I have shared another article on the benefits of exercise when going through depression. It is titled,"Resilience Builders: Movement after Experiencing Deep Depression."
This topic is important because your body feels fatigued and sometimes numb when experiencing severe depression. You lack motivation to exercise, and spend more time sleeping or sitting. You may consider it is not important, but it will help to improve your mental state. This is the point where you have to push yourself to reenergize your body and mind. It does not mean signing up for a vigorous group workout. That may be disappointing to be reminded of limitations. You are in the recovery stage. The present time should be spent being grateful for getting out of bed and starting to move your limbs and enjoy the fact that you can reconnect to your body.
If you are experiencing a chronic illness alongside depression make sure you get advice from your doctor and/or physical therapist on what movements are helpful. You may be immobile and there can be bed exercises to help with healing.
Here are five benefits to start moving when you feel like sleeping or sitting. If you are ill or spent don't force yourself to exercise. These are for days when you know you are well enough and have energy to at least go for a 15 minute walk, jog, or clean a room in your house.
Movement will help reduce inflammation, improve muscle strength, and improve blood sugar levels. These three do have an impact on depression and can make it worse. Sugar makes you more exhausted, inflammation aggravates the mind, and feeling weak makes you think that since physical strength is decreasing so should mental strength.
Do not be concerned with the amount of time in the beginning, until you gain more strength and confidence for you ability to move again. This can be a quick walk around the block, cleaning your kitchen, walking your dog, gardening, raking leaves, or anything that is convenient and allows you to move. You don't want the pressure get in your car and drive somewhere and can start at home or in your neighborhood.
If you have to sit most of the day due to a job, get up every hour and start moving. This can be stretching, walking around the office, or turning on a short and easy YouTube workout video. This will help relieve muscle tension and agitation which can be connected to depression. This will also help with triggers that show up unexpectedly.
Stay off your phone which includes social media or any type of website for at least a few hours a day. This also depends on your job. Manage your tech time and give yourself a mental break. Do some form of movement instead.
Depression leads to isolation and a need to not talk about your life and get help. Exercise involving other people can help reconnect to people. If it is hard in the beginning and you need to be alone to exercise, that is okay also. Solitude helps you put life into perspective by listening to how you want to move forward. As long as you have other ways to connect and get support.
Hopefully this helps you to get motivated and exercise. This is part of healing depression. Be gentle with yourself and don't push beyond your physical strength. If you are extremely exhausted start with 10-15 minutes and stop. You have still moved and done something for your body. Have self compassion and patience with your body. Remind yourself this is for your mental health which is more important than losing weight, gaining muscle or any other goal.
Thank you for reading. Check out my other posts on mental well being, and moving forward with strength and courage.
All the best on your healing journey,