Human advice for exercising while depressed
I was just recently thinking that I should start taking my advice from humans, it could really open things up for me.
But my goldfish disagrees.
Don’t listen to them, they’re crackers.
Why isn’t there a button to give you both a “like” and a small electric shock?
makes a bunch of super-practical recommendations for making it easier to exercise when your brain is being unkind to you.
I never thought of drinking as an exercise, but I’m willing to listen.
Icon: heart with a pacemaker attached.
Everyone: read this article. I don’t care if you’ve never had a depressive episode in your life, read this article. This is ground-level stuff. I particularly love this bit:
If you’re afraid that you’re not pushing yourself hard enough or cheating, keep this in mind: Depression loves to lie and tell you that you’re doing an insufficient job, but when does it ever tell you that you’ve done enough or too much?
Kurchak gets it. She understands the inertia of feeling depressed and how it seems to increase Earth’s gravity 100% every waking minute.
I’m surprised she doesn’t mention this—and maybe I missed it—but just going the hell outside is its own accomplishment when your inner light feels like it’s burnt out.
Daylight is wonderful stuff and helped me lift the fog. Getting up after 4pm and not leaving the house is a recipe for trouble, but exactly what I start doing when depression starts. After try all kinds of medication, daylight and exercise (cycling) were my cure, and are still what I prescribe myself if things get a bit shaky.
How about the Automatic Electronic Defibrillator symbol?
These are pro-tips for nearly every daunting task in life
Sarah Kurchak is the best! That’s the first writing about “exercise” that has made sense to me . . . maybe ever!
That’s really true. Going to a coffee place and reading can completely change my mood. It didn’t always work the same way when the snow was falling though.
There were always two old saws I tried to rely on: one was (maybe Thoreau) along the lines of
There’s no sadness which isn’t improved by being out of doors
and the other (relevant for cycling) was
The weather always looks worse through the window
I’ve suffered in my time both from clinical depression, and from the exogenous sorrows which come with life and living. Both of them tended to rob me of that essential first impetus to move, which I found very debilitating; but once I started moving, it turns out that even heartbreak is less important when you’re trying to spin your way up a steep three-mile incline.
(Occasionally, even getting out in the fresh air wasn’t doing it: I’d walk a couple of miles [I live in the hills, which I’m regularly glad of], realise I wasn’t up to doing more, and come back home. But as the article says,
Celebrate the parts of an incomplete workout that you did manage to do.
and I’d say, I got out of the house, and saw the other side of the hill for a while: that’s enough, and that’s fine.
They smile back until you bite their heads off.
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