Taking Care of your Mental Health and Wellbeing

Taking Care of your Mental Health and Wellbeing

In times like this, being asked to stay at home and avoid other people can be daunting and it might feel quite difficult to manage your mental health and wellbeing.  

It is going to feel like a difficult time and will feel harder than usual to look after yourself, but we have put together a few ideas that may help:

1.    Create a Regular Routine – Write out a schedule or plan to follow which you can easily access and see every day. Try to follow your usual routine as much as possible. Get up early, continue with your normal morning routine and go to sleep at your usual time.

2.     Plan for Working at Home – If you can, set up a workspace with everything you need and take regular breaks in a different area of your home for a change of scene.

3.     Keep Busy – Try and find ways to spend your time. Have that clear out that you’ve been putting off for months or a spring clean to organise your belongings. You could also use this time to contact loved ones who you’ve been meaning to catch up.

4.     Keep Active – Try to include exercise into your daily routine. Many of us don’t have equipment at home but why not get creative and find things you could use as alternatives? There are also lots of resources online with exercise workouts you can follow.

5.     Coping with Anxiety and Claustrophobia – Try and find safe zones in your homes and work on breathing exercises. Open your windows, sit in your garden, try and get some fresh air. Regularly change the rooms you’re spending time in. 

If you’re looking for more advice on how to take care of your mental health and wellbeing during this time there are a number of charities that are offering advice at this time:

SAMH – https://www.samh.org.uk/about-mental-health/self-help-and-wellbeing/coronavirus-and-your-mental-wellbeing

MIND – https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/#collapse816a3

Young Minds – https://youngminds.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/youngminds-publishes-advice-for-young-people-and-parents-on-mental-health-impact-of-coronavirus/

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Mental Health Benefits of Running

Mental Health Benefits of Running

Apart from the obvious health benefits that running or jogging can give you, it can provide many psychological advantages too. No matter your circumstance, running can help ease your mind and get you back on the right track. Here are some positive changes that running can bring to you:

Whatever you are stressing about, getting active can significantly reduce this. Lacing up your trainers can help with relaxation, anxiety and negative thinking cycles. Running can help your body control stress and deal with existing mental tension. Long distance runs can help you solve problems that have been nagging you. Whilst shorter speed runs can reduce aggression and tension. Make running your new friend.


Nobody wants to be tossing and turning in bed late at night. Indulging in physical exercise, whether that is running or another form, can be your new way of counting sheep at night. Moderate exercise can also significantly improve the sleep of insomnia sufferers.

Running can be a fantastic way of combatting that sluggish and withdrawn feeling that is associated with depression. Regular exercise can boost your mood if you have depression, and it’s especially useful for people with mild to moderate depression. Running can take your mind off worries so you can get away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety.

If you’re suffering from low self-esteem in adulthood, go for a run and watch your confidence soar. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins, natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being. Exercising in the great outdoors can also result in lowered blood pressure and increased self-esteem. Get your running shoes on and watch your confidece soar.

An envigorating run can boost creativity for up to two hours afterwards. Next time you find yourself staring at a blank page waiting for a genius idea to pop into your head, get those legs moving and refresh your body and brain at the same time by going on a jog.

So the next time you’re having a bad day or you want that extra hour in bed, remember all the benefits your body will enjoy from getting active.

Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 116 123.
CALM, an anonymous helpline for men is open 7 days a week, 5pm to midnight. 0800 58 58 58.

It’s okay not to be okay. Let’s keep talking.

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Five Reasons Why We Love Spring


After what seems like an eternity of cold, dark, wintry days and nights, there’s finally some light at the end of the tunnel – spring is firmly in sight! But what does this mean for us Big Fun Runners? Here are five reasons we love spring…

1. Calm after the storm
A wise man once said: “You never appreciate Spring until you’ve been through a tough Winter.” – and it’s the months of battling inclement conditions that makes the longer days, lighter nights and increasing temperatures all the more sweet when they finally come around.

2. Combine work and play
This is a great time to dust away those cobwebs and build some training into your daily commute to get more active on a daily basis. Why not make use of the longer days by integrating cycling or running into your journey and watch your fitness gradually move to the next level?

3. More mac, less mill
While treadmills make a great alternative to outdoor running when winter really bites, there’s no substitute for running in the great outdoors. The changing of the seasons is a great time to get out in the fresh spring air and explore new routes around your local area with your running buddy!

4. Time to Train
Spring marks the start of the running events calendar. So whether you’ve got a 5k, 10k or any other challenge event planned that you are looking ahead to, it’s the perfect time to kick start some training and in no time you will be harvesting the fruits of your labour, scooping up some well deserved medals and most importantly some memories that will last a lifetime!

5. Flower like a spring pansy
It’s time for you to come into your own, just like a spring flower. Once you’ve been motivated to get moving and your confidence grows, be prepared to blossom with pride at your progress.

A Big Fun Run 5K is the perfect event to aim for in 2018. Whether you’re running for fitness, fun, or to fundraise for a fantastic cause, there’s something for everyone! With 20 events taking place across the UK, find your local one at www.bigfunrun.com.

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Team FMI

Team FMI

Shout out to Team FMI who completed Big Fun Run Milton Keynes to raise money for our Official Charity Partner Cancer Research UK whilst having lots of fun along the way!

FMI are a small brand engagement agency with a fantastic close knit team of people. Sadly earlier this year FMI’s Finance Manager Kathryn and Event Director Dave’s wife Emma, were both diagnosed with breast cancer. Team FMI took part in Big Fun Run to raise funds to continually invest in curing cancer and support their fellow colleague and friend during this difficult time.

Operations Director Clare explained: “Kathryn has shown tremendous strength and courage following numerous surgeries – she is currently undergoing chemotherapy so sadly couldn’t be here with us today, but she was in our thoughts, alongside Emma, as we sweated it out to cross the finish line!”

Leading up to the event, Team FMI have been busy keeping active in preparation for their fun 5K including spinning classes and swimming, to long walks with their dogs over fields and the the odd jog about town.

“As a team, we’re a fantastic mix from an individual who have completed half marathons, to someone who swears she can’t breathe when she runs – we are definitely a group of mixed abilities fitness wise but were all determined and committed to crossing the finish line together” said Clare.

Join us in wishing Team FMI a big well done! To support Team FMI’s fundraising efforts for CRUK visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fmilimited

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Chloe’s Journey

Chloe’s Journey

Kimberley and Chloe Naylor took part in Big Fun Run Milton Keynes at the weekend to raise money for OASIS Autism.

Chloe is five and a half years old and her life so far has been somewhat challenging, with difficulties that she has not been able to recognise or manage. Chloe was very lucky she had an amazing teacher in reception at school who picked up on her difficulties and explored them with the school who supported her to the best of their ability. Finally it came to light that Chloe has high functional autism with hyper mobility and ADHD. Chloe doesn’t understand the meaning of this, but is aware that sometimes she is different.

Chloe’s concentration is a real struggle for her, even with things she enjoys and lately she has had a lot of anger and frustration in her, so Kimberley suggested they start running together. Chloe is very keen to practise running and by doing this Kimberley feel it helps her release her anger and frustration. Chloe she says she ’feels happier’ after running and all her mum wants is for her to be is happy.

When Kimberley suggested that they take part in Big Fun Run Milton Keynes run together to help support other children and families like theirs,  her reply was “yes mummy that would be a good idea and do I get a medal at the end.” 

This run has given Chloe something to work towards and focus all her energy on, whilst boosting her confidence at the same time. 

Kimberley and Chloe would appreciate everyones support and are grateful for any sponsors. If you’d like to donate to their cause you can do so at http://www.justgiving.com/K imberleyandChloe?utm_id=26

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Sophie Anderson
Anderson’s Army

Anderson’s Army take on Big Fun Run Manchester in memory of brave Sophie

MIKE WOMACK, 38, from Lymm is taking part in Manchester’s Big Fun Run at Heaton Park this Sunday, alongside approximately 100 friends & family in memory of his wife, Sophie, who sadly passed away after a brave battle with cancer.

Sophie was just 33 when she passed away after fighting cancer for almost two years. Sophie and Mike had been together for about 10 years and got married in July last year in the Lake District on the edge of Ullswater. Although they both knew the probable long term outcome, they were both determined to make it the best day ever.

Sophie ran a 5k race for life event in spring last year (Sophie’s maiden name was Anderson) with many of the Lymm runners and “Anderson’s Army” was born.

After Sophie’s passing, the team of Anderson’s Army decided to do something positive to remember her and raise some money for charity at the same time. Sophie was a great runner and member of her local running club where she lived in Lymm.

When asked what appealed to them about the Big Fun Run, Mike replied; “I liked sound of the easy going nature of the event. I think the Big Fun Run’s main motto is you can run, jog or walk which sounded perfect for us. I also did a Big Fun Run many years ago so I remember the easy going atmosphere and thought it would be a good fit for us.”

“There will be a complete mixture of running abilities on the day, from friends who have run ultra marathons to Sophie’s dad, Keith, who has taken up running at 69 specifically for this event and has done amazingly well during his training. There will also be a good number of people walking with children and probably every ability in between all of these. A 5k is a great distance which everyone can get involved with.”

There will also be friends & family participating from afar, who can’t make it along to the Big Fun Run itself.

“There will be friends and family who can’t join us on the day but have set themselves the challenge of running / walking a 5k wherever they are. From Sophie’s sister, Vicky, running 5k in Hong Kong, to Sophie’s Aunt and uncle walking 5k in Skipness in Western Scotland to family friends walking the 5k in Australia.” Mike said.

Sophie previously raised money for both Beating Bowel Cancer and The Christie. Anderson’s Army are well underway for raising money for both charities at the event.

To support Anderson’s Army and this very worthy cause visit https://www.justgiving.com/teams/SophiesArmy 

Big Fun Run Manchester takes place on Sunday 20th August at 11am, and promises a fun, relaxed atmosphere which is the perfect challenge to set yourself in 2017. To find out more, visit www.bigfunrun.com.

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Hannah Nugent
Running in the family

Running in the family

CHARITY RUNNER Hannah Nugent is gearing up to take part in Big Fun Run Manchester to raise funds for Kidney Care UK on behalf of her father and brother, who have both been diagnosed with kidney disease in recent years. Hannah decided to run the 5k to raise awareness of the disease and to raise funds to help aid future research.

“There will be 3 of us running – myself, my mum and my friend Kim.” said Hannah.

“I heard about Kidney Care UK from a colleague at work who does a few of the Big Fun Runs. I have been going on regular runs mostly every night after work.”

Hannah’s dad was diagnosed with the disease when he was 24 and her brother was only diagnosed at the beginning of this year. Hannah said that the disease impacts on both of their lives in different ways.

“This disease affects my dad’s working life as he had to retire from work at 40. He is always tired and most of the time in pain. As for my brother, it has prevented him from doing his dream job in the RAF. He is currently waiting to go on dialysis and has been put on the kidney transplant list. We are hoping and praying that he gets a kidney as soon as possible.”

“It hurts so much to see my dad always in pain and down about what he has. This affects him in every part of his life and is so sad, I wish I could take this away from him.” said Hannah.

Hannah said they are all looking forward to the event on Sunday 20th August. They are hoping to raise £200 for Kidney Care UK.

“We are looking forward to this event as this is for a special cause. Yes it’s going to be a little emotional, but we are doing this for a very good cause and we are very excited!”

Big Fun Run Manchester takes place on Saturday 20th August and is suitable for all ages and abilities. If you’d like to donate to Hannah and her team, you can do so here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hannah-nugent4.

If you are inspired to run for charity or a cause close to you heart you can sign up online at www.bigfunrun.com.

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Sally Williamson
Getting Fit for 50

Getting fit for 50

Sally Williamson, 48 from Sheffield is taking part in the city’s Big Fun Run at Rother Valley Country Park this Sunday, with the aim to raise £500 for Myeloma UK, a charity very close to her heart.

Six years ago, Sally’s father was diagnosed with myeloma, a cancer which she says the general public know very little about.

Sally tasked herself with getting ‘Fit for 50’. As someone who considers herself as never being physically fit, she decided to follow the Couch to 5K programme as an incentive to get her through the winter months. It was then she decided Big Fun Run Sheffield was a great way to kill two birds with one stone.

Sally explains: “I started the Couch to 5k programme on the 1st January this year, I graduated in March, and have been running a couple of times a week since.”

Myself and my son are running in Big Fun Run Sheffield (he’s coming along for moral support!) with the aim to raise £500 for Myeloma UK, a charity very close to our hearts.”

Reflecting on her achievements so far, Sally explains: “Born with mobility issues myself and never being confident at any physical activity at 48 years old, I decided it was time to give it a go and get Fit by 50. The Big Fun Run is a great opportunity to challenge myself without time pressures and a great way to raise funds for Myeloma UK!

To support Sally and this very worthy cause visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sally-Williamson4

Big Fun Run Sheffield takes place on Sunday 13th August at 11am, and promises a fun, relaxed atmosphere which is the perfect challenge to set yourself in 2017. To find out more, visit www.bigfunrun.com.

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Big Fun Run Checklist

Big Fun Run Checklist

With less than a month to go until the first Big Fun Run 5km, the team at Run4It want to help you improve your run on the day! To do so, we have put together a checklist, compiled of items which we believe are absolutely essential for you to enjoy your run:

1. Correctly fitted shoes
2. Running socks
3. Sports bra for ladies
4. Comfortable clothing


It is easy to purchase a pair of ‘sports shoes’, they look smart and are available in your size – done! Or you just need to dig around to the bottom of your wardrobe until you find those trainers from years ago. However, we recommend that you think differently about your footwear for the Big Fun Run. For it to be ‘fun’ you need to avoid injury, blisters or muscle aching, therefore it could be time for new shoes! At Run4It we recommend that you have your feet analysed by one of our team through our free runlab shoe fitting process. A simple 15 second jog in bare feet can tell us whether your feet need a stability shoe with extra guidance and support, or a structured neutral shoe with lots of cushioning. It is amazing how much of a difference correctly fitted shoes can make! If you are new to running, this is the one thing to get right.


If you have looked after your feet by getting the right shoe, then it is the perfect opportunity to accompany this with the right sock. The rule is simple: no cotton! Cotton retains moisture/sweat which can cause bacteria to build up and the foot to become irritated by the damp sock – most commonly resulting in blisters. To avoid this, look to running socks which contain synthetic fibres (such as nylon) to wick away moisture and allow the foot to breathe. Running socks can vary in comfort, based on the padding they have in them, as well as sock height and colour, so there are plenty to choose from!

Sports Bra

80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. 75% do not wear a technical sports bra when running. Sound familiar? It is said that no sports bra should ever reach a birthday, so for most women it is probably time for a sport bra fit! Not wearing the correct sports bra can affect your running gait and posture, it can cause up to 4cm of movement in the breast tissue and irreversible damage, and it can be really uncomfortable when you are trying to enjoy your run! This is why we place sports bras as an essential piece of kit. No matter you cup size, band size, or preference on bra style, you should always be able to find the perfect sports bra for you!


If the feet are comfortable, you need the kit to match. With running tops it is the same as with socks, avoid cotton! A cotton top not only shows sweat and begins to smell much quicker, but it can also cause irritation and rubbing under the arms or on the chest. A technical t-shirt is much lighter and less restrictive around the arms – and it’s not an expensive piece of kit. As most of the Big Fun Runs take place during summer it could be warm, so consider a vest or t-shirt and if you are worried about being cold on the start line make sure you have a layer on top that you can quickly pull off and put to the side, or pass to a friend, before you start running.

Accompany your top with a good pair of technical tights or shorts to be fully comfortable. Within shorts every runners’ need should be covered: you can get shorts with longer lycra liners to prevent chafing; shorts with a split leg so that you are completely unrestricted; or simple lycra shorts that sit close and don’t move up the leg.

If you can check off every item of our checklist then you are good to go! If this is your first run, enjoy the experience and if you have done events before then welcome back! ☺

Our retail partner Run4It have lots of shops throughout Scotland, find out more and buy online at www.run4it.com

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