Resilience Builders: Movement after Experiencing Deep Depression

Feel the power in your body by moving. Movement and exercise give energy to dead weight in the body. When you have gone through a tremendously tough situation, your body and mind are exhausted. You can feel the tightness in different parts of your body. It’s like carrying heavy weight or being alive in a body that you cannot feel. Your depressed body needs to rest, but eventually, you will need to slowly start more movement.

When I was going through grief my body and mind were exhausted and I needed to rest all day. It was hard to think about movement, and when I did my body was numb. It didn't seem like I was moving. I was disconnected and it did not feel wonderful like it is supposed to.

When I was experiencing deep depression, the last thing I wanted to do was move. This is the stage where you take it slow and give yourself credit for any type of movement. If you are able to get out of bed and walk to the kitchen to make breakfast, that is a win. If you are able to move around the house, that is a win. Deep depression causes incredible exhaustion and this is when you need more rest than usual. Eventually, you start adding more movement while you heal.

Start giving power or fuel to your body.

Once you slowly give the power of movement to your body, you start to awaken the energy that has been drained. This drain can be through grief, deep depression, or chronic anxiety. The best way is to start with a walk outdoors, preferably in a beautiful natural setting. You connect with the world and surroundings which you may have not for a long period of time. It is easier if it's a peaceful and not a noisy place. If weather conditions do not permit this choice, choose a gentle workout Youtube video. You don't need an intense workout. That may be draining and your body is not ready for it.

When your body gets used to moving again, you can add more challenging workouts. You may not be at the level before your depressed state, and that is okay as long as your body is moving.

You also want to ease into exercise because of experiencing physical side effects from depression. I had a frozen shoulder for the first time and had no clue what it was until seeing an orthopedist. I had to receive cortisone injections to be able to lift my arm. I didn't have the range of motion able to stretch or do certain movements. It took a long period to see improvement without it healing completely. You need to choose wisely what your body is capable of. Do not be disappointed in yourself that you can't achieve what you once were able to do physically.

Small movements to reconnect.

If you are resting, start to move your body parts in bed. Wiggle your toes and fingers, stretch your arms, massage your hands or feet, rub your shoulders, stretch your legs or anything that releases tension. You are reconnecting to your body where it once felt numb. Your body has been through a hard time. It needs to be nurtured and loved and feel alive again.

This is the beginning of movement while healing from depression. The symptoms of depression will ease, even if you think it is impossible when you are at your worst. It takes a mindful effort to help yourself. This is one step in your healing journey and building resilience.

#healingdepression #buildingresilience

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Thank you.

Kindly, Tania

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