my mind is clouded.

 

(Where I like to run to de-clutter my mind)

A sense of achievement – The more you run the fitter you get and the further you can run. You feel a great sense of achievement when you have managed to run further or faster than you have done before, which in turn feeds back into maintaining a positive mindset. It also gives me more drive to face challenges at work and the confidence to try new things.

Better sleeping patterns – I find running helps me to relax and I always have a great night’s sleep if I have been for a run. If I have had a mentally challenging day at work I try to fit in a run as it maintains a good balance between mental and physical activity and helps my mind to wind down. You’re no use to anyone at work if you are lacking energy.

There are so many of us, including myself (I used to be one of them), who rely on too much caffeine to get us through the day. I would really recommend finding some form of exercise that works for you, whether that be running or something different like swimming or cycling.

If you do want to swap your morning coffee for a run here are some tips to get started ☕ 👉 🏃‍♀️

  1. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, start slowly and don’t try to run too fast or too far to start with, if you do you might feel discouraged. Find your own rhythm.
  2. Good music – I love listening to music when I run. I have certain playlists that make me feel more energised and help me up the hills. There is a good playlist on Spotify called ‘Cheese’ which has some classics.
  3. Find a good time that works for you. I always like to run either first thing in the morning, at the weekend or as soon as I get back from work. The more you get into a routine the more you will crave it.