Everyone has their own reason as to why they work out, exercise, run, do yoga, meditate...etc.
So why do I run/get my sweat on?
To fight depression.
Of course I lost over 40lbs through (mostly) running so I have a special bond with pounding the pavement. But for me it goes beyond physical fitness. I do it for mental fitness. I'm not sure when depression hit me but I've battled it for several years now. Unfortunately it's not something that can just "go away". Thankfully I've found one way (along with prayer) to fight against those dark times.
I'd like to encourage others dealing with depression, anxiety or any "mental illness" to find an outlet that works for them. Plug in to that outlet several times a week to prevent "flare ups". The hard times will come, but when you use a preventative, you'll come out of it quicker and even stronger. You'll feel more empowered and ready (in a sense) for the next struggle.
Here are a few things I like to do to relieve tension or stress (or when I start to feel "low")
1. Sweat it out! When feeling like I need a good rush of endorphins I'll hit the treadmill and run at a fast pace for about twenty minutes or until I'm drenched and I step off with a smile on my face and stiff legs. Here's a photo of me after one of those times:
2. Pray it out. When I don't feel like doing anything active (this usually happens if I get too low) the ONLY thing that will help is praying and meditating and asking God for peace. I understand that everyone has different beliefs but this is what works for me.
3. Stretch it out. I've recently started to do yoga alone in my room while listening to relaxing piano music. Not only does this do wonders for my body and running, but I feel so rested and relaxed when I'm done.
4. Let it out! I'm so thankful to have a husband who cares about my well being. He knows when I'm struggling and he always gives me opportunities to talk it out. It's never a good idea to bottle it up. You're more likely to explode on an innocent person when you hold everything in. Trust me. It won't be pretty. Find someone who is willing to listen and give some feedback. This person could even be a paid professional. There is nothing wrong with seeking professional help.
As a mom and wife I want to always be a blessing to my family. I have my struggles just like many others. I'm learning every day how to handle the everyday stresses and better control the hard times that are sure to come.
Whatever your outlet, make sure you use it!