Depression and fitness
Hello I'm currently trying to get over major depression. I'm new to the app and I could use some words of motivation if anyone has them.
Honestly just keep pushing yourself, the more effort you out into your exercise the less effort you'll have left to think about your depression. Not only this but while exercising you're body is creating happy hormones, so keep up the hard work!
Do cardio and high intensity workouts oh yeah and pray. God bless!!!
When first starting do you go through a huge drop in emotions and find you have to really fight through it to keep going? I had such a bad drop today, I was just wondering if it was a normal thing or am I a weirdo?
Hi! I'm just starting out with the fitness thing, but I'm not at all new to depression. A few things that help me and that I'll be counting on when my next downswing hits -
1. Find exercise that you enjoy, something that's actually fun to do. Maybe some fun dance-based cardio? The more fun it is to do, it will be less difficult (I won't say easier, it's not easy!) to push through the dark days' "but I just want to stay here alone in my bed" feeling. E.g. If you do crunches because they're part of your goals, do them! but also have something light, fun and enjoyable that you can do when you just can't face the crunches. :) I agree with the previous poster that cardio is good for this, esp lighter cardio that you feel successful with. Aerobic exercise increases your oxygen levels and that can help you feel better. Me, I've signed up for a dance-based Bellyfit class for the fall/winter, hoping that the dance and music will help me keep going. If you have a personal trainer that you really like, someone who *gets* you, this can also make a big difference toward enjoying your workout even if the moves themselves aren't that entertaining.
2. As often as weather permits, exercise outside - walks, jogs, bike rides, whatever fits your program. Even better, get in a pattern with a friend or a furry friend who'll be counting on you to be there. But fresh air and sunshine make a big difference to me. Sometimes just getting out of the house on a dark day and sitting in the sunshine on the step is something you can be proud of and that will really help your outlook!
3. On the days that you *don't* manage to get out/get up and do your workout, or days when you give in to the cravings or whatever, or if you don't manage to hit the goal for your workout, try not to let yourself do the guilt/shame thing. At least for me, part of my depressive behaviour is reallly over-criticizing myself for things that other people seem not to have great difficulty with getting past. Remember that even if you have to start over six times, ten times, whatever, every workout helps your long and short term health (physically and mentally), and the progress you made before your stumble isn't all for loss. Try to concentrate on how good you felt before the stumble and look forward to getting that again. For me, every potato chip I *don't* eat is one fewer goign to my arteries. I may still eat a bowlful tomorrow, but if I do, well, I didn't eat a bowl tomorrow and a chip today.
4. Like with 2 and 3, BE proud of the little things. Recognize that, sometimes when the depression is strong, what seems like something small from a "regular" point of view, or especially from the high standards we tend to hold for ourselves - can actually be pretty big in terms of the mental and emotional effort and strength needed to push through and make it happen. If you're having a day where all you want to do is stay in bed and pretend the world doesn't exist, just putting on clothes and walking the dog around the block or going to the store for some veggies is something worth celebrating. ALLOW yourself to celebrate the little victories and be proud of them.
5. Your doctor and the medical side of your treatment - I don't know if you're on medication as I am. But in the past, especially after my first few episodes, I wanted to stop taking my medication as soon as I started feeling better, felt like I didn't need the "crutch" any more and didn't want to keep spending the money. But sure enough, I stopped taking it....and stopped feeling better. What I'm saying is, keep your doctor/medical professional up to date, keep following his/her advice, and if something is helping you, stick with it.
Wow, that turned out way longer than I expected. Your question really got me thinking! I've been going through this current upswing/fitness motivation spell with the constant background acknowledgement in my head that it's not going to last, that it never lasts....but I need to follow my own advice and not be so fatalistic. Let's do this thing!