This is probably your situation too. I find very difficult to find enough time to take care of myself. Running and meditation have been for a long time some of the habits that I get most benefits from. Ideally, I like doing a 40 minutes seated meditation, but realistically is very hard to do consistently. Then I realised, I could do two things at the same time!💡
Pay attention to your body
Does your knee ache? What about your ankles? Is your heart racing when you run uphill? Ask your self these questions as you begin. Make your mind aware of the strain that physical activity puts in your body. Mind your surroundings, the road ahead, other people, isolate specific sounds as you go, and then block them all out. As in meditation, breathing and posture are important, keep improving them, but avoid judging yourself, there is no right way, but there's always a better way.
Put your problems and thoughts behind you
Just for 30 minutes. Nothing else is out there, just you, your body, and the road. The monkey brain will try to bring the pesky thoughts back, don't allow it. Are you breathing deep enough? Think about the experience of the run and your current state, the wind in your face, your feet hitting the road, heart racing, blank mind.
Pick the right settings
If there is a park, or any green area around your home that's where you should be. No place is perfect, some are very rough, roads aren't flat enough, or the areas are too crowded. No matter. Having access to trees, birds, water, is the best catalyst for a medititative jog. If all these things are simply not available to you, fake them: With some nature sounds, by setting the threadmill by the window, or looping a video on the TV. Nature provides the right amount of excitement to a run but it is calm enough to allow you enter a meditative state.
Keep it simple
No phone, no fancy clothes (do invest in a good pair of running shoes), while music is not necessary sometimes is helpful to focus your attention on specific sounds. If I use music my preference is nothing with vocals (or in a soft unknown language), nature sounds or incantations. Regarding music, stuff from holosync is great. There are a few free tracks on youtube that you could put into your player, experiment and find what works best for you.
Track your progress
Find an alternative method to record your running progress. I prefer to keep tabs on time and pace. Even a good sweat is great metric for a run. The most inexpensive running watch you can find is enough. If you are using music, get yourself a basic player and avoid dealing with tangled cables or anything that can distract you and interrupt your meditation.
Leave your phone at home
But, but... What if:
- I want to take a picture: Observe carefully instead and record the feeling, describe it to somebody else instead of just showing it in your phone.
- Somebody calls me: Urgent calls are very infrequent!
- I have an accident: Carry an emergency card with you and know others will help you if you're in need.
Make it your personal time, be it weekend habit or a daily routine, treat yourself a short tech break: go run and meditate