Mental Health Minute: How Can I Exercise when I Can’t Get Out of Bed??

Disclaimer: I am not a mental health or medical professional.  Please do not discontinue any medical/prescription/counseling program you are currently following.  This post is for information only.  Please click the links below for more information on my personal experiences with depression.

Depression and exercise.  These are two words often used in conjunction with one another, typically by those who have very little first-hand experience with depression but who still feel compelled to share their well-meaning advice.

Although we may not want to admit it, those of us who live with depression do know that exercising or at least engaging in some brisk movement throughout the day, can help elevate our mood. We also know that exercising is exactly the opposite of what you feel like doing when you’re stuck at the bottom of the well.

So, how do you reap the benefits of exercise whilst battling the down days…weeks…months?  Think of it as medicine.  It’s not a startling or fresh idea, I know, but it’s the only strategy I’ve found that works most of the time.

Looking at exercise as a medical necessity, scheduling it at the same time every day (perhaps at the same time as daily prescriptions you may be taking), prescribing your own “dosage” (i.e. 10 jumping jacks or 30 seconds of jogging in place), adds another valuable weapon to your depression fighting arsenal.  It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do something and gain the momentum you need to keep doing something the next day.  Whatever you do, don’t let depression disrupt that momentum or discourage you with the “why bothers!”

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