Tag Archives: exercise

Fresh Air!

Despite this morning’s post about the cold winter weather we’re having, I walked the few kilometres to the local shopping centre today. It was fun!

There’s nothing like a walk in brisk, fresh air to clear the cobwebs, stimulate constructive thought and reduce the symptoms of depression. What’s not to love about that?

It never ceases to amaze me how such a simple thing can make such a great difference to mood and well-being, and quickly, too.

Do you have any mood quick-fixes?

Fresh Air

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New Monday

No, it wasn’t a phonetic mis-typing – I did indeed mean New Monday, not Blue Monday!

Upon waking I catch up on WordPress notifications, and write my morning post. I don’t have any particular reason to have decided today will be a New Monday, but I have:

  • reset the weight loss app I use on my phone
  • re-written my weekly exercise program, shuffling things about
  • an inspired list of things I’d like to achieve today.

I am also expecting an important phone call today. Well, ‘expecting’ might be overstating my hopes; I spoke to the insurance company last Thursday, and they said they’d phone me on Friday or today … so I may not hear from them until Thursday. Fingers crossed. Anyway, today may be the day I may find out whether they’re going to pay the claim, or not. I won’t find out a dollar amount, but I may be given a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

I hope that your Monday is also a New Monday in the best possible sense, and the start of a wonderful week!

 

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Sneaking Up On Oneself!

Yesterday, I set myself an exercise mini-challenge. I thought I wouldn’t struggle with it until Wednesday (hump day) but this morning … well, let’s just say that inside the house feels dry, cozy, warm and inviting, and outside the house feels anything but!

So, what to do? Well, I’m playing a show I recorded last night, and during each ad break I’m taking another tiny step towards being ready – getting dressed, packing my bag …. by the time the show’s over, I’ll be all dressed up, and leaving will be as natural as water falling down a fall:

27092012077I quite like the idea of sneaking up on myself, even if it is a conscious process. Do you have any tricks to help exercise when you don’t feel like it?

 

Also – I know I mentioned this in my last post, but I’m so super-excited I thought I’d mention it again 🙂 My ebook is now available here in the iBookstore! I’m super proud about this. (Yes, I’m still doing the homework my psychologist set me, of saying I’m proud of things; and yes, it is getting easier.) Yay!

MMHA Cover2

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Exercise Mini-challenge

I’ve set myself a SMART goal this week: to go lap swimming for half an hour each weekday at the local pool. (And yes, it is winter, but I have the option of an indoor or outdoor pool – though I’m planning to Polar Bear it out and attempt the bracing option!)

I know exercise is absolutely necessary in supporting my mood, but I also find mini-challenges easier to fulfill at this stage. What makes this a SMART goal? It’s:

Specific – I’ve outlined exactly what I want to achieve

Measurable – A definite, quantified number has been set

Achievable – I have the time and resources to do this; it’s also got an action-oriented verb (“go lap swimming”)

Realistic and Relevant – Again, I can manage 30 minutes per day this week, and it’s something I really want to do, as exercise is so important to my mood

Time-bound – it has a definite start time (today) and endpoint (Friday).

The challenges will be getting going early enough each day to beat the rush at the pool, and also overcoming my body-image related reluctance to be seen in bathers – I’m still carrying many extra kilos from last year. (Sigh.)

Who knows? It may evolve into a SMARTER goal, one which I Evaluate and Re-Evaluate afterwards, as the cycle continues! … but I do believe in ‘keeping the horizon close’ when dealing with exercise mini-challenges.

OK, it’s time to back away from the computer, get ready and step out into the brisk morning coolness to brave the waters … wish me luck. Ah, it’s raining. Excellent; I’ll arrive at the pool pre-moistened!

Have you set yourself an exercise mini-challenge (or maxi-challenge!) lately? How did it pan out for you?

Rain

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DB’s Top 10 Effective Depression-Busting Habits

Here’s my list (in no particular order):

  1. Fight the war on many fronts: Don’t rely on just one thing to alleviate your depression; bring as many weapons as you can to the battle. For example, combine medication with some form of therapy; add exercise to your daily regime and also add make time for relaxation or mindfulness.
  2. Be aware: Foster the habit of being aware of your mood and thoughts, “in real time”. Notice when your mood is lifting or falling, and try to pinpoint triggers for either type of mood shift. Also listen to your inner voice, and be aware of your self-talk: is it overwhelmingly negative, or positive?
  3. Reach out: Get yourself an appropriate support group, people you can talk to about your struggle. Choose these people carefully – you want empathetic, compassionate people. I especially appreciate the support of people who don’t always immediately try to solve my problems for me, but listen and validate my experiences.
  4. Use medication well: If you’re prescribed medication, take the right dose at the right time.
  5. Focus on things you can control: … and don’t dwell on the rest. Remember, worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere (thanks to depressedbuthopeful for that quote, which now adorns my fridge).
  6. Balance your life: So often, I read tales of how an imbalanced life lead to depression – an overemphasis on work, for instance, at the cost of relationships, exercise or relaxation. Online resources such as this one test your knowledge of work-life balance.
  7. Nurture your ‘self’: I never understood the importance of self-care until mental health became a pressing issue in my life. Self-care is not only a great stress-buster, but affirms your importance – your “right to life”, if you will.
  8. Control your ‘input’: Are you watching, reading, listening to or engaging in things which are feeding your depression? For example, recently a good friend pointed out to her husband that days when he reported talking to workmates about the deterioration in workplace conditions were days he came home in a lower mood. (I think there’s a wonderful distinction to be made between a vent and a bitch.) Switch your ‘input’ to uplifting, positive messages.
  9. Minimize alcohol consumption: Yes, I know this is where I differ from some, but I firmly believe that if you’re prone to severe depression and you drink heavily, you’re playing with fire. Alcohol is a known depressant. Personally, I choose not to drink alcohol at all, anymore. This might not be the right choice for everyone, but it was a great choice for me.
  10. Exercise: An absolute must! Boost those endorphins, get that natural high and benefit your overall health at the same time.

The danger in making a list is what you might accidentally leave off it! Do you agree with my top ten? What would you add, change or delete?

Ten

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