What’s An Infographic?

Mental Health_Kelsey Gallagher WEBIf you’re like me, you probably didn’t know what an infographic was until someone told you to make one (or maybe that’s just me). However, that doesn’t mean I had never seen one prior to being told to make one; I just wasn’t aware that this crazy informational work of art had a specific name.

Now, you might be wondering what an infographic is and what its purpose serves (assuming you’re still like me, therefore, have no idea). An infographic can allow you to simplify a complex subject and turn an otherwise boring subject into a fascinating experience. They are a means to build awareness, to educate and to inform. They are usually visually engaging, include a subject matter that is appealing to your target audience and most importantly, they’re meant to be shared and to go viral! Posting them on social media websites make it easy to share information and data in a colorful and interesting way. Sometimes, we get bored of reading articles and research papers. Infographics make it fun.

To the right, you will see the second infographic I have ever made (the first one I ever made was pretty horrific). I made it to inform people, specifically girls ages 18 to 25, to start running to benefit their mental health.

I grew up as a competitive runner. It all started when I joined my community track and field team in second grade. At that age, all I knew was that I loved winning and I felt amazing after finishing a race. I made varsity as a freshmen on my high school’s cross country and worked my butt off every single day from then on in order to keep my spot as one of the seven varsity girl runners.

You learn a lot about yourself as a runner. You learn a lot about the difference between what your body can do and what your brain can do. Running has taught me a lot about pushing through the pain, physically and mentally. Your mind will play games with you by convincing you that you can’t finish or that you’re too tired and need to give up. This happens even when your body has the full capability of pushing through it. Bottom line, your mind will give up way before your body ever will.

Knowing this and keeping it in the back of your head while your mind tries to tell you to quit will allow you to grow stronger mentally. I’m not going to beat around the bush; running is hard. It takes strength, endurance, stability and will power. So, if you can push through the physical and mental pain, you’re already one step in the right direction.

I think people tend to forget that running isn’t always about trying to lose weight or be skinner. I hear many people refer to running as a means to shed five or ten pounds. I know this because I’ve been that person. What’s amazing about running and what people need to realize more often is that running is incredibly beneficial to your mental health. Have you ever had a stressful day at school or work, came home and decided to go for a run to blow off steam? How did you feel afterword? Happier? More relaxed? I’m guessing you have. Running is a great way to boost your mood. It’s proven to release “happy” endorphins, or what I like to refer to it as—a natural high!

I made this infographic to show people that running doesn’t have to be just about your physical appearance and health; it can be about your mental capabilities and health as well. I wanted to share this with people because I know just how beneficial it is from first-hand experience.

Now that I don’t compete anymore and occasionally run 5k and half marathon races, I go through phases of being an avid runner (a person who runs almost everyday) to a runner who maybe runs a few times a month (I’m a busy woman). When I’m not actively running, I’ve found myself to feel less myself and experience periods of situational depression and anxiety. For me, running is my drug of choice to kill the feeling of unhappiness.

I posted this infographic on a few of my social media sites and received a great amount of positive feedback. I even had people exclaiming that they now felt the need to start running or running more often, which made my day. This is why I made the infographic, to inform about the mental benefits of running and to encourage more women to pursue this form of therapy!

Sources:

Customer Magnetism. (2014). What is An Infographic? Retrieved from https://www.customermagnetism.com/infographics/what-is-an-infographic/

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