Self-care is not always glamorous or fun. It is not always being curled up on the couch in comfy clothing watching your favorite show. Sometimes, it is something you don’t want to do, but that is ultimately good for you. Even if you, and your body, and your cat, object to such self-care regimens, it is important to stick with it. For me, one such thing is exercise.
Exercise is important for everyone. But for those of us who struggle with mental health issues, it can have additional benefits besides just staying in shape. Working out releases endorphins, natural mood elevators that can help stave off mental health episodes. As an added bonus some medications have the annoying side effect of weight gain, so exercise can help with that as well. Despite all these advantages, I am still at best an irregular exerciser, although I am trying to change that.
Wednesday, I tried a new routine for my workout, and yesterday I was definitely feeling it. My quads and shoulders both screamed and ached with soreness and I wanted to scream back, I am trying to help you. I didn’t do that though because that would have probably drawn some strange looks from my coworkers. Also, my muscles are terrible listeners, so there really was no point. I did find it ironic however, that something that is meant to be so helpful can result in such discomfort. Discomfort be damned though, I worked out again this morning. Because like I said it is important to stick with it.
Because although our bodies or minds or pets might sometimes object to the things we need to do for self-care, it still releases that burst of endorphins that makes us feel accomplished, pushing back against the stupor so common to depressive episodes.
And I think that this whole exercise thing is supposed to get easier, although I don’t know for sure since I’ve never really stuck with it.
The cute cat doesn’t really help….