I talked yesterday about how I sometimes use boxing workouts to alleviate some of the anger that bubbles up with depression. Those boxing workouts are part of a larger exercise scheme I try to follow. Try being the operative word.
I say try because exercising on a regular basis is challenging enough, but exercising when depressed can seem like a monumental challenge. The lethargy that is so indicative of a depressive episode makes it hard to just walk around the house, much less go for a run or do some weight training. So the question becomes, how do we exercise when depressed?
Sometimes my workouts are fueled by spite; spite for the depression that is. Mental illnesses are just like any other chronic illness in that they present certain challenges, and sometimes the frustration and spite I feel over having to deal with those challenges sometimes helps me overcome that lethargy.
Other times I just have to keep reminding myself that I will feel better after the workout. Workouts are great at releasing endorphins, natural mood elevators that can be very helpful during a depressive episode. Workouts and the endorphins they release aren’t a cure for depression, but they are a relief valve that can make things just a little better. At least that is the case for me.
But what about you? What exercises do you do to help you manage your mental illness? I’d love to hear about it, so if you are willing, please feel free to share in the comments section below. And as always, thanks for reading.