So most of you know/see me as a fairly motivated individual. I hope today’s post will not change your perception of me and also shed some light on depression and how exercise can help.
For a few months before the Christmas holidays, I wasn’t as cheerful as I usually am. It was tough on some mornings to get out of bed. Pretty unmotivated, which is quite a change for me. I had to motivate myself to feel motivated. It wasn’t one thing that made me that way, as usual, but a few small factors which compounded to make a big difference in my day-to-day.
Apparently there are some known signs of depression, according to WedMD, so keep on the lookout for these in family and friends. Personally, I actually started feeling better when I came to the realization I was depressed and it was okay. That lifted a big weight off my shoulders for some reason.
Then I did a few things to get me out of my funk and make me feel better. These included my drug, exercise, with lots of running and hockey. And leaned on my incredible network which includes the best family I could ever ask for and compassionate friends.
It also helped I was reading a great book on how exercise helps the brain (Spark by John Ratey, MD) at that time so that was motivation in itself. I won’t go into the science of it (the case is growing every month) since I’ve blogged about it before and I’m not a PhD. In my instance, I instantly felt better after a workout and I could also lose myself and my current problems during a hockey game.
Why did I share this? A few reasons actually. First, I hope it puts a “normal” face on depression and you can stop thinking of depressed people as people who cry themselves to sleep every night. It’s not always the case and there are a lot of great actors out there, myself included. Hopefully it will help you reach out to people who might need a hand, especially folks who are by themselves a lot.
And as I’m getting older, I find being well rounded is the key to wellness. And mental health is a big part of that, whether it’s cool to talk about it or not!