Spend time with people who support you. Surrounding yourself with people who build you up and support you is so good for your mental and emotional health.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lauren Sheu, Founder of Running for Wellness.
Lauren is an RRCA Certified Running Coach, mental health advocate, speaker, blogger, wife, and working mom. Lauren is the Owner and Founder of Running for Wellness.
Lauren coaches new runners, blogs about running and mental health, and volunteers at NAMI Keystone PA as a Mental Health Speaker and Family Support Group Facilitator.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Absolutely. Thanks for talking with me! My name is Lauren Sheu. I am the Owner and Founder of Running for Wellness, a mental health and run coaching blog & platform.
I decided to start Running for Wellness because of my passion for running and mental health advocacy.
I’ve experienced anxiety since a young age, and it has had a big impact on my life. I didn’t seek help until I was in my late 20’s. With a combination of therapy and running, I was able to overcome my anxiety, and it no longer controls my life.
I believe the struggles I have gone through were for a purpose — so that I could help others to overcome theirs. The mission of Running for Wellness is to help women improve their mental health and wellbeing through running.
I coach runners, blog about the positive role fitness plays in our mental health, and I’m a partner with NAMI Keystone PA where I speak at local schools and organizations to share my story and spread awareness to end the stigma associated with mental illness.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
Well, first I will share that I also have a corporate career, and I went to school for Business. I never expected that I would be working in Health & Wellness, and I never planned on becoming an entrepreneur. It just kind of happened.
I started Running for Wellness as my side-hustle simply because it is my passion. I find so much joy in leading a running and mental health platform.
I have been interested in fitness since I graduated from college, but I wasn’t very serious about it until I was 26 years old. That’s when I began running.
I ran my first 5k and was instantly hooked and couldn’t wait to sign up for more races! Soon after that, I completed a half marathon, then a full marathon and the rest is history!
I am now a runner for life, and I am so glad I discovered this life-changing hobby. Running has done so much for me that I became interested in becoming an RRCA Certified Running Coach a few years ago so that I could share that same passion and joy with others.
This is when Running for Wellness was born. I love to write, and I have dreamed about being a blogger for as long as I can remember. I’m so thankful that I get to do something I love while also helping to improve the lives of others.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I first launched the Running for Wellness blog, I was a little hesitant to share certain things. I wanted everything that I shared to be perfect. I held back a little and kept my content pretty bland.
After a while, I decided to start posting more vulnerable content about my mental health journey. This is when things really started taking off, and I found that there is power in vulnerability.
When you are vulnerable, it shows others that you are human just like them. When you’re vulnerable, people find you to be more relatable and it helps you to establish authentic connections, and I think that’s what life is all about.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There have been so many positive role models in my life that it’s hard for me to choose just one. I am lucky to have many supportive family and friends in my life who have helped and encouraged me along the way.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Over the last few years, mental illness has impacted me and my family in big ways. Through all of this, I have found running to be a positive outlet that helps me to deal with stress and anxiety.
I believe in sharing my mental health story to let others know they are not alone. I also believe in helping others to achieve their running goals to benefit their overall health and wellbeing.
Ultimately, the impact that I want to make in the world is spreading the message that it’s okay to not be okay. I want people to know that they’re not alone and that the world is a better place because they are here.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
Taking care of yourself and focusing on wellness is so important. Here are a few of my recommended “lifestyle tweaks” that will help support people’s wellness journey:
- Move your body. Daily movement is so good for your overall health and wellbeing. Even just 30 minutes a day can make a huge difference.
- Focus on filling up your cup. You can’t run on empty. Make sure you fill up your own cup first so that you can be there to support others.
- Good nutrition and hydration. Proper nutrition and hydration are critical for energy, health, and wellbeing.
- Spend time with people who support you. Surrounding yourself with people who build you up and support you is so good for your mental and emotional health.
- Adopt a spiritual practice. It can be very beneficial to connect with a spiritual community, meditate, pray, and look at things from a higher perspective.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
It would be changing the culture around how we talk about mental health. The stigma that surrounds mental illness has made it very difficult for many people to reach out for the help they need. It also makes it hard for people to admit that they need help.
I hope that as a society, we can begin to talk about mental health the same way that we talk about physical health.
What is your “I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
To be patient. As an entrepreneur, it’s common to work at a fast pace and have high expectations for yourself.
Slow down to celebrate the small wins and know that you’re making a positive impact even when it doesn’t seem like it.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Definitely mental health. I believe that mental health is so important and is often overlooked and swept under the rug.
I think many people are realizing how important mental health is after experiencing the collective struggles caused by the global pandemic. If there is one positive thing that came from the pandemic, it is that it started a wider discussion about the importance of mental health.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Thank you for these fantastic insights!