I have been depressed. We all have. Heck, some us may be in a little funk now, called “the winter blues”, where lack of sun, warmer weather and longer periods of darkness make us depressed. You can’t or don’t want to go out because it’s too cold, too slick, and with COVID restrictions...what can you really do?
You can exercise! Doesn’t have to be super intense or super long. Just do a physical activity for at least 20 minutes a day. The sweet spot is 30 minutes but hey, start where you are!
Take a 20 minute walk. It’ll be a brisk one if you live in cold weather, which means you should get in a mile in about 20 minutes. Find a dance, yoga or exercise class on YouTube or On Demand TV. Find an online program or class (my site is a good start) that offers convenient times for you to work out. Whatever you do, get moving!
I’m not recommending exercise because I offer exercise services. I’m recommending exercise because the benefits of being active outweighs the price of counseling sessions a therapist will charge you, as well as the side effects and/or dependance that may come from taking medication. Exercise increases multiple brain chemicals (endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline and endocannabinoid to name a few) that make you feel better both mentally and physically. These chemicals can also decrease anxiety, stress, and pain!
The best thing you can do for others, and yourself, is to take care of yourself. In life there will always be periods of depression, stress and anxiety. But you don’t have to stay that way! Just like an apple a day keeps the doctor away, do a little physical activity every day to keep depression at bay!
*Quick disclaimer* - I am by no means a doctor or therapist and I realize that clinical depression is not curable with exercise. However, even in the case of clinical depression, exercise can help. The same natural brain chemicals that are released from exercise are in duplicated by the drugs prescribed to treat depression. So if you have been clinically diagnosed, don’t give up trying to have some normalcy in your life. If you suspect you are psychologically depressed seek a therapist and if diagnosed, explore natural options if possible. Exercise is a wholistic practice that everyone should do everyday, and it is doctor recommended!
In good health,