Probably the number one advice I hear to “cure” my depression is to exercise. Have you ever tried working out for your depression? Why don’t you try going for a walk?
But how do you actually workout when you have depression? How do you find the motivation or productivity when depression keeps fighting against you?
The answer is baby steps and a lot of self-love.
UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE
When I’m having a really bad depression day, I could not care less if I take care of myself. I don’t care about eating my vegetables, brushing my teeth, or even getting out of my bed. I feel absolutely no hope of me ever getting better, so I don’t even see the point of trying.
But on my good days, I recognize the importance of taking care of my overall health. I need to power my body in order to power my mind. The more we recognize how to take care of ourselves on our good days, the more automatic it will seem on our bad days.
I have to feed my body with good sources of energy. I need to take my multivitamin every day. I need to get my body moving. It’s so damn important.
When we’re battling depression, even getting out of bed seems like a task we’ll never achieve. It’s like our bodies are weighted down by bricks, and our minds are filled with a catastrophic thunderstorm that never releases.
But we gotta keep telling ourselves that it’s worth it. We have to tell ourselves that even if we neglect our mental health, we can’t neglect our physical health as well. We have one body, and we must protect it.
What works for me is doing small movements just to get my body moving. The more you get your body moving, the more natural it’ll come.
Exercises to try:
- Stretching in bed
- Getting up to get a drink of water ever hour
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
After working out comes a bit more naturally for you, try incorporating more physically demanding exercises. No, you don’t have to run a marathon. Just try more rhythmic exercises.
You don’t have to go out of your way. Find exercises that don’t require a lot of equipment. Find whatever is convenient.
Exercises to try:
- Walking in the park
- Yoga outside
- Riding your bike around the neighborhood
- 30 day fitness challenge (this one helps me the most!)
Maybe even try finding a workout buddy to build your motivation. The guilt of letting people down usually helps fight my depression.
EMBRACE THE JOURNEY
Try looking at working out as something your body is capable of doing, instead of something you have to do. Exercising doesn’t have to be viewed as a negative experience.
Even when exercise feels like a burden, do it. The days you feel like doing absolutely nothing are the most important days to get out and do something.
Understand that life is a journey, filled with good and bad. Recovery is not linear. You will rise. You will fall. But you will always rise again.
How do you keep your body healthy throughout depression?
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