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How To Stay Active And Exercise When You Have Depression

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health. But just knowing that it’s good to get your heart rate going does not mean it’s easy to move when you experience a depressive episode. You will not always feel good exercising – and that’s more than okay – but if you try to stay consistent with a routine, there are steps you can take.

“In depression, even the least activity seems to require superhuman effort,” says psychotherapist Sarah Farris, L.C.P.C., a certified fitness nutrition specialist and founder of Chicago Mind and Body, certified by the International Sports Sciences Association. This fight should not be surprising, as the symptoms range from emotional (sadness, grief, hopelessness) to physical stress (fatigue, GI pain, headache). All these evildoers work together to focus one thing on one thing: how horrible everything feels.

“To the feelings of & # 39; loss & # 39; Paying proper attention, a primary sense of depression, to effectively gather resources To overcome the loss, withdrawal and reduction of activity are necessary, “said L. Kevin Chapman, a Kentucky psychologist and member of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Depression can become an all-encompassing condition that does not leave you the bandwidth that you can usually do much about.

Therefore, it is important for anyone who is fighting depression to consult a licensed counselor or a licensed counselor for therapists to learn strategies to take positive action despite the all-consuming nature of depression. In the meantime, there are six tactics that can help you move if there is no motivation to take a step.

Have a plan ready


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The cornerstone of clinical depression is that it could come and go – if you know this is a continuing problem you can Use your good days – if you do have mental energy – to plan bad days Think about it: If you wait until you find yourself in a depressive state, your chances of being exponentially lower make you wholesome than if You are in a bag of mental clarity.

Use this time to write a “script” about how you usually move when you are depressed-or what thoughts, feelings, or triggers keep you inactive-and throw then literally out, says Darrell L. Phillips, CSCS * D., sports psychologist at the University of Kansas, then write a new script. “Indicate how you really behave old, how you really want to behave, “he says. If you notice that you are feeling depressed again, you can try applying the new behaviors.

For example, if one of the first signs that you are at the threshold of another depressive episode is choppy from work, write out that calling for illness (if you’re not really sick) is your way, take a walk, perform a quick body weight cycle or visit the weight room to romp. Write it down exactly when and where you decide. Publish your script where you know you can see it – for example, next to the bed or couch – to make it more likely.

Remove Any Barrier

If exercising sounds almost impossible, chances are you’ll choose your clothes and fight for space in the gym, which does not sound easy or easy. When you write your script out, Farris recommends thinking through what kinds of depression become excuses to skip the movement. Then consider how to remove these obstacles altogether from the equation.

The solution could be so simple that you go to bed the next morning in your workout clothes or take a ride to the gym instead of going there.

Do not exercise only when motivated



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Motivation is inconsistent, so do not count on it.

” Instead of allowing a fleeting thought or feeling to dictate a behavior change, People need to accept discomfort and strengthen their commitment to their pre-determined choices, “says Farris.” For example, when you commit to exercise in the morning, but when you wake up, you donate. If you are not interested, we practice the assumption that Instead of allowing a sense of disinterest to propose a decision to skip the gym, we focus on giving it room, and you can both be uninterested and work out the plan to work not either-or. “

This is easier said than done, but this is another situation in which scripts enter the game Start small, with clues to finish quick activities like 10 pushups or situps, and then move on. “Realizing that a passing thought or a sense of disinterest can change can help you go through the first steps to getting started,” Farris continues.

Forget “Go Hard or Go Home”

to stay heavy lifting at your hardest hour. It can literally be as small as “I get up 15 times.” Hey, that’s 15 box squats.

These minor behaviors increase the activity of people with depression, says Phillips. As you get moving and start pumping the endorphins, you may want to do more. If not, and these 15 box squats are all you do that day, that’s still a lot better than nothing.

“I discuss expectations with individual customers about training routines and recommend adjustment plans to make them manageable and realistic,” adds Farris. “This can mean that an individual who deals with depression has difficulty maintaining high intensity in their training. With a cognitive-behavioral approach, we talk about beliefs or discouraging feelings about reducing training effort. Accept that movement can make a difference and stare – all or nothing & # 39; I have to train hard for six days a week and if I can not, I will not train at all & # 39; or & # 39; today it all feels hard So, I should just stop, it’s an important area to focus on. “

Avoid the opportunity to break down

If you are depressed, your chance of comparing and lying to others is best, says Chapman. Because of this, you may want to avoid exercise settings that invite (even friendly) rivalries – such as group classes or lifting up with this friend who always makes you feel like a shrimp.

Instead, explain to the friends you support most, what you are going through, what your exercise goals are, and make a deal that requires you to work with them if they find you are not able to. Prioritize forms of exercises that make you strong and capable and set you apart from those who are newbies or easily frustrated.

Recognize your achievements

When you are depressed, every move is a great asset. “Keeping a calendar and reward system helps many people to move in depression,” says Phillips. You may want to indulge yourself with a set of adjustable dumbbells or some other fitness-related rewards after checking out 10 workouts. As cheesy as it may sound, if you even put a golden star on the calendar and find that “Yes, I trained today,” it can reinforce positive feelings about yourself (which may be in short supply of depression), and encourage you to do so to go ahead with your brain routine.

“Sharing your goals and achievements also makes it real,” adds Phillips. Post on Facebook or shoot a text to your best friend. invite others to cheer you on. It can be difficult to learn about depression, but when you do that, the support you receive becomes infinitely easier.

For general information on mental health and finding treatment options in your area, call the Referral Helpline for Drug Abuse and Mental Health Services at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

K Aleisha Fetters is a Chicago-based strength and conditioning specialist contributing to publications including Time, Runner’s World, VICE, USA

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