Exercising Depression Away

I’m just home from the gym and feeling good about my effort.

Started back again about 3/4 weeks ago after getting over the initial cold that had struck me after my trip away (3+ months in Plum Village).  I’ve been (roughly) twice a week since starting and even though it’s a real push to get myself going, it’s always worth it.

I knew when I was away this would be something I would need to come back to on my return to Ireland.  Get my physical health in check… get my emotional and mental health in check. 

It is now widely supported by scientific research that exercise can help combat depression and anxiety.

I remember a while back taking Facebook off my phone (even though I wasn’t a regular user at the time) and ended up getting hooked into Reddit which my older brother was into.  It was my new online daily addiction for a while.  Loads of interesting stuff and any post relating to mental health I was attracted to.  The number one suggestion or piece of advice by any ‘Redditor’ out there was – exercise.

Get to the gym on the way home from work, before work, go if you’re not working… just go.

And if you can’t afford a gym membership, do something else that get’s you active.

So here I am, pushing myself to get to the gym and it’s helping.

My gym is a bit of a dive, but it was cheap… and right now, funds are tight.  It does however, have a small swimming pool, Jacuzzi and small sauna, which are awesome perks.  It’s just not the fancy pants gym I was once at that felt luxurious to go to.

I have to steer my habitual negative biased mind to focus solely on my gym task at hand, to not focus on the scummy carpet or blue walls that are in dire need of a lick of paint, and keep telling myself I will get my fancy gym back one day and for now, this rep and the next are going to help me feel fitter and stronger… and better about myself.

A dip in the pool, Jacuzzi and sauna room after are the treat to myself for putting the effort in.  Today in the Jacuzzi as some other older guy was in there with me too, I just closed my eyes and focused on some long deep belly breaths. 

I even hummed a little to the vibrations of the bubbling water to help get me out of my mind and into my body, into the deserving, relaxing feeling of that moment…

soak it up Trace, soak it up.

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