Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Mika Brzezinski

Knowing your value means knowing that you must work out — and also realizing that sometimes you can’t.

I love to run. I was a huge runner in college; long distance was my thing. And I ran through both my pregnancies and thought I was superwoman.

But over the years, my relationship with exercise became complicated. I would feel guilty if I didn’t run, and the activity that used to energize me started to feel gutting.

Running also started to feel connected to food and calories instead of the fun of the run. I wrote about a lot of that in my book, “Obsessed."

But it was a time and energy commitment that started to feel too hard to reach. My life was at a complicated stage, and it felt daunting. Running wasn’t a stress release anymore, it was a stress inducer.

Trying to get a run in on top of co-hosting “Morning Joe,” going through a divorce, being there for my kids and taking care of my parents was becoming too much.

I would run, but it was hard and I really had to push myself. And I was disappointed when I didn’t fit it in.

I went through a stage where I wasn’t mentally in top shape, and it impacted the joy of running for me. So finally, I took a step back and started running less — a lot less — then walking. In fact, a lot of walking.

I stopped feeling guilty and did what I could do, which was walk.

I did a massive reset on what was possible for me.

I took a look at my life and spent a lot of time walking and focusing on mindfulness, which I used to be skeptical about. Now I think about it a lot: smoothing out the edges, lowering my reactivity, letting life breathe a bit.

RELATED: What's your exercise personality?

I took a year off from running and instead focused on the health of my mind. And guess what? Things started lining up for me. And what I thought was in the rear-view mirror is now back!

I’m running again. I also bike with my mom and make sure she exercises every day. I found myself liking it again — choosing to run because it was fun.

Mika Brzezinski and her mother, Emilie, ride bikes near their home in Florida.Miller Hawkins

Can you believe this, I’m up to five or six miles a day now … and may even do a race next month!!

Taking a big break from running gave me the time to realign my relationship with running … and my life.

I also look at running very differently. It used to be a box to check off on my daily to-do list.

Now, it’s my time to relax, let my brain take a rest and focus on the air, my breathing, the trees, the sky and just being in the moment.

I always tell women to listen to their bodies. I also want you all to listen to your minds. If you are strained, stressed, sad, overwhelmed and you are feeling these emotions over a long period of time, it’s time to change things up. Take a break, walk instead of run. Give yourself the space to get back to where you want to be.

Remember: If you are too attached to something and it’s a chore that causes guilt — it’s a bad relationship.

I hit reset, and now I'm back on track.